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Ukraine top military: Russian forces set deadline to capture Donetsk’s Chasiv Yar by May 9

Ukraine’s military chief says Russians aim to seize Donetsk Oblast’s Chasiv Yar by 9 May, directing efforts in Bakhmut’s vicinity, but Ukrainian defense holds strong, utilizing drones and artillery to disrupt and repel Russian infantry attacks.
Artillery fire Ukraine frontline
Artillery Fire. Illustrative photo: Ukraine’s 126th Brigade.
Ukraine top military: Russian forces set deadline to capture Donetsk’s Chasiv Yar by May 9

On 14 April, Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi reported on Facebook that Russia’s intensified efforts to capture Chasiv Yar in Donetsk Oblast west of Bakhmut as the Russian military leadership set a deadline for its troops to seize the city by 9 May, Russia’s date for VE Day.

According to Syrskyi, the Russian military is focusing its efforts on breaking through the Ukrainian military’s defenses west of Bakhmut, gaining access to the Siverskyi Donets-Donbas canal, capturing Chasiv Yar, and creating conditions for further advancement to the Kramatorsk metropolitan area, the largest Ukrainian-controlled cluster of cities and towns in Donetsk Oblast.

Situation in northwestern Donetsk Oblast as of 14 April 2024, according to Deepstatemap.

The enemy’s plans are hampered by the heroic defense of our brigades, who have literally dug themselves into the ground, holding back the enemy’s daily attacks. Using their numerical superiority and various motivational factors, including executions, some enemy infantry groups reached [Chasiv Yar’s] Novyi neighborhood, but were destroyed by FPV kamikaze strikes and artillery fire,” Syrskyi wrote after visiting the Bakhmut sector of the front, which includes Chasiv Yar.

The commander added that the Russian attacks intensified after the Russian top brass set a deadline for the invasion forces to capture Chasiv Yar by the so-called Victory Day, the Russian version of Victory in Europe Day, but celebrated a day later than VE Day:

At the same time, the threat remains relevant, given that Russia’s top military leadership has set a goal for its troops to capture Chasiv Yar by 9 May,” Syrskyi says.

Situation in Donetsk Oblast’s Bakhmut sector as of 14 April, according to Deepstatemap.

Ukrainian troops reinforced in Bakhmut sector

Commander Syrskyi says Ukraine has significantly reinforced its brigades with additional ammunition, drones, and electronic warfare equipment to bolster defenses and respond to enemy actions in the Chasiv Yar direction.

Following his visit to the Bakhmut sector, Syrskyi said:

The main conclusion from my two-day work at the front is the need to improve the quality of training, including the moral and psychological component, increase the number of high-tech unmanned systems for various purposes with trained operators, and improve the quality of asymmetric actions to reduce the enemy’s combat potential,” the commander says.

Syrskyi claims that efforts continue to streamline management, eliminate redundancies, and redirect freed-up resources to support combat units and subdivisions.

The main objective of these measures is to increase the combat capability of our troops, save the lives of our soldiers, disrupt the enemy’s plans, and ensure the training of reserves,” the Commander-in-Chief says.

A day earlier, Syrskyi reported that the situation on the eastern front has significantly escalated, with Russian forces intensifying their offensive actions in the Lyman and Bakhmut directions. Additionally, in the Pokrovsk direction, they are attempting to break through defenses using dozens of tanks and infantry fighting vehicles.

Russia continues attacks

According to the Ukrainian General Staff’s situation update on the morning of 14 April, on the Bakhmut axis on the previous day, Ukrainian soldiers repelled 36 attacks near Bilohorivka in Luhansk Oblast and Verkhn’okam’yans’ke, Vyimka, Spirne, Rozdolivka, Ivanivske, Novyi, Opytne, Klishchiivka, and Andriivka in Donetsk Oblast.

Regarding other sectors in eastern Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts, the General Staff provided the following updates for the previous day:

  • Kupiansk and Lyman axes: No Russian offensive operations were conducted.
  • Avdiivka axis: Ukrainian forces repelled nine enemy attacks near the settlements of Novokalynove, Novobakhmutivka, Berdychi, Tonenke, Pervomaiske, and Nevelske in Donetsk oblast.
  • Novopavlivka axis: Ukrainian Defense Forces continued to hold their positions against enemy advances near Heorhiivka, Novomykhailivka, and Urozhaine in Donetsk oblast, with 22 attempts by the enemy to breach defenses.
  • Orikhiv axis: Six attacks were launched by Russian forces on Ukrainian positions near Staromaiors’ke in Donetsk oblast and northwest of Verbove in Zaporizhzhia oblast.

Outside Luhansk, Donetsk, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, along the Sivershchyna and Slobozhanshchyna axes (northern Ukraine), the Russians maintains its military presence near the Russian border and increases minefield density along Ukraine’s state border, while on the Kherson axis (southern Ukraine), the enemy persists in its attempts to dislodge Ukrainian troops from their bridgeheads on the left bank of the Dnipro River, launching three unsuccessful attacks on 13 April, as per Ukraine’s General Staff.

In total, 13 April saw 76 tactical engagements across the entire frontline, with enemy forces launching one missile, 109 airstrikes, and 115 MLRS attacks targeting Ukrainian troop positions and various settlements. Airstrikes impacted areas in Sumy, Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, affecting over 110 settlements across regions including Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson, and Mykolaiv oblasts.

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