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Ukrainian counteroffensive degrades Russian defences: officials

19.09.2023 09:30
Ukraine’s liberation of Klishchiivka and Andriivka near the eastern city of Bakhmut may have made Russian brigades in the area “combat ineffective,” officials in Kyiv have said.

These assessments were reported by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) on Monday night. 

The US think tank quoted Ukraine’s Ground Forces Commander Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi as saying that Klishchiivka, 7 km southwest of Bakhmut, and Andriivka, 10km southwest of Bakhmut, were important elements of the Russian Bakhmut-Horlivka defensive line that Ukrainian forces breached.

On Sunday, Ukrainian Eastern Group of Forces Spokesman Capt. Ilya Yevlash stated that Ukraine’s liberation of Klishchiivka would allow Ukrainian forces to control Russian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) supplying the Russian force grouping in the Bakhmut area — likely referring to Ukrainian forces’ ability to "establish fire control over the T0513 Bakhmut-Horlivka highway," according to the ISW.

The ISW assessed that the Ukrainian capture of two settlements defending a key Russian GLOC supporting Bakhmut indicates that Russian forces in the area “will likely struggle to replenish their combat strength and defend against any further Ukrainian offensive activity south of Bakhmut.” 

According to Ukrainian officials, the recapture of Klishchiivka and Andriivka “may have degraded the Russian defense in the area south of Bakhmut and could have rendered combat ineffective as many as three Russian brigades,” the ISW noted.

According to the US think tank, “the Ukrainian liberation of two villages that Russian forces were fighting hard to hold could correspond with the severe degradation of the Russian units defending them, as Ukrainian advances in western Zaporizhia Oblast appear to correspond with the significant degradation of defending Russian units and formations in that sector of the front.”

In the western part of the Zaporizhzhia province in southeastern Ukraine, Kyiv’s counteroffensive may have resulted in the particularly severe degradation of critical elements of the Russian elastic defense in this part of the country, the ISW assessed. 

Ukraine is seeking to encircle and recapture Bakhmut in the east, while its push through Zaporizhzhia in the southeast is intended to reach the port of Melitopol on the Sea of Azov, splitting Russian forces, according to news outlets.

Russia attacks Ukraine’s Lviv with UAVs, injuring two people: officials   

Meanwhile, Russia launched a drone attack on Ukraine’s western city of Lviv overnight into Tuesday, injuring two residents, news outlets reported. 

The assault was carried out with Iranian-made Shahed drones, according to officials.

Explosions rang out in the city and a fire broke out at an industrial warehouse; one man was rescued from the facility and hospitalised with injuries, Lviv’s mayor said, as cited by The Kyiv Independent website.

The number of persons injured in the strike later rose to two, the Ukrainska Pravda website reported.   

There were also air alerts in other western regions of Ukraine, including Khmelnytskyi and Ivano-Frankivsk, during the night, according to officials. 

While Russian strikes on western Ukraine are less frequent, a massive missile attack on Lviv in August injured 19 people, The Kyiv Independent reported.

Ukraine shoots down 27 Russian drones

In all, Ukraine’s air defences brought down 27 of 30 attack drones launched by Russia against southern, central and western Ukraine on the night of September 18-19, the Ukrainian air force said. 

Russia also fired an Iskander-M missile from Russian-occupied Crimea towards the city of Kryvyi Rih, in Ukraine’s central Dnipropetrovsk region, The Kyiv Independent reported.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, launching the largest military campaign in Europe since World War II.

Tuesday is day 573 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: PAP, ISW, The Kyiv IndependentUkrainska Pravda