A large group of the Russian Federation troops is under the threat of encirclement.
Ukrainian reconnaissance in force led to the retreat of Russian forces. The entire Bakhmut-Soledar group is under the threat of encirclement.
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation recognized the large-scale attacks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the area of Bakhmut and Soledar and announced “the occupation of the line, taking into account the favorable conditions of the Berkhovske reservoir” (near Bakhmut). Yevgeny Prigozhin called it “flight, not regrouping”. Pro-government political scientist Sergei Markov described the retreat at Soledar as “dramatic”.
The current attacks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine north and south of Bakhmut are reconnaissance in force and only preparation for a large-scale offensive, but these actions have also led to significant success, Colonel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the reserve Roman Svitan told We Can Explain.
In the Russian defense, according to him, weak spots were found:
The Ukrainian Armed Forces advanced in the area of Bohdanivka (to the north-west of Bakhmut). In the Russian rear behind this village is the Berkhovske reservoir, which was mentioned in the report of the Ministry of Defense.
On the southern flank of Bakhmut, Russian troops left Kleshchiivka. In the same area, the Armed Forces of Ukraine took up positions near Ivanovske.
The target of another UAF attack was Mayorsk, a village located on the northern outskirts of Horlivka (20 km south of Bakhmut). Horlivka itself was actively shelled from MLRS.
An infantry attack, supported by tanks, broke through the Russian defenses in the Soledar area (north of Bakhmut) 2 km deep. The Armed Forces of Ukraine occupied several strongholds and are fixed in them.
In the future, the Armed Forces of Ukraine can take pincers with simultaneous strikes from these points and cut off the entire Bakhmut-Soledar grouping of the RF Armed Forces and the forces of the Wagner PMC, Svitan believes. In this area, the Russians practically did not build defensive fortifications, since initially their troops expected to advance deep into Ukrainian territory after the capture of Bakhmut.
The Donbas is unlikely to be the main focus of the counteroffensive — beyond that, the Russians have powerful lines of defense created before the war. But the operation in the Bakhmut area will divert the forces of the RF Armed Forces from other sectors of the front, the initiative remains with the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the expert concludes.
“The current attacks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine north and south of Bakhmut are reconnaissance in force and only preparation for a large-scale offensive, but these actions have also led to significant success…”
If the AFU enjoyed such a success with only reconnaissance forces, then this is a big surprise, seeing the high concentration of orcs in the region. Now, they should back them up quickly with regular troops and material.
I know that I mentioned a few times before about the advantage of performing a pincer movement around Bakhmut, but I never thought that it would be possible at this stage of the war. I didn’t know that the orcs hadn’t fortified their positions in this sector.
Donetsk oblast will soon be ours again.