Espreso. Global

Russian 'goodwill gesture' or Bakhmut encirclement nearing — military expert Zgurts 

8 September, 2023 Friday

Bakhmut is located in the lowlands, and if Ukrainian artillery is able to work from the dominant heights around the city, the encirclement of Bakhmut may not happen. It just might not come to that.

Ukrainian Defense Forces continue offensive actions in the Bakhmut, Melitopol and Berdiansk directions

Yesterday NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the Ukrainian army has managed to break through the defensive lines of Russian troops. According to him, the Ukrainian army is advancing, albeit at a slower pace. Stoltenberg also emphasized the importance, ability, and readiness of NATO to support Ukraine. As for the situation at the front, Ukrainian defenders continue their offensive in the Bakhmut, Melitopol, and Berdiansk directions.

Instead, Russia is trying to seize the initiative on the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, where they are now amassing forces for repeated attacks. In the South, the Ukrainian Defense Forces continue to advance to enemy positions from Robotyne towards Novoprokopivka and Verbove. The goal is to consolidate the liberated positions and expand the bridgehead along the front, which is extremely important. One of the soldiers of the 47th separate mechanized brigade told Espreso TV that after they managed to overcome the main line of enemy defense, there were actually fewer minefields. However, the Russians are trying to re-mine the areas where Ukrainian troops are advancing. One Ukrainian soldier says that this creates certain problems, but it is not on the same scale as before.

The advance of the Ukrainian Defense Forces in the Bakhmut direction 

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces reported positive changes in the Bakhmut direction. In particular, in the area of Klishchiivka and Andriivka. Just a few hours ago, the deputy commander of the 3rd Separate Mechanized Brigade, Maksym Zhorin, wrote on his Telegram channel that Ukrainian units are currently pushing Russian troops out of certain positions around Andriivka. Zhorin says that Russia is trying to strengthen its position by moving reserves, but they are of little use. One way or another, the Russians are leaving their positions and slowly rolling back. Zhorin also added that the successes in the Bakhmut direction are the result of the work of many Ukrainian Armed Forces units.

Map of hostilities in the Bakhmut direction as of August 7.

Redeployment of Russian reserves to the Bakhmut direction

Ukrainian Armed Forces serviceman Kyrylo Sazonov said that the situation north of Bakhmut, in particular in the areas of Berkhivka, Bohdanivka, and Hryhorivka, is difficult. The main challenge for the Ukrainian Armed Forces in this particular section of the front is the enemy's minefields. The Russians are trying to gain ground and hold their positions. According to Sazonov, Russia is constantly reinforcing its units with reserves in an attempt to hold on to their positions. However, as Sazonov emphasized, the successful actions of Ukrainian units south of Bakhmut and the effective work of artillery are bringing the Defense Forces closer to encircling the city. He also added that Bakhmut is located in the lowlands, and if Ukrainian artillery is able to work from the dominant heights around the city, the encirclement of Bakhmut may not happen. It just might not come to that. Sazonov noted that as a result of the work of the Defense Forces, the encirclement of the Russians in Bakhmut is approaching its logical conclusion, or they will simply retreat from the city.

Kyrylo Sazonov also criticized the words of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg about the slow advance of Ukrainian troops. He emphasized that in the doctrines of almost all NATO member states, the beginning of offensive actions begins with massive air attacks. Only then, after the destruction of all enemy headquarters, air defense systems, warehouses, airfields and control points, infantry and armored vehicles begin to advance. Therefore, according to him, the Ukrainian offensive and liberation of territories would be much faster if there were a sufficient number of F-16 aircraft.

Effective work of Ukrainian artillery

According to Sazonov, Russia still has an advantage in artillery and ammunition. However, due to the professionalism of Ukrainian artillerymen along the entire front line, we managed to keep the balance in artillery battles. In addition, Ukrainian artillerymen work with Western weapons, which makes it possible to increase the effectiveness of defeating the enemy. Western artillery systems are longer-range and more accurate than Russian artillery.

International arms exhibition in Poland

Vladyslav Belbas, CEO of Ukrainian Armor, said that Ukraine is represented by several companies at the international arms exhibition in Poland. According to Belbas, the main purpose of participating in such exhibitions is to find cooperative ties and partners for cooperation. Another important part of such exhibitions is agreements on the supply of various components and elements for the manufacture of weapons. Belbas emphasized that the company is currently at the stage of significant expansion of production in all areas. This applies to ammunition, weapons, and equipment. In addition, Ukrainian defense companies should work on establishing service centers to maintain and repair equipment provided to Ukraine as part of international military assistance. He emphasized that the exhibition in Poland is attended by representatives of many countries. In particular, from Eastern European countries. According to him, it is on the basis of the defense industry of these countries that new cooperative ties are being formed.

Vladyslav Belba said that Western defense companies have no concerns about cooperation with Ukrainian companies. This issue has never even been discussed. In his opinion, this position is due to the fact that the Russian agent network in these countries has been successfully purged. Therefore, cooperation with Ukrainian companies is now taking place in a more relaxed environment. The problems that exist are of a technological and technical nature.

Ukrainian armored vehicle Novator (photo:

Vladyslav Belbas, CEO of Ukrainian Armor, also spoke about the new version of the Novator armored vehicle. He emphasized that by creating a new version of the Novator, the company continues to develop our vehicle line. The 10-seater armored vehicle is the most updated version of the Novator, which has been supplied to the Ukrainian Defense Forces since 2018 and has been tested both by time and, most importantly, by combat. Like its predecessor, the 10-seater Novator is built on a modular basis and is, in fact, a universal platform that, due to its high degree of adaptability, can be used to perform a variety of combat missions and can be equipped with various weapons and combat modules.

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