Espreso. Global

Russia redeploys forces and equipment from Avdiivka to Bakhmut direction. Column by Serhiy Zgurets

22 February, 2024 Thursday

In the Bakhmut sector, the Russian army significantly intensified artillery shelling after the capture of Avdiivka. Russia began to move forces and equipment from the Avdiivka sector to Bakhmut. This can be seen in particular near Klishchiivka, Bohdanivka, Ivanivka, and Chasiv Yar

Ukrainian Armed Forces destroyed 7 Russian aircraft in a week

On the morning of February 21, the Ukrainian military destroyed another Russian Su-34 fighter-bomber. This was reported by the Air Force Command. In less than a week, 7 Russian aircraft have already been shot down - 5 Su-34 bombers and 2 Su-35. The destruction of enemy aircraft is a countermeasure to the enemy's active attempts to use aircraft to drop chemical warheads, which significantly affect the situation at the front.

In particular, over the 8 months of hostilities, Russia dropped over 5,000 guided bombs weighing 500 kg or more. The massive use of UAVs had a significant impact on the fighting in Avdiivka. Therefore, to destroy these enemy aircraft, the Ukrainian Air Force uses air defense systems with a range of more than 100 kilometers. In particular, there is talk of a traveling Patriot or Samp-T. This is still a secret. However, we can see the result: Russian fighters are being destroyed. This is a good and positive result.

Ukrainian pilots train on F-16 in the United States

Of course, the activity of enemy aircraft will decrease significantly when we receive the F-16 fighters. The training of Ukrainian pilots is currently underway. However, there is some information about the timeframe for training our pilots. CNN published an article outlining the timeline for training our pilots in the United States. Citing a representative of the US National Guard, they reported that eight pilots are being trained in the United States. Their training should be completed between May and August. Four more Ukrainian pilots are learning English and will complete the full cycle of training on F-16s by September 30. They also said that the training might take longer than expected. This is because they need to train a fully combat-ready pilot, not a limited functionality pilot as previously planned.

Also, more than 40 technicians are currently undergoing training to service these fighters. Today, they are engaged in language training, but then they will learn to service the aircraft at one of the US Air Force bases.

Iran transfers over 400 ballistic missiles to Russia

In addition to the United States, Ukrainian pilots are being trained in a number of other countries. I think this process will be more intensified and expanded. The arrival of F-16s with long-range weapons and new air defense systems is extremely important for the Air Force, as another threat to Ukraine has emerged today. Yesterday, Reuters reported that Iran has transferred ballistic missiles to Russia. The total number of missiles transferred is over 400.

In particular, Zolfaghar and Fateh-110 missiles. These missiles are launched from mobile installations. Iran has been producing Fateh-110 missiles for a long time and in series. They have a range of over 300 km. Zolfaghar missiles have a range of up to 700 km. The Main Intelligence Directorate reported this threat back in November 2022. But then Iran was afraid to transfer such missiles to Russia. Therefore, the issue of strengthening our air defense is an important component in the confrontation with Russia today.

Russia is actively redeploying forces and equipment from Avdiivka to the Bakhmut sector

National Guard Major Denys Nahornyi said that in the Bakhmut sector the Russian army significantly intensified artillery shelling after the capture of Avdiivka. According to him, Russia began to redeploy forces and equipment from the Avdiivka sector to Bakhmut. This can be felt, in particular, near Klishchiivka, Bohdanivka, Ivanivka, and Chasiv Yar. Nahornyi also said that the Russians have significantly intensified the use of tactical aircraft and UAVs in these areas. That is, it can be concluded that the Russians are concentrating forces and means to launch offensive actions in the direction of Chasiv Yar. He noted that the beginning of such actions can be recognized by the increased use of guided bombs.

Map of combat actions in the Bakhmut sector over February 14-21

Denys Nahornyi said that earlier in the Bakhmut sector, the Russians did not use equipment for offensive actions on a large scale. Today, however, the Russian artillery and FPV drones are working around the clock. A large number of outdated equipment has appeared in this area, which has not been seen here before. This indicates that the Russians are actively redeploying assets from other areas. Of course, the Defense Forces are responding to such actions by the invading troops. In particular, according to Nahornyi, several new Russian electronic warfare systems have recently been discovered that have not been observed in the Bakhmut sector before. Nahornyi believes that the invaders may use Bakhmut as one of the logistical routes to intensify their actions in the Lyman and Kupyansk directions.

Denys Nahirnyi also spoke about the work of Ukrainian artillery and UAVs. In particular, according to the statistics of the 4th Rubizh Brigade, more than 70% of targets are destroyed by artillery, and 30% by UAVs. Today, the Ukrainian military has a critical shortage of ammunition. Nahornyi emphasized that Ukrainian artillerymen do not have even the minimum amount of ammunition to repel the Russian offensive and defend themselves. Therefore, when it comes to conducting some tactical maneuvers or destroying a large number of enemy infantry, it is all done with the help of unmanned systems. The war has moved into a kind of symbiosis mode, when there is a lack of ammunition, but the situation is improved by unmanned aircraft.

However, according to Nahornyi, infantry cannot operate without artillery support. Even at the battalion level with a minimum number of personnel, their actions must be supported by artillery. That is why today there is a situation where the lack of ammunition for artillery is being replaced by FPV drones. In particular, there are different types of drones - reconnaissance, bombers, strike and mine drones. That is, the list of applications for unmanned systems is growing every day.

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