* By Dr Rene Tebel
In just five days, the Ukrainian army destroyed Russian hopes of gradually advancing its front toward Slowyansk and Kramatorsk to capture these last two major cities in Ukraine's Donetsk oblast. In a surprising attack executed with incredible speed, the Ukrainian army managed to catch the Russian defenders off guard and make them completely abandon the front between Kharkov and the Oskil Reservoir lake. While this retreat was partially orderly in northern Kharkov, there are reports from Balakliya and other areas of Russian soldiers fleeing into the woods and simply leaving their equipment behind.
Units of the Russian occupation army during the day tried to attack the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the areas of five settlements of Donetsk region. Attempts by the occupiers were unsuccessful.— Ukrainian News24 (@MarkRid89403375) September 16, 2022
Source:- General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/ynlQvRIAJq
Through an article by the special war correspondent of KP.RU, Alexander Kots, we get an idea of how the Ukrainian offensive forces, estimated at 5 brigades, proceeded: Thus, the first attack wave broke through the front and bypassed the Russian defenses without engaging in house-to-house fighting, while the second attack wave took over this part - if the Russian formations had not already retreated for fear of being encircled.
The all-dominant question now, however, is what Ukraine will do with its success: Will it secure the conquered territories or will it seize the moment and push even further toward Luhansk?
It should not be forgotten that Russia cannot throw its troops against the Ukrainian attackers on the basis of military logic, but must in any case build new lines of defense in the hinterland. This front can be the bank of the Oskil. However, this is not certain: already on September 10th Ukrainian soldiers in a force of two BTGs and separate armored troops crossed the Severskyi Donets River near Staryi Karavan to attack Krasny Liman. So far, the 208th Cossack Regiment, BARS -16 (Boevoy Armeyskiy Rezerv Strany) Regiment KUBAN and militiamen of the LNR ("VR Luhansk") have been able to withstand the attacks. However, if the Ukrainian units capture Krasny Liman, the victorious Ukrainians could march east to Kreminna near Lysychansk or against Svatove to the north.
Russian forces are attempting to reinforce their first line of defence in Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts in eastern Ukraine by deploying units from the 3rd Army Corps and the remaining military personnel from units that have withdrawn from Kharkiv Oblast. pic.twitter.com/6cOnGbg9Xa— Ukrainian News24 (@MarkRid89403375) September 15, 2022
There, the Russian army is hurriedly trying to establish a defensive line to prevent a Ukrainian advance on the territory of the "Luhansk People's Republic" from the north. That the situation is very difficult, also admitted militia officer Andrey Marochko on Rossiya 1 TV channel on Wednesday: "The situation is really difficult, in some parts of the area the line of contact has come very close to the borders of the Luhansk People's Republic and is already about 10 kilometers from the line of contact. This is a very short distance for military operations,” he is quoted as saying by Russian Pravda.
In addition to Krasny Liman, the Ukrainian army also set its sights on Bohorodychne, which it has controlled since Monday. Neighboring Sviatohirsk may also have been recaptured. But here the information is still contradictory.
In 2014, Olha “Simba” Simonova left Russia and came to Ukraine to fight in the Donbas as a volunteer; she extended her military contract remained on the front line, fighting to the very end.https://t.co/LopfrEVeet— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) September 14, 2022
According to unverifiable reports, Ukrainian counterattacks are taking place from Izyum to Studenok on the oblast border of Kharkiv and Donetsk and from Siversk to Verkhnokamyanske and Bilhorivka on the border of the oblasts of Donetsk and Luhansk, already in the immediate vicinity of Lysychansk.
#Ukrainian forces appear to have cut off the main lines of communication from #Belgorod in #Russia , through #Kupyansk and #Izyum , to #Russian forces in #Luhansk , #Donetsk , and #Zaporizhzia . It's a major #victory . But where is the 3rd Army Corps?#Ukraine #Kyiv #Moscow pic.twitter.com/u6dfs14bi7— Azor (@AzorInfo) September 11, 2022
Thus, Ukrainian troops are likely to take advantage of the moment to sound out the weak points in the provisional Russian defenses.
#Ukraine: The first ever documented loss of a very rare and modern Russian BMP-2M "Berezhok" infantry fighting vehicle. This one was destroyed by the Ukrainian army in Bohorodychne, #Donetsk Oblast. pic.twitter.com/ks7feIORxP— 🇺🇦 Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) September 13, 2022
If these unconfirmed reports are true, Ukrainian units would already be behind the new Russian front and could advance deeper into the poorly protected Luhansk hinterland - a horror scenario for Russian forces.
*The author is the Editor of the Tebel Report in Austria. The views expressed in this article are not necessarily those of Al Bawaba News.
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