Ukraine is reportedly unleashing “hell” on Russian defenses as its counter-offensive continues to generate territorial gains. It comes as Vladimir Putin’s elite fighting forces and senior military officers continue to experience “extreme attrition”, according to the UK Ministry of Defense (MoD).
In eastern Ukraine, the battle for Bakhmut – which was captured by Russia in May – continues to rage, with fierce fighting continuing after Kiev troops liberated a key village. And Ukraine’s armed forces say heavy artillery, supplied by the United States and its NATO allies, is making a big difference in the war.
The 155-millimeter howitzers continually pound Putin’s troops – undermining their morale – according to military intelligence.
A Ukrainian unit commander named Oleksandr told Reuters: “They (the Russians) hate our equipment. That’s what we infer from our interceptions.
“We hear that we continue to make life hell for them. They always wonder how much ammo we have left.”
Last week, Ukraine retook the village of Klishchiivka, which Oleksandr said was “one of the places they (the Russians) were holding on to.”
“We’ll see what happens next. We will develop our success,” he promised.
In its latest assessment of the situation around Bakhmut, US analysts from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said: “Ukrainian forces have advanced south of Bakhmut and are believed to have advanced into the west of the Zaporizhia Oblast on September 22. Geotagged images published on September 22. indicates that Ukrainian forces advanced southeast of Klishchiivka (7 km southwest of Bakhmut).
“A Kremlin-affiliated military blogger claimed that Ukrainian forces have advanced slightly north of Novoprokopivka and are currently approximately 800 meters from the outskirts of the settlement, a claim that generally matches the ISW’s assessment of the closest approach to the Ukrainian counter-offensive to the colony.
“The General Staff of Ukraine reported that Ukrainian forces continued to carry out offensive operations in the direction of Melitopol (west of the Zaporizhia region) and offensive actions in the direction of Bakhmut, exhausting and inflicting losses on the Russian forces on the entire front.
Meanwhile, in an intelligence update released on Saturday (September 23), the British Ministry of Defense said: “Since February 2022, three successive commanders of one of Russia’s most prestigious airborne regiments have resigned or been killed.
“Colonel Vasily Popov, commander of the 247th Guards Air Assault Landing Regiment, was likely killed in the highly contested Orikhiv sector in early September 2023.
“A few weeks earlier, in August 2023, his predecessor, Colonel Pitor Popov, had probably resigned his command. Independent Russian media sources say he acted to protest the military’s failure to recover the bodies of Russian victims.
“In the first weeks of the invasion, Colonel Konstantin Zizevsky, then commander of the 247th, was killed near Mykolaiv. The 247th’s experience highlights the extreme attrition and high turnover of the deployed Russian army, even among relatively high ranks.”