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Frontline report: Russian offensive stalls in Kharkiv as new tactics backfire

Russian attempts to penetrate Ukraine’s defenses in Kharkiv with small assault groups have resulted in isolated units being decimated, undermining the offensive’s momentum.
Reporting from Ukraine
Screenshot from Reporting from Ukraine video
Frontline report: Russian offensive stalls in Kharkiv as new tactics backfire

Day 845: 17 June

On 17 June, there are a lot of updates from the Kharkiv direction. Over the last several weeks, Russians have made several desperate attempts to accelerate their offensive operations to overcome the first Ukrainian defense line.

Reporting from Ukraine
Screenshot from Reporting from Ukraine video

However, all their attempts have failed, and Russians have gradually lost momentum while Ukrainians have developed a more offensive stance and taken the initiative into their own hands, creating an even more deadly environment for those enemy troops trying to move forward in the direction of Lyptsi and Vovchansk.

This spiked the daily death toll significantly and the result in a high number of accumulated losses led to the further slowdown of the Russian offensive and the turn of events in favor of the Ukrainians.

The first main reason for such huge losses was that Russians tried to use a new tactic, which did not work as the Russian commanders expected. At the beginning of the Kharkiv offensive, military analysts from different countries reported about the change in general tactics that the Russians were deploying. The main idea of this tactic was to use smaller assault groups of no more than five people to penetrate Ukrainian positions through many points before merging with other such groups and uniting into a larger strike group.

Reporting from Ukraine
Screenshot from Reporting from Ukraine video

Experts recently started to question this tactic, as it requires a high level of coordination. In reality, many of these small groups never merged.

Russian military analysts issued concerns that the use of it may not only contribute to higher Russian manpower and material losses but also result in the premature decline of the offensive in the Kharkiv direction. This was confirmed by Ukrainian military observer Konstiantyn Mashovets, who noted that these growing losses are leading to a significant decrease in the overall pace of Russian offensive operations.

Secondly, one Russian military commentator, who previously served as a storm Z unit instructor, complained that using small groups while trained to advance indicates poor training and preparation and is not an effective new tactic.

One video from a drone that was published by operators of the Ukrainian third separate assault brigade gives a shocking confirmation of this statement and the state of preparedness of these troops. A Russian soldier can be seen sitting in a trench when an FPV drone approaches him for an attack.

There was some initial defect in the drone, and it couldn’t detonate what happens next is beyond imagination as the Russian soldier decides to push his luck too far and starts hitting the block drone with a stick, which leads to a successful explosion and a suicidal outcome. The original uncensored footage can be found on our telegram through the link in the description. More confirmations of the high casualty rate in the Russian army are provided by their soldiers in the following videos.

The first footage comes from the vicinity of Vovchansk, where one Russian soldier from the 109th Motorized Rifle Regiment is complaining on camera that the initial size of the fifth company in which he serves was 100 people. After an attempted assault against the city, they were reduced to only 12.

Reporting from Ukraine
Screenshot from Reporting from Ukraine video

The second footage is from one Russian prisoner of war whose campaign lasted only two days as he was reasonable enough to surrender quickly to Ukrainian forces near Vovchansk.

Reporting from Ukraine
Screenshot from Reporting from Ukraine video

He can be seen explaining that his unit consisted of 50 soldiers, but after the first attack, only six survived, and they all immediately surrendered to avoid being sent into attacks again. These grim confessions of ordinary Russian soldiers about their survival rate of 12% sound just in correspondence with other numbers provided by Ukrainian authorities.

For example, the Ukrainian chief of the general staff Anatoliy Bargilevich said recently that during the peak heat, Russian forces have lost up to 1,740 wounded and killed soldiers in the Kharkiv direction in a single day, which is an insanely high rate of casualties, especially if compared to the initial forces the Russian command summoned for their endeavor. It is no surprise that this number skyrocketed even more after Ukrainians started targeting enemy evacuation and Supply roads on Russian territory with weapons provided by Western partners.

Overall, the Russian tactic of using small, poorly coordinated assault groups has been ineffective, resulting in isolated units being easily targeted. Additionally, inadequate training has led to high casualty rates, as seen in numerous incidents and firsthand soldier accounts. These losses have slowed the Russian offensive, allowing Ukrainians to capitalize on their defensive strengths and further undermine Russian efforts.

Reporting from Ukraine
Screenshot from Reporting from Ukraine video

The dire situation for Russian troops, compounded by targeted Ukrainian strikes on evacuation and supply routes, underscores the strategic failure of the Russian offensive and the resilience and tactical superiority of the Ukrainian defense.

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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