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Frontline report: Ukrainians conduct vicious surprise tank raid, wipe out Russian force accumulation near Kupiansk

Ukraine launched a devastating surprise tank raid near Kupiansk, Ukrainian armor catching accumulated Russian forces off guard and wiping them out before their planned offensive in the region could begin.
Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.
Frontline report: Ukrainians conduct vicious surprise tank raid, wipe out Russian force accumulation near Kupiansk

Day 746: 10 March 2024

Today, there are a lot of updates from the Kupiansk direction.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Here, Russian forces have continued their attacks in an attempt to advance towards Kupiansk and the Oskil River.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Their primary objective here is taking the city and the whole area east of the river, thus allowing them to control a vital buffer zone up to the Luhansk border. For the Russian command, complete control of this border is one of the main objectives of the so-called special military operation.

In the southern part of this region, the key stronghold is Kyslivka.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Russian forces are not directly attacking this stronghold but appear to have decided to attack the settlement from the flanks and try to encircle it. In order to achieve this goal, Russian forces have been conducting attacks around Tabaivka on the southern flank and around Orlianske on the northern flank.

When it comes to Tabaivka, after Ukrainians deployed reserves to counterattack Russian forces and localize the Russian breakthrough, the situation stabilized.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Once the front line stopped falling back, Ukrainians doubled down on their counterattacks, and the latest reports indicate that Ukrainian forces have just regained a good part of the ground.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Recent geolocated images showed a high intensity of Ukrainian attacks in the vicinity of the road.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

In particular, FPV drone and artillery strikes were conducted by the Da Vinci Wolves battalion.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

If we look at the topographic map, we can see that Ukrainian forces took advantage of the local heights to establish fire control over the lowland area, making it very difficult to supply the Russian forces trying to advance uphill.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

In the end, the high pressure exerted by the Ukrainian forces caused the Russians to withdraw, allowing the Ukrainians to advance and take control of the area and cutting off a possible Russian advance from the south.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Moreover, this achievement will enable Ukrainian forces to improve their logistics in the area, as well as control over the southern flank of Kyslivka. The tactically advantageous positions also allow Ukrainians to hold the line with fewer resources, and allocate more troops to other points on the front line.

As for the northern flank, Russian forces were reportedly accumulating forces in a tree line northeast of Orlianske in preparation for an imminent assault. The Russian aim was to make a flank attack from the north in order to set conditions for a turning move or even encirclement of Kyslivka, taking Ukrainian forces in and around this stronghold into a pocket, and triggering the collapse of the entire defensive line.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

However, Ukrainian reconnaissance teams detected an unusually high number of Russian personnel in the area, which gave way to an unexpected powerful tank raid by the Ukrainian fighters of the 54th Mechanized Brigade. Geolocated combat footage shows how two Ukrainian tanks enter the region from the south and sweep through the Russian positions from close range without any resistance.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

It is important to note that there is no Ukrainian demining equipment in the footage, so the Russians would likely have arrived along the same tree line path shortly before. Upon reaching the end of the tree line, the two tanks appear to coordinate to attack the same points on their way back. Moreover, no Russian artillery is shown, so it seems they didn’t have time to coordinate, and the last fragments of the footage show Russian soldiers suffering from Ukrainian mortar fire, and attempting to evacuate.

However, despite the fact that Russians were forced out of the area, there’s no visual proof of Ukrainian infantry taking the tree line, and, according to the latest updates, the area is now in a grey zone. With this tank raid, Ukrainian forces managed to destroy most of the accumulated forces and undermine any planned offensive actions toward Kyslivka, at least in the short term.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

But given the attack patterns of the Russian forces, further Russian attempts here are more than likely in the future, so the Ukrainians must strengthen the defenses and surveillance in this area.

Moreover, the fact that Ukrainian forces are conducting mechanized attacks also demonstrates that Ukrainian forces retain their capability to transport heavy equipment to the eastern bank of the Oskil River, despite renewed Russian efforts to damage Ukrainian logistics in this area. In particular, several recent attacks on nearby bridges have been reported, both over the Oskil River and the road leading to Kupiansk.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

As you may imagine, this road is one of the main supply routes for Ukrainian forces in the area. Ukrainian command understands the vital importance of maintaining logistics for their troops here and recently confirmed the repair of one of the main bridges over this river, which was damaged by a Russian glide bomb months ago.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

The bridge has now regained its capacity for heavy vehicles. Overall, despite direct and continued Russian attacks over Ukrainian positions and their logistics infrastructure, Ukrainian forces largely retain their combat capability in this area of the front, not only holding the contact line stable but even managing to regain the initiative at particular points.

Two relevant Ukrainian attacks on the northern and southern flanks of Kyslivka ruined the chances of significant Russian advances from this area toward Kupiansk. Hopefully, Ukrainian fighters continue holding the defense line here as tightly in the following
weeks.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

However, Russian forces recently suddenly shifted their focus to the southern line, likely in an attempt to take advantage of the fact that Ukrainians moved their reserves towards the east.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

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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