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Frontline report: Russian survival rate at 3% during White Mountain storming near Luhansk’s Bilohorivka

Russian forces face steep losses and strategic setbacks during assaults on White Mountain near Luhansk’s Bilohorivka, struggling against well-positioned Ukrainian defenses.
Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.
Frontline report: Russian survival rate at 3% during White Mountain storming near Luhansk’s Bilohorivka

Day 781: 14 April

Today, there are a lot of updates from the Siversk direction, Donetsk Oblast.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Some of the most intense clashes are taking place in the Bilohorivka area. The key point in the ongoing battle has become White Mountain on the chalk quarry, after which the settlement of Bilohorivka was named.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Ukrainian troops stationed atop the Terrikon waste heap enjoy a substantial tactical advantage because the high ground allows them to establish effective fire control over the surrounding area, significantly complicating Russian attempts to gain ground.

That is why Russian forces decided to deal with it once and for all and launched a series of powerful assaults to capture the White Mountain. The elevated positions at the quarry enabled Ukrainians to exploit fire control of the area to the fullest extent and destroy large Russian assault groups, but despite significant losses, Russian forces did not give up the hopes of taking control of it.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

The first step of this offensive operation was establishing control over the tree lines right in front of the Terrikon. Russian commanders did not seem to consider the fact that the mount is sloped at a steep angle and that even if Russians do establish positions beneath it, they won’t be able to climb it up, while Ukrainians would still be able to strike them from top of it.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

That is why Russian forces were forced to slowly move north along this tree line, under the constant fire from above, to approach the lowest part of the mountain.

The Russians allocated many infantry fighting vehicles and tanks in an effort to establish a foothold. Their plan was for the infantry fighting vehicles to drive to the lower slopes of the Terrikon, dismount the infantry while tanks provided fire support, and then pull back once the infantry dismounted.

The first Russian assault group consisted of five BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles and a tank.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

They were heading to Bilohorivka from the direction of Zolotarivka. Unfortunately for the Russians, a Ukrainian reconnaissance drone team detected them on time and directed artillery and kamikaze drone operators to the approaches of the Terrikon.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Soon after finding themselves under intense fire, Russians drove over a road covered in landmines that were pre-placed by Ukrainian drones. This led to the whole column being immobilized, thus exposing it to the FPV drones and artillery systems and destroying it. The surviving Russian stormtroopers were hunted down and killed in the nearby dugouts.

According to Ukrainian sources, Ukrainian forces successfully destroyed five armored vehicles, damaged one vehicle, and killed 42 Russian soldiers, essentially wiping out the whole platoon. Elements of the Ukrainian 54th Mechanized Brigade and 118th Territorial Defense Brigade successfully repelled the assault. The only vehicle to make it out of the Ukrainian killzone was a lone tank.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

It seems like, based on the survival of one Russian tank, Russian commanders thought that tanks would perform better against artillery fire and drone strikes due to their superior armor compared to APCs and sent even more tanks in the second assault. Nonetheless, the tanks were successfully immobilized, leaving the crew only the option of fleeing, and the empty tanks were subsequently destroyed by FPV drones.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Seeing how the second assault failed, Russians decided to deploy Storm-Z penalty battalion troops into the third assault in hopes that they would overwhelm Ukrainian troops with sheer numbers. However, the third assault did not bring any results, as only one disarmed Russian stormtrooper survived. One BMP-Two was also abandoned in the same area and subsequently destroyed by Ukrainians. Many bodies of Storm-Z stormtroopers were left lying in the field, however, I cannot show the images simply because there are too many dead troops.

At that point, Russians could only send repeated assaults with infantry aboard infantry fighting vehicles in hopes that they would not be detected and destroyed by drone operators on the way to the Terrikon. In order to increase their chances of success, Russians sent a smaller fourth assault group consisting of two BMPs. It seems like the Ukrainian reconnaissance team monitor the area non-stop because even this small unit was detected fairly quickly.

However, sending a smaller assault unit on faster APVs instead of tanks allowed Russians to go deeper than they had previously. Even though one APV was destroyed on the road, the second APV managed to dismount their infantry to establish a small foothold on the eastern edges of the Terrikon and drive back into retreat.

Geolocated footage showed Russian troops being targeted by drones on the slopes of the Terrikon. In any case, Russian positions here are not sustainable as they are on the first floor of the Terrikon, right below the Ukrainian positions on the second floor.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Ukrainian forces at the top also have multiple alternative roads to the top, so Russian positions do not undermine their logistical capabilities.

The only solution for Russian forces is to continue moving forward at the highest possible cost until they secure tactically significant positions. If they fail to achieve it timely, they will lose their bridgehead very quickly, rendering all previous assaults purposeless.

Overwhelming Ukrainian forces with sheer numbers would be an extraordinarily difficult endeavor, given that only very small assault and mobile units have any chance to get close enough to the White Mountain.

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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