The Russian army has reclaimed the initiative in the ongoing war in Ukraine. The most notable advance occurred in the village of Krokhmalne, situated in the north-eastern Luhansk-Kupiansk sector. Russian mechanized infantry, supported by armour from the 153rd Tank Regiment, successfully overcame Ukrainian defences, marking a crucial development along the 1,600-kilometer fighting front.
Battle at Krokhmalne
Russian state television showcased images of T-80BV tanks bombarding Ukrainian positions from long range, revealing a lack of visible counter-fire from the Ukrainian side.
Экипажи танков Т-80БВ группировки войск «Запад» уничтожают укрепрайоны и блиндажи ВСУ на Купянском направлении. pic.twitter.com/92XKsZcA2o— Миша (@Misa14949560) January 23, 2024
Ukrainian army spokesmen later acknowledged the loss of the village and the surrounding land, emphasizing a strategic relocation of troops. Ukrainian officials claim stable defence lines and increasing Russian losses despite the setback.
Intense House-to-House Fighting
Simultaneously, Russian troops penetrated the centre of Bohdanivka, a suburb of the battlefield city of Bakhmut. Reports of house-to-house fighting emerged as both sides fought fiercely for control.
Bakhmut, a key coal-mining centre in Ukraine’s industrial Donbas region, fell to Kremlin forces in August 2023. Unconfirmed reports suggest Russian troops advanced, capturing the village Vesele in the Bakhmut sector.
Russian Forces Break Heavily Fortified Lines
In the eastern city of Avdiivka, Russian ground forces achieved another notable gain by taking over heavily reinforced fortifications in the southern suburbs. Ukrainian troops have held these positions since 2014. The bitter defence in Avdiivka has seen Ukrainian troops reluctantly yielding ground in almost daily combat over the past six months. Recent engagements included Ukrainian crews successfully repelling an attack led by Russia’s formidable T-90M tank.
Report from Avdiivka concerning an FPV-drone unit belonging to the "Bozha Sprava" unit of the 47th Mechanised Brigade, mentioning Russian "digging tactics" and their widespread use of infantry after significant vehicle losses. pic.twitter.com/nMzUUyAa9y— WarTranslated (Dmitri) (@wartranslated) January 22, 2024
Current Situation and Strategic Focus
As of Tuesday morning, Russian attacks continued at multiple locations, with the primary focus on the Avdiivka sector, frequently backed by air strikes. Heavy fighting was also reported in the Zaporizhzhia sector and around a Ukrainian bridgehead on the east bank of the Dnipro River near Kherson. Despite mounting losses, there was minimal substantial movement in the fighting lines.
Ukrainian Counterattacks and International Observations
Official Ukrainian claims suggest that the recent wave of Russian assaults has resulted in near-record short-term losses for the Kremlin, with 201 Russian military vehicles claimed to have been put out of action by Ukrainian forces from January 21-22. British intelligence reports attribute the intensification of Russian offensive activity to freezing ground conditions, allowing cross-country movement of armoured vehicles.
Losses and Analysis
Recent data from independent analyst Ragnar Gudmundsson indicates a significant increase in losses from recent Kremlin assaults. Daily counts of destroyed and knocked-out Russian military vehicles have nearly doubled, reflecting the escalating intensity of the conflict.
In summary, the Russo-Ukraine war entered a critical phase as Russian forces surged, gaining ground in multiple sectors. The strategic landscape is evolving rapidly, marked by fierce battles and shifting front lines.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What prompted the renewed Russian offensive in Ukraine?
The recent surge in Russian military activity in Ukraine can be attributed to a complex interplay of geopolitical factors, regional tensions, and strategic objectives. The shifting dynamics on the ground, coupled with long-standing disputes, have contributed to the escalation of hostilities.
How significant is the loss of Krokhmalne for the Ukrainian forces?
The loss of Krokhmalne represents a strategic setback for Ukrainian forces, particularly in the north-eastern Luhansk-Kupiansk sector. While Ukrainian officials emphasize strategic relocations and stable defense lines, the capture of this village by Russian forces may have broader implications for the overall military landscape in the region.
What is the current state of the conflict in Avdiivka, and why is it crucial?
Avdiivka has witnessed intense and prolonged fighting, with Russian forces breaking heavily fortified Ukrainian lines. This city holds strategic importance, and the ongoing battles highlight the challenges faced by Ukrainian troops in maintaining control. The situation in Avdiivka is indicative of the broader complexities in the Russo-Ukraine conflict.
How are international observers and intelligence agencies assessing the situation?
International observers and intelligence agencies, including the British Ministry of Defence, are closely monitoring the evolving conflict. The recent increase in Russian offensive activity is being analyzed in the context of freezing ground conditions, enabling greater maneuverability for armored vehicles. The assessment underscores the need for a comprehensive understanding of the environmental factors influencing military strategies in the region.