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Frontline report: Ukraine repels Russian assault waves in strategic city of Krasnohorivka, Donetsk Oblast

In the Kurakhove direction, Russian forces have increased the intensity of their attacks toward the Ukrainian town of Kurakhove and have started a large-scale battle in an attempt to reach it. Ukrainian defenders have successfully repelled three Russian assault waves there.
Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.
Frontline report: Ukraine repels Russian assault waves in strategic city of Krasnohorivka, Donetsk Oblast

Day 771: 4 April

On 4 April, there are a lot of developments in the Kurakhove direction. Here, Russians have increased the intensity of their attacks toward the Ukrainian town of Kurakhove and have started a large-scale battle in an attempt to reach it.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

After taking Marinka, the next logical step for Russians became Krasnohorivka, as the settlement plays a key role in their offensive eastward for two important reasons.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

First, is that Krasnohorivka is of long-term strategic importance to Ukrainians, as it is a staging ground for possible future counter-attacks on Russian-held settlements and eventually into the city of Donetsk itself.

Second is that, besides allowing Russians to consolidate their gains by taking away the Ukrainian threat, Krasnohorivka is of major tactical value to Russians, as taking the town would allow them to push forward into the fields, partially cutting off supply to the Ukrainian fortress settlements further along the line behind Marinka, and providing fire control into the Ukrainian flanks.

Through this, Russians will try to alleviate the difficulty of attacking these settlements by simultaneously attacking the Ukrainians from the flanks.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Assaulting Krasnohorivka is not an easy task for Russians for multiple reasons.

Firstly, Krasnohorivka has been a frontline town since the war started in 2014. As such, Ukrainians have entrenched their positions here and are well prepared for Russian assaults.

Secondly, Russians control only two attack vectors in the settlement, so Ukrainians have a relatively steady and safe line to supply and reinforce their forces.

Thirdly, if we look at the topographic map, we can see that in attacking from the south, Russians have to deal with a slight valley where the local river has turned into a swamp, forcing Russian armored assault groups to stick to a singular crossing point, which Ukrainians can easily monitor and contain with drones, artillery, mines, and ATGM-teams.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Furthermore, the rivers and swamps surrounding Krasnohorivka create a funnel for the Russian armored assaults, making them predictable and manageable for the Ukrainian defenders.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Lastly, Ukrainians control a strong fortified position between Krasnohorivka and Heorhiivka and a defensive line behind the lakes, complicating any Russian attempt to undercut the town and take it into a pocket.

The Ukrainian defensive operation in Krasnohorivka is centered around the industrial district and the high-rise buildings behind it. From there, Ukrainians can overlook the entire settlement and efficiently coordinate their defense, as well as the many windows and other openings offering many firing positions for Ukrainians.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Russians understood the importance of this district and used artillery, tanks, and air strikes with FAB-1500 bombs to devastate suspected Ukrainian firing positions and observation posts in preparation for the Russian assaults.

Russians have been preparing for this assault and concentrating their forces in the area for over a month. While localized, positional fighting offered the Russians little success, the bombing of Ukrainian positions only intensified.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

After the Russian forces felt confident in the success of a larger storming operation of the settlement itself, they launched three assault waves on the town.

The first assault came early in the morning but did not manage to come even close to the settlement because, as it turned out, Ukrainians had mined the approaches. Ukrainian soldiers in the area stated that the Russian assault group did not even manage to dismount their infantry before being destroyed.

However, the second and third assault waves did manage to break through and dismount their infantry, which then made their way into the settlement from the south.

As the heavy fighting continued throughout the morning, Russian forces forced out the local Ukrainian garrison in the southern district of houses. Still, they could not cross the railway line into the next.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Russian forces then decided to dig in and fortify themselves in the newly acquired positions.

As soon as Russians launched their first assault wave, Ukrainian defenders in Krasnohorivka called in quick reaction forces, which, at that point, were desperately needed to push the Russians out of their newly acquired bridgehead.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

These quick reaction forces consisted of the 1st and 2nd battalions of the now famous 3rd assault brigade. These soldiers are specially trained and equipped with high-quality equipment to deal with the most difficult situations. The 3rd assault brigade later shared footage of their counter-attack operation in Krasnohorivka.

The video shows the skill of these soldiers as they move through the houses and engage the Russians with small arms fire, grenades, tanks, and FPV drones.

The video also shows the lack of coordination between the Russian assault group and their command, as Ukrainians openly listen in to unsecured Russian radio communications, and Russian mortar and artillery support accidentally opened fire on Russian positions.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

After an intense battle, Ukrainian forces dislodge the Russian fighters and return the frontline to its original position. A Ukrainian fighter in the area also stated that even though they were on the offensive and had to storm fortified Russian positions, Russian losses were three times higher than the Ukrainian.

He attributed this to their higher quality equipment and rapid casualty evacuation, leading to all of their wounded making it out alive while the entire Russian assault group was eliminated.

Overall, Russian geolocated footage confirms that Ukrainians have retaken the southern district and forced the Russians out of the town, as Russians have resumed their shelling of the outer area of Krasnohorivka.

Newly appointed commander in chief of the Ukrainian armed forces, Oleksandr Syrski, recently visited the headquarters of the Avdiivka-Kurakhove front. He met with multiple commanders to discuss the defensive operation in detail and to ensure that everything is organized and in place for Ukrainians to resist the next phase of the Russian offensive.

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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