Ukraine defeats elite Russian units in Andriivka and Klishchiivka liberation near Bakhmut — ISW
The recent advance of Ukrainian troops south of Bakhmut has led to the degradation of Russian defense units in the area, as the Ukrainian Armed Forces destroyed the combat capability of elite Russian units during the liberation of Andriivka and Klishchiivka
This is stated in the report of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
The report noted that Ukrainian soldiers completely destroyed the units of the 72nd Motorized Rifle Brigade, 31st Guards Airborne Brigade and 83rd Guards Airborne Brigade during the liberation of Andriivka and Klishchiivka.
ISW adds that this claim is confirmed by the statement of the Russian commander of the Vostok battalion Alexander Khodakovsky about the death of the commander of the 31st Airborne Brigade.
According to the Institute, the 72nd Motorized Brigade has likely been rendered combat ineffective, although the exact level of casualties among the two airborne brigades remains unclear. These airborne units were involved in a counterattack to try to repel the Ukrainian offensive around Bakhmut - similar to the airborne units operating in the western Zaporizhzhia region - and likely suffered heavy losses.
"If recent Ukrainian advances south of Bakhmut resulted in the destruction of the 31st and 83rd VDV brigades’ combat capabilities, then the Russian command will likely laterally redeploy elements of another relatively elite formation to maintain critical elements of the Russian defense south of Bakhmut," ISW experts emphasize.
The Institute also noted that as a result of Ukrainian counteroffensive operations in the Bakhmut direction, in addition to the 83rd and 31st Brigades, units of two airborne divisions and another airborne brigade are pinned down, so the Russian command may decide to tactically redeploy to compensate for losses among these elite units.
Thus, lateral redeployments from other parts of Ukraine or significant tactical changes in other airborne elements in the Bakhmut area would mean that the recent Ukrainian advances have resulted in significant Russian losses.
The liberation of Andriivka and Klishchiivka villages near Bakhmut
On September 14, Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said that the Ukrainian military had liberated the village of Andriivka near Bakhmut, Donetsk region. However, the 3rd Separate Mechanized Brigade denied the statement and called it false.
On September 14, the Ukrainian Defense Forces successfully advanced in the area of Klishchiivka, Donetsk region. According to the Ukrainian General Staff, as of the morning of September 15, it became known that the Ukrainian Armed Forces had liberated Andriivka.
On September 16, the American Institute for the Study of War noted that after the Ukrainian military liberated Andriivka, they continued offensive operations near Bakhmut and in the western Zaporizhzhia region. At the same time, the tactical situation south of Bakhmut worsened for the Russian army.
On September 17, the Ukrainian Defense Forces completely liberated Klishchiivka, south of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, but the enemy continued to try to capture the town.
On September 18, the AFU General Staff reported that the Ukrainian military repelled Russian attacks near Bila Hora in the Bakhmut direction, and in the area of Klishchiivka in the Donetsk region, they continue to conduct assault operations, inflict significant losses in manpower and equipment on the enemy, and consolidate the achieved positions.
Subsequently, the deputy commander of the 3rd separate assault brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Major Rodion Kudryashov, noted that after the successful advance of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the possibility of liberating Bakhmut opened up for Ukraine.