Espreso. Global

Liberation of Bakhmut opens way to Luhansk — military expert Zgurets

19 September, 2023 Tuesday

Klishchiivka is an excellent foothold for advancing deep into Russian defense. The Ukrainian Armed Forces' positions in this area allow them to take fire control of the Debaltseve-Myronivske-Bakhmut road, which is used to supply Russian troops. Further liberation of Bakhmut opens the way to Luhansk

Personnel rotations in the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine

Let's begin with the news regarding the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine's decision to dismiss nearly all deputy ministers of defense, which was disclosed on September 18. This includes the removal of six deputy ministers. It is argued that these actions align with the customary practice of replacing the head of the Defense Ministry. However, notably, the state secretary of the Ministry of Defense was also dismissed, which is uncommon in such situations since this role typically serves as a repository of experience and handles the transition of responsibilities from one team to another. Only the First Deputy Minister of Defense, Lieutenant General Oleksandr Pavliuk, remained in his position. Thus, out of 7 deputy ministers, only one remained in his position. It's noteworthy that the newly appointed Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Rustem Umerov, has announced plans for a comprehensive digitalization of processes within the Ministry of Defense. This includes the creation of a new position, the military ombudsman, along with initiatives to digitize all military registration and enlistment offices, introduce electronic military identification cards, and establish a unified register of recruits. The question now revolves around whether specific deputy ministers will be reassigned to new roles within the Ministry of Defense. If not, it would suggest that Rustem Umerov has been granted substantial authority to implement changes within the Ministry. However, close attention should still be paid to the deputy ministers responsible for procurement, logistics, and other crucial aspects for the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Rustem Umerov's new team should be formed quickly enough.

Ukrainian Defense Forces conduct offensive actions in the Bakhmut and Melitopol directions

The Ukrainian General Staff has reported that the Defense Forces are actively engaged in offensive operations in the Bakhmut and Melitopol directions. In the southern front, specifically the Robotyne - Novoprokopivka area, Ukrainian forces are working to consolidate their gained positions. However, detailed information about this front has not been disclosed by the General Staff. On the southern front near Bakhmut, Ukrainian troops successfully liberated Klishchiivka and Andriivka, but the enemy has been making attempts to counterattack in the days following the liberation. In the third direction, which is also of great importance - the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna region, Russian forces are observed to be rotating in certain areas and are planning potential resumption of offensive actions.

                                                                                                                                                                    Map of combat operations in the southern sector over the period of September 6 to 12.

Frontline operators of strike unmanned systems

Sergeant Oles Malyarevych of the Achilles company of the 92nd separate assault brigade named after Ivan Sirko, said that several brigades of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, including the 92nd Brigade, are working in the Bakhmut direction. The sergeant said that the work on liberation of the territories continues. His unit of attack drones daily performs tasks to destroy enemy equipment and personnel using “kamikaze” drones. To ensure the success of these missions, it's crucial that the FPV (First Person View) drones they use are not only in sufficient numbers but also configured to circumvent enemy electronic warfare systems. These FPV drones are frequently tested at training grounds prior to actual missions to ensure their ability to deliver ammunition and accomplish their objectives effectively.

Oles Malyarevych added that each unit should have over 10 to 15 “kamikaze” drones to perform daily tasks. He also emphasized that there are no statistics on the effectiveness of such drones. After all, the unit is tasked with performing the mission as efficiently as possible. Not only can the unit not risk the drones, but it cannot also ineffectively manage the ammunition that a “kamikaze” drone is equipped with. That is why before each flight, a “kamikaze” drone undergoes a thorough check and adjustment to ensure it performs its task as efficiently as possible. 

As an example, Malyarevych spoke about the effective use of “kamikaze” drones against a battery of Russian D-20 guns. According to him, all 6 guns became inoperable after the drone strikes. He emphasized that the reason for this success was the professional actions of the operators and high-quality “kamikaze” drones.

Operational situation around Bakhmut after liberation of Klishchiivka and Andriivka

Viktor Kevliuk, a military expert at the Center for Defense Operations, explained that Klishchiivka is an excellent foothold for advancing deep into Russia’s defense. The positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in this area allow them to take fire control of the Debaltseve-Myronivske-Bakhmut road, which is used to supply Russian troops. Kevliuk added that Russian troops are now trapped between the railroad and the Bakhmutka River, which is absolutely not convenient for defense. The positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces also pose a threat of encircling Bakhmut from the south and attacking the occupied Horlivka from the north. Speaking about the media component, according to Kevliuk, the Russians are losing the last of the two major cities they captured in the two years of war. Automatically, after the Russians retreat from Bakhmut, the question of the price they paid for capturing the city will arise.

Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers in the liberated Klishchiivka (photo: Andriy Yermak's Telegram channel).

Kevliuk added that if we talk about the Bakhmut direction as an operational zone, the liberation of Bakhmut opens the way to Luhansk. For the Russians, Bakhmut does not have any strategic military importance. Its capture has only media value for their propaganda purposes.

According to Viktor Kevliuk, Russia has deployed 40,000 to 50,000 personnel in the Bakhmut direction. He emphasized that this number of Russians is not located in Bakhmut itself, but is concentrated throughout the entire operational area. In particular, from Lyman to Avdiivka directions. Kevliuk emphasized that in the coming days Russia will try to counterattack in the area of Klishchiivka and Andriivka to regain the lost ground. To do this, they may involve the 102nd motorized rifle regiment of the 150th division near Klishchiivka, and the remnants of the 57th brigade and the 4th motorized rifle brigade of the "LPR" nearAndriivka. The Ukrainian Armed Forces may try to surround and destroy the Russian garrison in Bakhmut, as well as develop an offensive to reach the Horlivka-Alchevsk-Starobilsk direction. Such actions would create problems for the Russian group in Donetsk and the north of Luhansk region.

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