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Frontline report: Russian general set up all his troops for a HIMARS strike

After Russian defense minister Shoigu falsely told Putin that Russian forces captured Krynky village in Kherson Oblast, Ukrainian forces released videos showing village still contested, prompting failed Russian attacks and deadly HIMARS strikes on Russian troop concentrations.
Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.
Frontline report: Russian general set up all his troops for a HIMARS strike

Day 728: 21 February

Today, the biggest news comes from the Kherson region.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

First of all, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu suddenly announced that Russian forces completely eliminated the Ukrainian bridgehead and reestablished total control over the eastern bank of the river. The announcement was made during his briefing with Putin. What is interesting is that even Putin immediately but softly challenged Shoigu’s claims by saying that he personally spoke with the commander of the Dnirpo Grouping of Forces, who informed Putin that there were still a handful of Ukrainians inside the village. Shoigu refuted it and portrayed Russian efforts to eliminate the bridgehead as a successfully completed effort.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

According to the Institute for the Study of War, Shoigu likely prematurely claimed the Russian seizure of the settlement to reinforce its desired informational effects ahead of the presidential election this March.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

And this evaluation of the situation seems to be correct because, based on the available geolocated footage, Russian forces barely managed to get to the outskirts.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

One video filmed by a Ukrainian drone operator shows how Russians sneaked in, put the Russian flag on the remnants of what once was a house, and very quickly started running away from the site. Another video was filmed in the eastern part of the settlement that was always under Russian control or in the grey zone. Russian sources reported that the flag mission was ordered by the commander of the Russian eight hundred tenth marine brigade, who wanted to capitalize on the positive news of the capture of Avdiivka, and his plan was successful because by declaring the victory at the right time, he promptly got the rank of a general.

Once the Ukrainian marines, who are actually located in Krynky now, saw the claims of the Russian Defense Minister, they started releasing videos from the settlement.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

These videos came as a hard hit in the Russian information space and tarnished the reputation of the Russian Defense Minister, who was called out on lying in the eyes of the President. The commander of the Russian 810th marine brigade, who basically let him down, immediately initiated attempts to fix the problem as soon as possible.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Unfortunately for Russians, Ukrainian fighters anticipated such a response to their videos and prepared to face the attacks. According to some fighters, the Ukrainian drone operators, in coordination with artillery crews, timely spotted and fired at the approaching Russian assault units, forcing them to retreat.

However, Ukrainians did not stop there and relocated multiple Special Force operators to the region who conducted intense reconnaissance with the most advanced tools. As a result, Ukrainians identified a concentration of Russian forces approximately fifteen kilometers from the bridgehead. What made the situation for Russians even worse was that a Russian commander wanted to visit the base, so everyone was ordered to go and stay outside and wait.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

The commander never showed up because Ukrainian Special Force operators conducted a HIMARS strike with cluster warheads.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

According to Russian sources, two rockets struck the base at first, and one struck the base when another group of soldiers started collecting corpses and evacuating the wounded, causing even more destruction. Russian sources also circulated footage of the aftermath, but there are so many corpses that I would need to censor the whole screen anyway.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Ukrainian sources reported that the base had personnel from 3 different detachments, one of which was the Russian 810th marine brigade, which is responsible for the Ukrainian bridgehead area.

Two days ago, Ukrainian HIMARS crews increased their activity in the region and conducted a strike on Russian headquarters. The footage shows a complete destruction of the two-story house.

Two days before that, Ukrainians conducted yet another HIMARS strike. Ukrainian reconnaissance identified the Russian drone in the sky and traced it all the way back to the drone crew. Ukrainian HIMARS operators were ready to receive the final coordinates, and while the Russian soldiers were collecting their drones, the HIMARS rockets reached their predetermined destination and destroyed the whole group.

Overall, the Russian command artificially created a lot of problems for the Russian soldiers by trying to achieve informational objectives ahead of the Russian presidential election.

Shoigu tried to frame the Russian effort in the east bank as similar to the seizure of

Avdiivka. Ukrainians leveraged the information space against the Russians by forcing them to eliminate the bridgehead as soon as possible and at any cost.

Such a trigger already resulted in multiple failed unplanned attacks and the destruction of dozens of Russian soldiers in the bases who were being collected to conduct the same mission.

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.

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