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ISW: limited Russian gains near Kreminna, Bakhmut; positional battles across Donbas

Mostly, frontlines remain static as Russian and Ukrainian forces are locked in positional fighting

The Institute for the Study of War reports in its latest assessment that Russian forces have secured localized gains near the settlements of Kreminna in Luhansk Oblast and Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast over recent days, even as fighting continues along frontlines throughout the contested Donbas region.

According to the ISW report, Russian troops have made advances near Kreminna, south of the strategic city of Svatove. Geolocated footage indicates Russian forces progressed north of the village of Dibrova, southwest of Kreminna.

klishchiivka Russian advances
Credit: ISW

The assessment states there have also been incremental Russian gains near the long-contested Donetsk Oblast city of Bakhmut. ISW cites geolocated footage showing Russian forces have pushed north of Klishchiivka, located southwest of Bakhmut.

Donbas attacks Russia advances
Ground control in Luhansk Oblast as of 16 January. Credit: ISW

At the same time, ISW reports no major changes to positions around the Donetsk Oblast cities of Avdiivka and Donetsk itself, as both Ukrainian and Russian forces remain locked in positional fighting along the frontlines.

In southern Ukraine, the assessment notes positional battles continue along the line of contact in Zaporizhzhia Oblast with minimal changes in held territory. Per ISW, Ukrainian defenses remain intact in eastern Kherson Oblast despite persistent Russian attacks.

The ISW report characterizes the recent Russian advances near Kreminna and Bakhmut as limited gains achieved amid sustained battling across Donbas, where the frontline remains largely static outside of a few contested areas.

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