“Southeast of Kharkiv, they [ucranianos] began to actively build fortifications. They are also digging trenches and antitank ditches and preparing land for laying mines,” the representative of the selfproclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic Andrei Marochko told RIA Novosti.
According to the retired lieutenant colonel of the proRussian militias in Lugansk, “this work involves not only military equipment, but also nonprofit services and private companies.”
The General Staff of the Ukrainian Army said today that Russian forces made unsuccessful offensive attempts in four sectors of the front over the past day, in particular in the direction of the city of Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region.
“The enemy carried out an air strike in the Kroymalny district of the Kharkiv region. More than 15 cities (…) in the Kharkiv region were hit by enemy artillery and mortar fire,” the army said.
Although Russian forces have made slow progress on this sector of the front recently, Ukrainian pressure in the south could force the Russian military command to send unprepared troops to Kupiansk in order to redeploy more experienced troops to the southern region of Zaporijia, according to the institute for War Studies (ISW) based in the United States.
The ISW estimated in its most recent analysis that “the Russian military command sent soldiers from a recently formed and probably poorly prepared unit to the Luhansk region (from where Russian forces are advancing towards Kharkiv) in order to release the most powerful units into southern Ukraine.” .
For its part, British military intelligence said that the Russian offensive on Kupiansk could be aimed at forcing the Ukrainian army to take a reverse approach and send reinforcements from the south to the east, but Russia risks “a split of its forces to attack Ukraine impede”. to break through his defenses with this maneuver.
Meanwhile, Ukraine continues its advance on Zaporizhzhia. According to Ukrainian presidential adviser Mikhailo Podoliak, Ukrainian forces continue to penetrate Russian defenses.
“Our guys have already moved in some directions and are already there, advancing through these staggered defenses. It is a difficult task (…) it is significant progress,” he said, quoted by UNIAN news agency.
The General Staff of the Ukrainian Army stated that “the offensive in the direction of Melitopol continues” and that its soldiers “keep an eye on the captured positions and take measures to defend against batteries.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also welcomed the progress of the counteroffensive today. “Despite what they say, we are making progress. And that is the most important thing,” he wrote on Telegram.
The Russian command, in turn, reported that thanks to its offensive actions, its forces “improved their positions near the city of Klishchyivka in the east.”
According to Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov, the military group “South”, supported by aviation and artillery, repelled five Ukrainian attacks near Bakhmut and three more near Marinka in the Donetsk region.
In Robotyne, which Kiev says is under Ukrainian control but which Russia denies, Russian forces claim to maintain southern areas of the city, where they have repelled four enemy attacks, Konashenkov said.
“On the Zaporijia Front (South), units of the Russian military group repelled four attacks (…) with the support of aviation and artillery in the cities of Robotyne and Verbobe,” he told EFE agency.
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