Espreso. Global

Latest Ramstein, Bakhmut holds on: frontline results of the week. Combat map overview 

21 January, 2023 Saturday

Soledar and Bakhmut are fulfilling the mission of destroying the enemy to the maximum. The AFU General Staff assesses when to withdraw and whether there is a need to do so or whether the defense line allows to destroy Russian forces

CEO of Defense Express military expert group and Espreso TV host Serhiy Zgurets commented on the situation in his military summary of the week.

The situation in Soledar is a continuation of Russian efforts to bypass Bakhmut from the south

There was a lot of information last week. The General Staff said that the Ukrainian Armed Forces were still holding Soledar and the village of Sil. Various sources stated that troops were already on the outskirts of Soledar and Sil. In fact, our troops have withdrawn to the western borders and moved to the defense line behind the railroad, partly behind the Bakhmutka River. The defense line is located on the dominant heights, and artillery strikes are being launched from there. In Soledar, Russian soldiers are actively destroyed. In any case, the enemy is trying to reach the road from Bakhmut to Siversk. Russian troops are active in the settlements of Krasnopolivka, Sil, Krasna Hora and do not count losses. This tactic of human barrage and changes in the use of artillery allowed Russian forces to push through Ukrainian defense lines. The situation remains difficult, the enemy is still trying to push through due to overwhelming numbers.

The situation in Klishchiivka is ambiguous. Russian troops are trying to advance there and in Soledar. There are several dozen houses in Klishchiivka. Wagner PMC claimed it was captured, but the Ukrainian side did not confirm it.  Entering a village does not mean gaining a foothold. I think the situation there is similar. There are still risks. From Klishchiivka, the Russian army will move to Chasiv Yar and Kostiantynivka. This is another way to secure Bakhmut.  The AFU General Staff must now find the forces and means to minimize Russia's advance. In this case, there is a conclusion that Bakhmut may be surrounded and then AFU will supposedly have to retreat.  This is due to the theoretically blocked supply routes, but also other ways of supplying ammunition and support to Bakhmut. This may indicate that the city will continue to hold on. The potential of Bakhmut's defenders remains high with sufficient reserves and artillery support.

Soledar and Bakhmut are fulfilling the mission of destroying the enemy to the maximum. The AFU General Staff is assessing the balance of when to withdraw and whether there is a need to do so or whether the defense line allows for maximum damage to the enemy.

Russia is trying to withdraw the defense line from Donetsk

Mariinka settlement near Donetsk is completely destroyed. It is not known where the front line is, because the town simply does not exist. Russian troops have switched to encircling Avdiivka from several directions - Krasnohorivka, Vodiane and Opytne. But this is an old story that will not lead to anything good. This is an attempt to push the defense line away from Donetsk and then there will be an attempt to start active fighting in the Vuhledar area.

Luhansk region: no systematic advance of the Ukrainian Armed Forces

Svatove - Kreminna. The dynamics have not changed, as neither side has enough forces and means to change the situation in its favor. Russia is moving forces to replenish its units there.  They are also redeploying units that are being destroyed by the Ukrainian Armed Forces.  There has been no systematic advance in the Svatove area. There are battles for Pidkuichansk, where it is possible to reach the dominant heights and use them to surround Svatove from above.


The situation with Kreminna is similar. There are attempts by the Ukrainian Armed Forces to get as close as possible to the settlement. Now units of Russian soldiers, mobilized in the fall, are being  deployed there.  The saturation of the entire front line with autumn mobilized soldiers is becoming a noticeable sign. This makes it difficult for us to conduct our tasks of pushing the defense lines. The situation is not changing, although there are dynamics there. Tank battles are also taking place.

Russia is trying to counterattack in the area of Bilohorivka, these attacks are constant. This is one of the enemy's ways to divert our attention and efforts from the Svatove-Kreminna line. Russia’s advance is hampered by the terrain and water obstacles. The holding of Bilohorivka is indicative, manpower was also destroyed there. 

Russians are trying to attack in the Zaporizhzhia region, but they do not have the means to do so

The dynamics of destroying Russian warehouses in the south has somewhat decreased. Either Russian forces have no ammunition left, or they have dispersed it to the point that AFU are waiting for them to collect it back again so that Ukrainian forces can destroy it in a rational manner.  Here, Russian troops tried to launch attacks in the direction of Orikhove and Huliaipole. However, they have no forces for offensive operations. I believe they will hold this land corridor. A large-scale offensive is unlikely there. 

Ramstein results: there are positive news despite Ukraine not getting tanks

800 armored vehicles will partially solve Ukraine’s tank issue. The Ramstein ended up being quite difficult in terms of tanks. The number of new IFVs and armored personnel carriers allows us to form several brigades of a completely new quality. This is an extremely positive outcome of the meeting. 

Everyone is banging their heads against the wall about F-16s, and it turns out they are standing idle in the Netherlands and can be obtained. I think that now the Ukrainian military and political leadership must finish this project and ask how many can be transferred. And put the decision on a pragmatic basis.

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