Sad false starts

Reports from the front that Russian troops are starting to leave their positions

April 6, 2023

Russian military near Volnovakha. 
Photo: Sefa Karacan / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

According to a New Europe source in the Russian grouping of troops in Ukraine, the Russian troops began to leave their positions. So far very slow. But we may be seeing signs of the start of a long-awaited Ukrainian offensive.

The Russians are leaving 

According to information from the line of contact, Russian units are now being withdrawn from the “northern ledge” near Avdiivka. The fighting is going on for Novoselovka, but the Armed Forces of Ukraine are not yet trying to storm this settlement, “rather indicating the presence.”

“The southern ledge near the village of Vodiane is still holding out, but they can withdraw from there in the next two days,” our interlocutor says. – Positions at Ugledar left. There is now a gray zone ten kilometers deep. RF Armed Forces withdraw to Volnovakha. The front is still held in Marinka, but there are few troops there. In Bakhmut, the Armed Forces of Ukraine began to take back the quarters in the center previously taken by the Wagnerites from the night. Moving slowly but successfully. Apparently, the Russian armed forces north and south of Bakhmut are preparing to withdraw.

“The Armed Forces of Ukraine deployed fresh assault units to the Donetsk direction, which first conducted a successful reconnaissance in combat near Vodyany, pushing the Russian Armed Forces by 2–3 km, and then drove the Russian troops out of positions northeast of Avdiivka, hitting the base of the Russian ledge on Novoselovka,” describeswhat is happening telegram channel “Will”. – According to reports from both sides, the RF Armed Forces withdrew to Novoselovka, there is a threat of losing the settlement if the Armed Forces of Ukraine continue to advance. This could lead to an encirclement or a rapid retreat of the RF Armed Forces from positions near Krasnogorovka. These are the very positions that the Russian “military correspondents” called key and back in the fall assured that it was from there that the RF Armed Forces would be able to successfully encircle Avdiivka. Fierce battles for these settlements have been going on since the beginning of the war. Now all the local successes of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, most likely, will turn out for them to withdraw from their generously blood-stained positions.

Destroyed residential buildings after shelling in Avdiivka, March 23, 2023.  Photo: Andre Luis Alves / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

Destroyed residential buildings after shelling in Avdiivka, March 23, 2023. Photo: Andre Luis Alves / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

According to Volya, the RF Armed Forces also retreated east of Avdiivka, moving closer to the village of Spartak and the town of Yasinovataya. Telegram channel sources attribute the retreat to two factors. First, the Russian units were unable to advance further because they had exhausted their human and material resources. Secondly, the actions of the assault units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine near Avdiivka showed that an extended front could be broken through in several places at once, so it was decided to shorten the line of contact in order to create a dense defense around Donetsk, Yasinovataya and Horlivka, as well as strengthen the defense around Volnovakha.

In the Bakhmut area, according to Volya, the situation is similar. The RF Armed Forces are preparing to withdraw from positions to the south and north of the city, and PMCs have completely lost the pace of advance in Bakhmut itself. 

“In many sectors of the front, a decrease in the offensive activity of Russian troops is recorded today,” says Alexander Musienko, head of the Center for Military Legal Research. – The Russians are still trying to attack in the Liman direction in the Belogorovka area. And although bloody confrontation continues in the areas of Bakhmut and Avdiivka, the intensity of the fighting has noticeably decreased. Ukrainian troops in some areas are carefully pushing the enemy back and moving deeper into his positions.

According to Alexander Musienko, having exhausted their offensive potential, Russian troops are switching to a defensive strategy and retreating to previously prepared lines. After all, during the ingloriously choked winter-spring offensive of the Russian army, a considerable part of the troops was engaged precisely in the creation of fortified areas and lines of defense.

– One got the impression that, going on the offensive, the Russians already understood the inevitability of the transition to defensive actions, – Alexander Musienko finishes the story. “Now, apparently, that moment has come. I think that now we will see how Russia will focus on the use of artillery to deter the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The Russian Federation still has a certain number of shells.

Preparing for a counteroffensive 

Not all experts agree that the Russian side has begun to go on the defensive.

“I have different information,” Ukrainian military expert Oleg Zhdanov tells New Europe. – The 98th division of the Airborne Forces of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation enters Bakhmut. Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the RF Ministry of Defense, is gathering his old team and returning previously removed generals, including Alexander Lapin (Chief of Staff of the Ground Forces of the RF Ministry of Defense). There is no mention of any waste. The intensity of hostilities falls due to mudslides.

Most likely, today it is too early to talk about the beginning of the Ukrainian counter-offensive, which has already been announced so many times. But the attempts of the Russian troops to attack are clearly failing along the entire length of the front.

– In many areas, the Armed Forces of Ukraine received a new batch of ammunition and artillery fire squeezed the Russians out of their previously occupied positions, – Ukrainian military expert Roman Svitan explains to New Europe. “Today we can talk about some operational successes of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. For example, south of Ugledar, the river Kashlagach flows from west to east. The Russians crossed this line of defense. But as soon as the necessary amount of ammunition was delivered to the Ukrainians, the occupiers were driven out of there beyond the range of the guns very quickly and with heavy losses. After all, this area has long been perfectly shot. A similar situation is observed in Maryinka and Avdeevka, where the road is the line of defense, and in other sectors of the front. I am sure that the Armed Forces of Ukraine will soon recapture Krasnohorivka.

In Bakhmut, according to Roman Svitan, the fighting is going on in the city center. If the private sector, consisting of one- and two-story buildings, as well as the industrial zone, are captured by the “Wagner group” and the troops of the Russian Federation, then the entire area of ​​​​high-rise buildings is under the control of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. During the day, Russians advance several buildings or blocks. And at night, special operations forces beat them back.

“All these battles of local importance cannot be considered the beginning of an offensive,” Roman Svitan concludes the conversation. – Now we are only witnessing the beginning of the preparation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine for offensive operations. Namely – “burning” by our MLRS and artillery of Russian troops in the south. Yesterday, objects in Melitopol were fired upon with new long-range missiles for HIMARS. This work should be completed by the end of the month. Then the main action will begin!

One comment

  1. “Yesterday, objects in Melitopol were fired upon with new long-range missiles for HIMARS. This work should be completed by the end of the month. Then the main action will begin!”

    Sounds promising!

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