Espreso. Global

Ukrainian army advances to Tokmak, Russian forces intensify activity on three fronts - military expert Zgurets

16 November, 2023 Thursday

Despite enormous Russian losses, the attacks on Avdiivka continue. The invading forces have managed to break through the Ukrainian defense line, which ran through the railroad north of Avdiivka, and are now trying to conduct further assault operations in the Stepove area

Russia continues to put pressure on Ukrainian defense around Avdiivka

The Russian forces are trying to regain the initiative on the battlefield and are conducting several offensive operations simultaneously, primarily on the Eastern Front. This is the obvious conclusion drawn by analysts at the American Institute for the Study of War, based on statements by our military. It is also worth mentioning here that Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi recently said during a conversation with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the Avdiivka, Kupyansk and Marinka sectors are the most intense in terms of combat operations. To elaborate, we should, of course, focus on the situation around Avdiivka. The enemy has been actively trying to surround the city for a month now. Despite huge losses, including more than 200 pieces of equipment and several thousand personnel, the attacks continue. The enemy managed to break through the Ukrainian defense line, which ran through the railroad north of Avdiivka. Now the enemy is trying to conduct further assault operations in the area of Stepove. It is a small village stretching from west to east. In the east, the enemy tried to break through to the first houses. They succeeded, but our military drove them out. So now we are not talking about the enemy's consolidation in Stepove at all. This is a gray area where the enemy is trying to break through, but without success.

Map of combat actions in the Avdiivka sector over November 8-14

When we talk about the coke plant, which is a very important element of our defense, the enemy is also trying to approach it, but is not successful in its actions. In the north of Avdiivka, there are no major changes. The Ukrainian military is holding the defense here very steadily. However, it should be noted that the enemy will continue to try to break through the Ukrainian Armed Forces' defense around Avdiivka.

Russia plans to advance towards Chasiv Yar

The number of combat engagements has increased in the Bakhmut sector. The commander of the Land Forces, General Oleksandr Syrskyi, emphasized that the enemy is simultaneously conducting offensive actions in several directions and is trying to regain lost positions north and south of Bakhmut. In the north, Ukrainian units are repelling enemy attacks near Bohdanivka and Khromove. In this area, there are some tactical successes of the enemy around Berkhivka. Probably, the Russian troops have plans to advance in the direction of Chasiv Yar to complicate our logistics. I think these enemy efforts will be nullified.

Map of combat actions in the Bakhmut sector over November 8-14

Russia continues to put pressure on Klishchiivka. The Russian forces keep trying to regain control of the railroad near Klishchiivka. However, in this area, the enemy simply destroys its reserves against our defense. The 3rd Detached Mechanized Brigade is engaged in defense in this area, and the deputy commander of this brigade, Maksym Zhorin, said that the fighting is quite active and difficult. He emphasized that the enemy is trying to find weaknesses in our defense. The Russians are constantly deploying new units to this area, which operate using the same tactics - first, they try to advance with armored vehicles and then attack in small groups. Also, it became known that the Russian troops used chemical weapons in the Svatove and Bakhmut directions. In particular, chloropicrin. This is a chemical that causes eye and stomach irritation. Such cases of chemical weapons use have not been seen on the frontline for a long time.

To summarize, the Defense Forces are actively defending the three hottest frontline areas. This does not mean that the enemy will be able to regain the initiative along the entire front line. Along with defensive actions in the Kupyansk, Avdiivka and Bakhmut sectors, we are also conducting offensive operations. The Ukrainian Armed Forces continue offensive operations and have tactical successes. In particular, in the western Zaporizhzhia region and on Dnipro's left bank in the Kherson region.

Operational situation on the Southern Front

The Defense Forces continue to put pressure on the invading troops to expand the area near Robotyne. There is an advance towards Tokmak. There are also recaptured positions northwest of Verbove. Counterattacks continue there.

The situation on Dnipro's left bank in the Kherson region will continue to develop. Our units in this area are making the enemy nervous and redeploying their troops to this area at the expense of reserves. We are talking about expanding the gray zone for raids deep into the temporarily occupied territory, as well as extending the security zone from Kherson and other settlements.

Consequences of the blowing up of the Kakhovka HPP

Oleksandr Ruvin, Director of the Kyiv Scientific Research Institute of Forensic Expertise of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, said that his institute is investigating the issue of ecocide and the explosion of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant. According to him, experts have repeatedly visited the site to record the consequences of the hydroelectric power plant explosion. Environmental examinations were conducted. Explosives experts and construction workers were involved in the investigation of this crime. He also said that the fundamental institutes of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Energy, Community Development, and the Ministry of Health have been involved in conducting examinations of the consequences of the destruction of the Kakhovka HPP. According to Ruvin, this will make it possible to prepare a substantiated evidence base for submission to the International Criminal Court. He noted that the work is already at the final stage. Ruvin also noted that very soon everyone will be able to see the results of the study of the consequences of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant explosion.

The consequences of the Russians’ blowing up the Kakhovka HPP

Oleksandr Ruvin also said that, according to the conclusions of the explosive examination, it is already known where the explosions took place at the Kakhovka HPP. According to him, the commission already knows how the explosive devices were installed and how the explosions were carried out. Details will be made public later, as the investigation is still ongoing. However, the facts of the explosion are already known, there is evidence, and the pre-trial investigation authorities are working on it.

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