A Blog by Jonathan Low

 

Dec 23, 2022

As Ukraine Appears To Win Bakhmut, It Begins the 'Real" Battle For Kreminna

Fighting has slowed in Bakhmut as Russian forces have stopped their human wave attacks while in Kreminna, further north, Ukrainian forces appear to be surrounding the city. 

Both developments indicate exhaustion and lack of supplies driving Russian behavior. JL 

Mark Sumner reports in Daily Kos:

Not only have there been reduced levels of shelling in the area, Russian forces had been pushed well back from previous positions and for the past two days, the wave attacks that have marked the last six months seemed to be missing. The silence was so noticeable that sources began proclaiming that “for now at least, Ukraine has won the Battle of Bakhmut.” To the north, near Kreminna, Russian forces that were fighting with Ukraine at close range south of Kreminna have now retreated back into the city. Some analysts are putting today as the day that “the battle for Kreminna really begins.”

In Bakhmut, the city that provided that dramatic battle flag that Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker Nancy Pelosi held in front of the joint session, the pace of fighting has been significantly reduced over the past few days. Not only have there been multiple reports of reduced levels of shelling in the area, Russian forces had been pushed well back from previous positions and for the past two days, the wave attacks that have marked the last six months seemed to be completely missing. The sudden silence was so noticeable that a couple of sources even began proclaiming that “for now at least, Ukraine has won the Battle of Bakhmut.”

Russia claims to be advancing on Bakhmut again. Open image in another tab for a larger view.

But as of Thursday, Russian sources are insisting that attacks on Bakhmut have been renewed. According to them, Russian forces have again worked their way through the familiar industrial ruins along Patrisa Lumumby Street, and are again attempting to advance up the angeled Pershotravneve Plaza to Fedora Maksymenka Street along the eastern edge of Bakhmut proper. However, “attempting” appears to be the key word here. This the same route that Russian forces took two weeks ago when they temporarily managed to get a small number of troops into the blocks just west of Maksymenka Street. Then Ukraine threw them back. Right now, there doesn’t seem to be any real sign on the ground that Russia is advancing in this area.

In fact, Ukrainian sources continue to report that, as of now, Ukraine holds all of Bakhmut, and all the area to the east. Meaning that Russia is actually well behind where it was months ago.

However, this doesn’t mean Russia has been pushed back at other points of the line.

Down by Donetsk, Russia also appears to have control of significantly more of Avdiivka than had been previously recognized. The situation continues to be critical in multiple locations.


To the north, near Kreminna, these images from the woods south of the city show Ukrainian forces working calmly at a location that can be identified by the marker in the picture.

There are other reports that Russian forces that were fighting with Ukraine at close range in the forests south of Kreminna (resulting in some dramatic videos over the last couple of weeks) have now retreated back into the city. Ukrainian forces have likely advanced into this space, which places them directly south of the city. Some analysts are putting today as the day that “the battle for Kreminna really begins.”

Ukraine solidifies positions south of Kreminna. Open image in another tab for a larger view.

However, there seems to be almost no news from the north side of Kreminna. Nothing new from the reported Ukrainian movement toward Holykove or Zhytlivka. Nothing from reported Russian movement toward Ploshchanka. If there is serious fighting going on within Kreminna, that word has yet to leak out.

I should note that many maps, including those from Ukrainian sources, have a bigger “bump” of Russian control extending west of Kreminna to Dibrova. However, the last word I have showed UA forces at Kuzmyne, and I’ve not seen anything since to contradict this so … the line stays where it is for now.


At the very northern end of the line, there are areas where both Russia and Ukraine appear to be advancing. Reported fighting at the village of Masyutivka on Wednesday appears to be real, and is apparently part of a broader push westward from Russian forces from around Velykyi Vyselok. The number of troops on both sides in this area appears to be small, but if Russia can disrupt Ukraine’s use of the highway on the east side of the river, it makes it significantly more difficult for Ukraine to continue with the process of slowly securing villages and towns in northeast Kharkiv.

Kupyansk to Svatove. Open image in another tab for a larger view.

Meanwhile, Ukraine appears to have continued the push that started earlier this week along the P07 highway at Pidkuichansk. On Thursday, there are also reports that Ukraine is pressing to the northeast from a location near Krokhmalne, toward Volodymyrivka. Both of these moves certainly put pressure on Russian forces in Kuzemivka, where Ukraine and Russia have found a back-and-forth battle in the last three weeks.

The movement though Pidkuichansk would seem to be cutting into positions that had been previously flagged as Russia’s defensive lines around Svatove, and would also be a serious threat to Russian positions west of the highway.

There is a widely circulating video that reportedly shows “50 Russian tanks headed for Svatove.” However, close examination of that video shows car licenses and road signs indicating that it was taken in the Severodonetsk area. It likely dates from several months ago when Russia was advancing on that location. The tanks in that video are likely rusting in a field somewhere at this point.


As of this morning, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense estimates that over 100,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in Vladimir Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

0 comments:

Post a Comment