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Frontline report: Ukraine tries to defend heights around Bohdanivka in fierce fighting

After heavy aerial bombardment, Russian infantry secured a 1 km bridgehead south of Chasiv Yar, establishing positions 500 meters from the town’s eastern edge.
Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.
Frontline report: Ukraine tries to defend heights around Bohdanivka in fierce fighting

Day 763: 31 March

On 31 March, there is a lot of interesting news from the Bakhmut direction. The most intense fighting occurs on the Northern flank of Chasiv Yar.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

The situation in Bohdanvivka is developing rapidly. Previously I reported that Russian forces struggled to generate any gains in the direction of the village over the last month, making this area rather stationary. However, recently Russian sources reported that Russian forces conducted a series of powerful assaults in and around the village.

Ukrainian sources confirmed that Russians used artillery support supplemented by drones to strike Ukrainian positions and undermine the overall Ukrainian defenses within the village. Ukrainian fighters reported that the Russian commanders resorted to Pure infantry assaults, likely to preserve the future. Nonetheless, these assaults did not give the expected results Ukrainians managed to hold Russian attacks and force them to dig in and set up positions in trenches and basements inside the small captured portion of the village.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

If we look at the topographic map, we can see that Ukrainians controlled the heights around the village, which enabled them to detect and strike Russian forces in the lowlands and hamper their advances by inflicting severe losses from elevated areas at which Russians struggled to return fire.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Russian sources claimed that Russian forces achieved a 100-meter advance within the village. The total depth of the Russian advancement over the previous months reached just 300 meters in a village stretching along a road for over 3 km. Such a pace of advancement is too slow, and it would take Russians many more months to take banka with this costly approach.

However, a little bit to the south of Bohdanivka, the situation is very dynamic. Here Russians try to flank Ukrainian positions in Bohdanivka from the south along the railways and stretch Ukrainian troops along the contract line by attacking Bohdanivka from two axes of advance. The goal of this series of attacks was to force Ukrainians to pull back from the village.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

To achieve this, Russians first conducted heavy aerial bombardment of Ukrainian positions located to the south of Bohdanivka close to Chasiv Yar. Russian bombardments with glide bombs are extremely destructive and capable of making any targeted Ukrainian positions unsustainable for long-term defensive operations. This bombing eventually set conditions conducive for Russian assaults.

The main assault started by sending a group of four Russian BMD armored personnel carriers to land their infantry at a tree line near the railway embankment. However, Ukrainian Fighters spotted and destroyed the first vehicle on the road.

The second vehicle managed to unload its infantry, but it got abandoned after an artillery shell landed close to it, likely inflicting some damage.

The third vehicle triggered a land mine which immobilized the vehicle. However, Russian infantry could still unload and proceed to secure positions in the tree line.

Finally, the fourth BMD was struck by an FPV drone, although without significant damage allowing it to unload the Infantry and have the luck of being the only one in the column to drive back to a safe zone.

With this new position secured, the Russians established a 1 km long bridgehead that could enable them to attack Ukrainians in two separate axes of advance toward Chasiv Yar and Bohdanivka.

Right now, Russian troops are around 500 m away from the eastern edges of the town, with a small forest separating them from the main Ukrainian positions. This gives an advantage to the Ukrainians as Russians can’t launch mechanized assaults through the area, restricting any possible Russian attacks to pure infantry assaults.

Russian soldiers therefore have to face fortified Ukrainian positions in the town, which they can’t do effectively without proper fire support from tanks and infantry fighting vehicles. That is why Russian forces will have to expand their zone of control to the south of the forest if they want to assault the town.

However, Russian control of this area can be problematic for Ukrainians in Bohdanivka because Russians can uppercut them from the south of the village with a flank attack from the forest and force them to withdraw.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

For this reason, Ukrainians urgently need to launch a counterattack to eliminate the Russian bridgehead between the town and the village. The counterattack is viable because Russians haven’t yet built up a strong presence in this area.

Russians continued heavy aerial bombings of Chasiv Yar, which covered the whole town and made it untenable for anyone on the ground there. This caused an incident in an old Soviet-era Atomic bunker where NATO officers were present as an Iskandar ballistic missile struck non-combatant military attaches.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Ukrainian fighters confirmed this incident but stated that the Russian strike couldn’t kill anyone because such a bunker would require explosives to be placed on the inside for its destruction.

In recent days Ukrainians also increased their efforts to limit Russian logistics in the Bakhmut direction with extensive drone strikes along Bakhmut Pokrovska from which the bulk of Russian supplies to the front are coming. Here the Ukrainians managed to destroy several Russian Supply vehicles and a tank with FPV drones.

This is extremely important because such Ukrainian drone strikes disrupt Russian supplies to the point where Russians will have to either reduce the intensity of their offensive efforts or temporarily hold it all together both in Chisav Yar and Ivanivske.

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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