Ukrainian forces conduct an extensive HIMARS raid on the eastern front, targeting Russian logistical hubs and artillery systems, aiming to undermine Russian defenses and facilitate a breakthrough.
Day 496: 4 July
Today the biggest news comes from the east.
Several hours ago, Ukrainians conducted an extensive HIMARS raid along the whole eastern contact line.
The first target became the biggest Russian logistical hub on the occupied territories – Donetsk. Donetsk is one of the largest cities in Ukraine by size, and it is by far the most industrialized one, which means that it has very well-developed logistics that Russians gladly use to accumulate and store ammunition and equipment. The footage was quickly geolocated, and it turned out that the target was quite obvious – Ukrainians struck a warehouse of the factory Sarmat, which is located just 100 meters away from the railway connection. Russian sources reported that Ukrainians used 2 HIMARS rockets to hit the facilitates. Some sources reported that Ukrainians managed to destroy the newly arrived equipment.
The second target became the twin city of Donetsk – Makiivka. Geolocated footage indicates that a powerful explosion happened on the territory of the metallurgical plant. The plant itself is extremely vast, so Russians used it to accumulate tons of ammunition. Russian sources reported that Ukrainian launched 2 HIMARS missiles here as well, and even claimed that one of the missiles was shot down, however, it did not change anything. The explosion was so powerful that the smoke covered several cities. Ukrainian military-affiliated sources confirmed that Ukrainians successfully hit a Russian ammunition depot that had just received huge supplies.
These strikes aimed to reduce the available and ready-to-use Russian resources on the eastern front to undermine Russian defensive capabilities, particularly around Bakhmut. The creation of short-term deficits of ammunition and shells can create a perfect window of opportunity for advancement because, as you remember, Ukrainians have just 1 fortification left to overcome before they can expand south of Bakhmut.
Some analysts claimed that the ammunition depots that Ukrainians targeted today with their HIMARS predominantly contained artillery shells. And it looks like it is true because simultaneously, Ukrainians started using HIMARS for effective counterbattery fire very frequently.
Today Ukrainian 43rd Artillery Brigade released a video showing how they hunted down Russian artillery on the southern Bakhmut’s flank with their HIMARS. The first target of the Ukrainians became the Gvozdika system near Zaitseve. The second target became a multiple-launch rocket system Grad near Kodema. Another target of the HIMARS missile became Gvozdica. As you can see, all of these systems were providing support to Russian troops precisely in the area of Ukrainian advancement.
However, Ukrainian HIMARS crews also conducted a series of strikes on the northern Bakhmut’s flank. Here, Ukrainians struck the 2S5 Giatsint-S system near Bakhmutske, BM-21 Grad multiple-launch rocket system nearby, the second Grad in Pokrovske, the third Grad south of Pokrovske,, a D-20 howitzer near Pidhorodne, and M109 howitzer in Bakhmut.
Overall, judging by only available footage, over the last 2 days, Ukrainians destroyed 9 Russian artillery systems of various types. This is extremely important because the enemy artillery is the main factor slowing Ukrainian advancement. If we combine the fact that Ukrainians destroyed almost a dozen Russian artillery systems with the fact that they also blew up several huge ammunition depots near Bakhmut, we can see that Ukrainians are rapidly creating very favorable conditions for a breakthrough.
In our daily frontline report, we pair up with the military blogger Reporting from Ukraine to keep you informed about what is happening on the battlefield in the Russo-Ukrainian war.