A Blog by Jonathan Low


Jul 29, 2023

Ukraine Builds On Staromaiorske Victory, Advancing South Over Russian Defenses

Ukraine's victory in breaking through Russian lines at Staromairorske is now creating opportunities to advance on the next set of towns and fortifications further south. 

As some had predicted, once the primary defenses fell, there was less opposition than expected behind them. JL 

Euromaidan Press reports:

Ukrainians have already launched the next phase, storming Urozhaine, (which) is in a salient, and Russians have issues providing supplies. (Further) Urozhaine is in lowlands, while Ukrainians hold the hills around (it). Ukraine will focus on establishing fire control over the settlements on the western bank, for an attack on Zavitne Bazhannia and Staromlynivka. (The) Russians in Pryiutne  appear encircled, after the fall of Staromairske,  so their defense is undermined to the point where it collapses further down the line (see maps below).

Today there are a lot of updates from the Velyka Novosilka direction, Donetsk Oblast.

First of all, more information became available about the storming operation that took place in Staromaiorske, as Ukrainian marines from the 35th Marine Brigade finally released more combat footage.

Screenshot from the video

After Russian troops were forced out of the outer edge of the village with intense artillery fire, Ukrainians immediately got a toehold and started clearing the houses. After establishing positions, Ukrainians started applying pressure on the Russians in the southern part of the village.

The main goal was to wait until the second group conducted a flank attack from the hills and left Russians with only two options: retreat or get cut off from the rest. In the meantime, a tough tank battle took place on the hills. As reported last time, Ukrainians destroyed a lot of Russian tanks and armored fighting vehicles prior to this attack, but as Ukrainians got deep into the region, they faced more armored vehicles.

Screenshot from the video

Today Russian sources reported that Ukrainians had already launched the next phase of the operation, namely, storming Urozhaine. Right now, Urozhaine is in a salient, and Russians have significant issues with providing supplies to the soldiers on the ground. Moreover, if we look at the topographic map, we can see that, like all other settlements along the river, Urozhaine is located in the lowlands, while Ukrainians are holding positions on the hills around this settlement.

Screenshot from the video

Russian sources reported that Ukrainians attacked with several assault units reinforced with 2 armored fighting vehicles. Russian analysts concluded that the attacks will definitely intensify, and Urozhaine may fall within the next 48 hours.

The fall of Urozhaine will allow Ukrainians to push the front line a little south and get close to Kermenchyk. Even though some analysts predicted that the next Ukrainian targets are Kermenchyk and Novodonetske, it is highly unlikely that Ukrainians will devote a significant amount of forces to this offensive effort.

Screenshot from the video

First of all, Novodonetske is protected by the river from one side and by the gully from another side, which makes it very difficult to attack. Kermenchyk is located on the hill, making it difficult to attack in front, and even if Ukrainians try to move around it, they will put themselves at the crossfire. It is more likely that Ukrainians will focus on establishing control over the eastern bank, and establishing fire control over the settlements on the western bank, aggravating Russian problems with supplies and logistics, and setting conditions for an attack on Zavitne Bazhannia and Staromlynivka.

As you may have noticed, Staromlynivka is surrounded by 2 rivers. And even though one of the rivers is actually a gully with several swamps, such a setting still presents limitations when planning an assault. Nonetheless, storming the settlement itself may not be necessary if Ukrainians take all the heights around it. This way, Russian forces will appear in operational encirclement and, with no prospects of changes, will abandon the town as quickly as possible.

Screenshot from the video

Ukrainians understand this, and this is exactly what they are trying to realize right now. Today Russian sources reported that Ukrainians resumed their attacks in the direction of Pryiutne, but what is more important is that they launched their attacks between Rivnopil and Staromaiorske. By developing their bridgehead further, Russians in Pryiutne will appear in operational encirclement and will have to step back. If previously they still counted on holding this settlement, then after the fall of Staromairske, it is just a matter of time until their defense is undermined to the point where it automatically collapses further down the line.

Screenshot from the video

In the meantime, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky visited the southern line and held a meeting with Ukrainians generals. Zelensky congratulated Commander-in-chief Valery Zaluzhny on his recent birthday and gifted him a personalized firearm, and also congratulated Commander of the Ground Forces Oleksandr Syrsky, who also had a birthday several days ago, and gifted him a painting. Shortly after the headquarter meeting, the generals returned to the front to continue overseeing the counteroffensive operation.


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