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Frontline report: Ukrainian forces thwart Russian advances near Lyptsi in Kharkiv direction, regain some territories

Ukrainian forces successfully targeted and eliminated Russian troops and equipment gathering in Hlyboke for an offensive on Lyptsi, using drones, airstrikes, and an armored vehicle raid, according to geolocated footage and military sources.
A screenshot from a video Reporting from Ukraine, 18 June
A screenshot from a video Reporting from Ukraine, 18 June
Frontline report: Ukrainian forces thwart Russian advances near Lyptsi in Kharkiv direction, regain some territories

Day 846: 18 June

Today, there are a lot of developments in the Kharkiv direction.

The most interesting news comes from the Lyptsi area, Kharkiv Oblast. 

Here, Russians attempted to concentrate their forces for a renewed wave of assaults and to regain the initiative. Ukrainians countered this by destroying the Russian units with air power and drive-by raids before they had the chance to launch their assaults. 

The main Russian goal in this direction continues to be establishing control over the town of Lyptsi and creating a buffer zone to push Ukrainian artillery away from the international border. 

Previously, Ukrainians were able to demoralize Russian units with drone strikes to the point that Russian soldiers abandoned their positions as soon as Ukrainians launched counterattacks. In desperation, Russian commanders saturated the area with reserves, which halted the Ukrainian momentum, but only in the short term. 

Russian attempts to capture Lyptsi through Hlyboke 

The Institute for the Study of War reported that Russian forces were gathering near Hlyboke. Such a concentration of forces can only mean that Russians were preparing for a new wave of attacks toward Lyptsi. 

The reason Russians decided to use Hlyboke as the launching area for their renewed attacks is quite complex. Russians are unable to transfer a large number of armored vehicles into the area, as Ukrainian drone operators are operating well behind the Russian border.

Geolocated footage confirms this, as any time Russians attempt to probe Ukrainian defenses with a tank, it quickly gets detected and destroyed by Ukrainian drone operators as soon as it comes close to or crosses the border.

This causes Russian forces in the direction of Lyptsi to suffer from a severe lack of armored support. Additionally, the terrain between Lukiantsi and Neskuchne is characterized by a series of small forests separated by large open fields. Attempting to cross these fields with assault groups made up of pure infantry would be suicide, as Ukrainians have a large window of opportunity to spot and destroy the enemy. 

A screenshot from a video Reporting from Ukraine, 18 June
A screenshot from a video Reporting from Ukraine, 18 June

How Ukrainian forces are pushing Russians away

This leaves only one possible axis of advance for large infantry assaults in this region. The distance between Hlyboke and the northern dachas of Lyptsi is relatively short, which limits the exposure of Russian soldiers to Ukrainian fire while they move to their target. Ukrainians had initially pushed the Russians out of these dachas, but the new Russian force’s concentration here indicates that Russians planned to attack and regain the foothold.

Ukrainians understood the threat this growing Russian force posed to Ukrainian defenders in the dachas and immediately sprang into action. Firstly, Ukrainian drone operators spotted Russian infantry moving into one of the buildings in Hlyboke before targeting it with an FPV drone. It turns out that Russians had also gathered ammunition here, as it quickly caught fire and burned down the building. 

As you may remember from a previous report, Ukrainians also targeted numerous Russian air defense systems inside Russian territory. This significantly weakened the Russian air defense network, allowing Ukrainians to conduct air strikes on the Russian force’s concentrations in Hlyboke.

 Geolocated footage shows how Ukrainians targeted other buildings that Russians had moved into with a series of Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) air strikes. Ukrainian drone operators then continued to monitor the settlement and called in air strikes on Russian positions, leveling any Russian building to the ground. 

Ukrainians also complimented the JDAM strikes, which are launched from fixed-wing aircraft, with helicopter close air support, to rain down further destruction on Russian forces in the settlement. Geolocated footage shows two Ukrainian Mi-24P ‘Hind’ heavy attack helicopters returning from such a fire mission on Hlyboke. 

To emphasize to the Russian soldiers gathering in Hlyboke that Ukrainians would not allow them to collect sufficient forces from launching new attacks, Ukrainians launched a drive-by raid on the settlement with a Ukrainian-made BTR-4E Infantry Fighting vehicle, nicknamed ‘Bustafel.’ 

Bustafel first drove up to the settlement, firing its secondary gun to suppress Russian infantry hiding in the buildings. After it drove into position, it fired into the settlement with its main autocannon, destroying Russian positions with high-explosive ammunition. The vehicle then turned to also fire into the side of the town and a tree line with Russian positions before driving back to safety. 

A screenshot from a video Reporting from Ukraine, 18 June
A screenshot from a video Reporting from Ukraine, 18 June

Conclusion 

The Ukrainian operation to destroy the Russian forces concentrations succeeded, as the Russians eventually did not launch their storming operation of the northern Dachas. Russian military analysts even reported that due to later Ukrainian counterattacks, Ukrainians were able to advance to the outskirts of Hlyboke.

However, the true extent of the damage that Ukrainians had done to Russian forces became clear the next day. Ukrainian Kharkiv Group of Forces Spokesperson  Yuriy Povkh stated that Russian soldiers were again beginning to abandon their positions.

Overall, Ukrainians have successfully prevented a new wave of Russian assaults by destroying the   Russian accumulation of forces before they had the chance to attack. The effectiveness of this operation even allowed Ukrainians to regain a small amount of territory despite the large amount of Russian forces present. 

If Ukrainians can continue to inflict massive casualties on Russian forces and exploit the increasingly low Russian morale, Ukrainians will be able to push the Russian offensive back to the international border.

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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