Espreso. Global

Russia advances to create pincers around Chasiv Yar: Serhiy Zgurets' analysis

10 April, 2024 Wednesday

The Siverskyi Donets-Donbas channel runs close to Chasiv Yar, posing a significant geographical challenge for Russia. Presently, they are attempting to breach this canal, aiming to create a northern threat from Bohdanivka to Kalynivka, and a southern push from Ivanivske to cross the canal, thereby forming a pincer movement


Frontline situation

Two areas were the hottest recently. If we look at the map and the reports of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, these are the Novopavlivka and Bakhmut directions. Although it is more likely to be the fighting around Chasiv Yar, because all our attention is now focused on this sector.

Let's delve into the Novopavlivka direction, which saw the majority of combat engagements. The spotlight is on Krasnohorivka, where the enemy's movements have been closely monitored. After seizing Marinka and attempting to advance towards Novomykhailivka, the enemy has intensified attacks towards Krasnohorivka in recent days.

The enemy's objective is to shield itself from flanking assaults originating from Krasnohorivka, as advancing to Kurakhove hinges on this defense. However, the enemy is facing significant challenges in these efforts. Yesterday, Russian forces launched powerful attacks, met with equally forceful countermeasures from our side. The day before, armored vehicles launched assaults on positions held by the 80th Airborne Assault Brigade. The enemy vehicles were on the move when they came under artillery fire. Six out of nine vehicles retreated, while the remaining were destroyed.

On April 9, an officer from the 58th Motorized Infantry Brigade reported that Russian forces attacked Krasnohorivka. The enemy's advance was halted due to artillery fire and counterattacks. An enemy T-72 tank equipped with special protective structures resembling a barn managed to reach Krasnohorivka. It was followed by a convoy of vehicles, all of which came under fire and turned back. While the barn-like structure on tracks remained intact initially, reports indicate that our weaponry eventually neutralized it. In Stoyanka settlement, this structure was destroyed, becoming a coffin on tracks.

The situation near Krasnohorivka remains highly tense. According to recent information, discussed by experts citing various photographs, the enemy managed to advance to the northern parts of Krasnohorivka, reaching the first houses and seemingly consolidating its position there. However, this information requires further verification.

We recognize the strategic significance of this area for the enemy. Equally important is our capability and determination to dislodge the enemy from Krasnohorivka, akin to the successful operation conducted by the 3rd Assault Brigade, which liberated the settlement about a month ago.

Another challenging area is Chasiv Yar. Since April 4, the enemy has undertaken various offensive actions. Currently, the enemy is attempting to advance from multiple directions, including a frontal assault through Khromove towards Chasiv Yar. On the 4th, a notable attack occurred when eight enemy armored vehicles advanced towards Chasiv Yar, reaching the quarter known as Kanal, situated ahead of the Siverskyi Donets-Donbas canal.

On the map of Chasiv Yar, we can observe the Siversky Donets-Donbas channel running from north to south. This channel serves as a significant geographical barrier for the enemy to overcome, forming a key line of our defense. It spans 8-9 meters wide in certain sections, some equipped with bridges. Presently, the enemy is attempting to breach this channel from Bohdanivka to Kalynivka, posing a northern threat to Chasiv Yar with airborne assault units of the Russian army.

A similar scenario unfolds from Ivanivske, where the enemy aims to push southward to the channel, creating a pincer movement to encircle Chasiv Yar. This tactic is not unprecedented, as the enemy has employed similar flanking maneuvers before. However, success depends on the specific terrain features of the area.

Examining the geographical map of elevations, we see that Chasiv Yar is in an elevated position. The enemy's advance from Bohdanivka, already reaching the first heights and aiming northward, presents a tactical advantage. Ideally, defending from the heights of Chasiv Yar is favorable, provided adequate fortifications, artillery support, and measures to counter Russian aviation and guided aerial bombs are in place. The enemy's tactic of collapsing fortifications with guided aerial bombs followed by rapid tank advances poses a significant challenge.

The situation around Chasiv Yar will make the enemy reassess their war tactics, reminiscent of their strategies during the capture of Avdiivka. Our response will be crucial, reflecting our ability to learn from past mistakes, effectively counter enemy aircraft, and ensure our units are equipped with sufficient artillery, drones, and reserves.

Indeed, holding Chasiv Yar is of utmost importance and carries strategic significance. The outcome of hostilities in this area will heavily influence developments across the front. It's crucial to remember that the enemy aims to advance towards Donetsk and Luhansk regions, making the capture of Chasiv Yar a priority for them. So we must maintain this vital line of defense.

Deploying robotic platforms on the front lines

Near Chasiv Yar and Ivanivske, Ukrainian-developed robotic platforms have been deployed, demonstrating their capabilities in combat. A video shows the Ratel development platform destroying a bridge previously utilized by the enemy.

Taras Ostapchuk, a military serviceman and developer of Ukrainian drones and Ratel robotic platforms, described Ratel as a versatile platform serving as both a kamikaze and a remote detonator. In kamikaze mode, the platform can travel up to 6 km at a speed of 22 km/h and carry payloads weighing up to 35 kg. In remote mining mode, it can cover the same distance while carrying two anti-tank mines. Ratel platforms are being produced in series and systematically deployed to the frontline.

Ostapchuk further explained that operators undergo 2-3 days of training provided by the company before receiving the complex for operational use. The incorporation of ground robotic complexes into the military represents a new development.

The Ratel S, noted as the smallest platform, successfully detonated at a distance of 4 km in Ivanivske, with a record target hitting distance of 6.3 km. The inclusion of a repeater on the drone aids in achieving these distances and is included in the delivery kit. Evacuation platforms feature night cameras and can operate under infrared lighting conditions, providing full nighttime visibility for operators while remaining concealed from the enemy.

Regarding orders, Ostapchuk mentioned a current queue scheduled until the end of July, excluding state contracts. With government contracts, the company anticipates being fully occupied until the year's end. Consequently, there is ongoing recruitment and production scaling to meet demand. Remote mining comprises the majority of platform utilization, followed by kamikaze missions. The evacuation and munitions transportation aspect is in its early stages, with several platforms shipped and awaiting results.

Feedback from military personnel involves testing the robot in combat scenarios, incorporating comments, and finalizing improvements before deployment to the frontline.

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