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Russia is making daily tactical gains in eastern Ukraine, as concerns swirl around Ukrainian military reporting



CNN

Vladimir Putin’s forces have made further progress in at least three locations along Ukraine’s eastern front – including, for the first time in several months, an advance in the northern Kharkiv region – once again underscoring Kiev’s need for munitions and weapons from the United States and other allies. .

Russia’s tactical advances are now daily and reflect the new rhythm of the battlefield since the fall of the industrial city of Avdiivka in February.

Gains are usually small – from a few hundred meters of territory to perhaps a kilometer at most – but they usually occur in several locations at once.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s losses are accompanied by criticism from influential military bloggers and analysts of the armed forces’ official battlefield updates.

One of Russia’s main efforts is in the Donetsk region. Ukrainian monitoring group DeepState, which updates changes in frontline positions daily, shows Russian forces advancing in eight different locations along 20 to 25km of frontline over a 24-hour period.

Military bloggers on both sides reported that Russian forces crossed a river and took control of the settlements of Semenivka and Berdychi – something Ukrainian army chief Oleksandr Syrskyi confirmed in a Telegram post on Sunday. Russia has deployed up to four brigades in offensive operations in the region, Syrskyi said.

A few kilometers to the north, Soloviove would now also be in Russian hands, as would the small colony of Keramik, at least in part as well.

“The withdrawal to the Donetsk operational zone continues,” wrote Ukrainian military blogger Myroshnykov.

A little further south, Russian forces are also advancing into the industrial town of Krasnohorivka, arriving from the south and east.

Heavy fighting was reported around the town’s large brickworks. A Russian military blogger wrote about the significance of the battle: “The liberation (sic) of the refractory factory would actually mean the fall of the Krasnohorivka fortification, since the northern outskirts of the settlement are buildings private, which will be too difficult to defend if the plant is lost.

Elsewhere, about 180 kilometers to the north, Russian forces also scored their first successes in nearly three months along the part of the front line that bisects the Kharkiv region.

A Ukrainian military spokesperson described Russian forces as having become “significantly more active” over the past day, while DeepState assessed a Russian advance of between one and two kilometers into the village of Kyslivka.

Overall, the front lines in this region have been among the most stable since Ukraine reconquered much of the Kharkiv region’s territory in late summer 2022.

Stringer/Anadolu via Getty Images

Utility workers clean up the aftermath of a Russian rocket attack in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on April 27.

As withdrawals and losses pile up, military bloggers like Myroshnykov and the site DeepState are both attacking official Ukrainian communications, accusing the armed forces of increasingly unrealistic updates from the battlefield.

DeepState, in a post on Telegram, published a graphic video of a Russian soldier killed in a drone strike in the village of Soloviove – but used the clip to argue that isolated incidents can mask the bigger picture , which he accused the army of doing. Also.

“You can watch with pleasure forever the video of a Russian (soldier) being torn to pieces,” DeepState wrote, “but nearby there is another place that requires special attention: Muscovites calmly move around the village , keeping it under control The (Ukrainian) defense forces inflict fire damage on them, and it can be said at least a billion times (on national television) that two-thirds of the village is under army control. Ukrainian, but the reality is completely different.

This assessment – ​​that two-thirds of the village of Soloviove was under Ukrainian control – was made on Saturday by Nazar Volochyn, spokesperson for the Khortytsia Operational and Strategic Group, on Ukrainian television. The neighboring town of Ocheretyne was also still two-thirds controlled by Ukraine, which had things in hand, he said.

For its part, DeepState sees things differently, estimating that Russian troops have controlled the center of the village of Ocheretyne, including the train station, for at least three days. Last week, the monitoring site filed a similar complaint against the military, accusing “certain spokespeople” of incompetence.

Ukrainian army chief Syrskyi appeared to address these concerns in his Telegram post on Sunday, suggesting that the misunderstandings were due to the fluidity of developments.

“There is a dynamic change in the situation, some positions change hands several times a day, which gives rise to an ambiguous understanding of the situation,” he writes.

But he also acknowledged that Ukraine’s overall situation had deteriorated.

“The situation at the front has worsened. Trying to take the strategic initiative and break through the front line, the enemy concentrated its main efforts in several directions, creating a significant advantage in terms of forces and means,” he added.

Narciso Contreras/Anadolu via Getty Images

Ukrainian servicemen in an armored vehicle return from the Semenivka battlefield near Avdiivka on March 4.

Russia last made slight progress in the region in late January and early February, but DeepState estimates a further advance of between one and two kilometers in the village of Kyslivka. Overall, the front lines in this region have remained relatively stable since Ukraine reconquered much of the Kharkiv region’s territory in late summer 2022.

Russian forces are also advancing west of the city of Donetsk, entering the industrial town of Krasnohorivka from the south and east.

Heavy fighting was reported around a large brickyard. A Russian military blogger wrote about the significance of the battle: “The liberation (sic) of the refractory factory would actually mean the fall of the Krasnohorivka fortification, since the northern outskirts of the settlement are buildings private, which will be too difficult to defend if the plant is lost.

Anatoly Stepanov/AFP/Getty Images

Local residents sit at the entrance to a building destroyed by bombing in Ocheretyne on April 15.

Many Western analysts, as well as Ukrainian officials, view Russia’s current increased pace as a harbinger of a major offensive attempt later this spring. There is also speculation that Moscow wants to take advantage of its significant munitions advantage before US supplies – greenlit last week after six months of political stagnation – arrive on the front line.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) estimates that Ukraine will experience more setbacks in the short term, but without major strategic defeats.

“Russian forces will likely make significant tactical progress in the coming weeks as Ukraine awaits the arrival of U.S. security assistance at the front, but it is unlikely to overwhelm Ukraine’s defenses” , he writes.

Ukraine’s other major quantitative weakness, which also helps explain recent battlefield trajectories, concerns manpower. A new mobilization law comes into force next month and is expected to improve conscription processes. But kyiv has been very reluctant to say clearly how many additional troops it needs, while Moscow continues to increase the number.

“The quality (of Russian fighters) varies of course, but the quantitative advantage is a serious problem,” Rob Lee of the Foreign Policy Research Institute told X.

“Without (its) manpower advantage, Russia’s artillery and airpower advantage would not be sufficient to enable Russia to make gains on the battlefield. The relative manpower situation is probably the most important factor that will determine the trajectory of the war, particularly whether Russia can continue to recruit 20-30,000 people per month,” Lee adds.

News Source : amp.cnn.com
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