Today, there is a lot of news from the southeast. Here, Ukrainian forces conducted a massive missile strike on the main Russian bases in southern Ukraine. The goal of this campaign was to undermine the Russian offensive capabilities because, as mentioned last time, Russian forces decided to launch multiple offensive operations along the eastern front to seize the theater-wide initiative.
According to the latest updates, Russian forces identified 5 main directions, namely, the Kupiansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Kurakhove directions. Geolocated footage from these regions confirms that Ukrainians are facing intense assaults, where Russians are sending company-size infantry units, each reinforced with a dozen tanks and armored fighting vehicles. However, this heavy use of equipment and personnel also means that Russian logistics are running at their maximum capacity to maintain the offensive posture and the pace of the operations.
Any damage to the Russian logistics, therefore, will cause disproportionate disruptions to their offensive operations and alleviate the pressure on the Ukrainian defenses.
The first target of the Ukrainian missile strike became Donetsk. Here, Ukrainians destroyed a Russian fuel depot in the southeastern part of the city. Russian sources claimed that the strike was conducted with HIMARS and that at least 2 rockets managed to pass the Russian air defense and hit the target.
This is already the second destroyed fuel depot in Donetsk over the last week. Taking into account that Ukrainians also destroyed a massive ammunition depot last week, we can see that Ukrainians are helping Russians to deprioritize this direction faster.
Given that Russians are already rationing the use of heavy equipment in the Avdiivka direction, the destruction of one more base will put even more strain on the use of armor.
The second target became Mariupol, which is one of the main logistical hubs for the Kurakhove direction. According to the latest reports, Ukrainians struck multiple military objects at once.
The first one was the concrete factory, which Russians were using as a warehouse for heavy equipment, while the second one was the Port-City area, which Russians used as a base for their air defense systems.
Russian sources reported that Ukrainians conducted the strike with HIMARS and used ATACMS missiles. The third target became Henichesk, which was previously the safest and most important Russian logistical hub in the Kherson region.
In fact, Russians even closed Arabat Spit and allowed to use the road exclusively for military purposes until Ukrainians destroyed all bridges with Storm Shadow missiles. Still, the warehouses and bases remained, and Russians continued to use them, which is why today it suffered a massive strike.
Russian sources reported that they intercepted 15 missiles. The available footage, however, only shows the interception of 1 missile and captures how some missiles reach their targets.
Ukrainians also struck 3 more targets in Crimea. Even though Crimea is seemingly too far from the eastern front, where Russians are conducting their offensive operations, it is still a very important logistical hub that Russians extensively rely on.
Crimea has a direct railway connection to mainland Russia, which is also very far from the front line, allowing Russians to move in and accumulate forces in many different bases and cities, such as Kerch, Dzhankoi, Sevastopol, and all military bases and warehouses along the railways that connect these cities.
It’s been a while since Ukrainians hit the Russian railway bridge near Chonhar, which likely means that Russians have restored the connection to the Ukrainian railway system and are actively sending more forces to the front. The targets of the Ukrainian strike became Sevastopol, Dzhankoi and Chornomorske.
What is interesting is that 2 days prior to the strike, the Ukrainian partisan group Atesh conducted reconnaissance near the Russian airfield in Dzhankoi and identified multiple valuable targets, such as radars. When it comes to Chornomorske, Russian forces have one of their main air defense bases here, so Ukrainians likely attempted to target them to aggravate the shortage of air defense systems on the front even more.
In Sevastopol, the Russian air defense was actively shooting down Ukrainian drones. So far, the details are unknown, but it is possible that it was a decoy.
Overall, the recent Ukrainian missile strikes across southeastern Ukraine represent an attempt to disrupt Russian logistics and offensive capabilities. Targeting key locations, these strikes have not only damaged critical infrastructure but also imposed additional strain on Russian forces that are already stretched by their multi-directional offensives.
The destruction of fuel depots, ammunition warehouses, and logistical hubs has potentially altered the operational landscape, offering Ukrainian forces a window to relieve pressure on their defenses and possibly improve their tactical positions.
In our daily frontline report, we pair up with the military blogger Reporting from Ukraine to keep you informed about what is happening on the battlefield in the Russo-Ukrainian war.