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Commander: Ukrainian forces breach Russian defensive line near Bakhmut

by Dinara Khalilova September 18, 2023 7:37 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian soldiers fire with D-30 artillery at Russian positions in the direction of Klishchiivka in Donetsk Oblast on Aug. 12, 2023. (Photo credit: Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Ukrainian troops have broken through one of the Russian defensive lines near Donetsk Oblast’s Bakhmut, Oleksandr Syrskyi, the commander of the Ukrainian Ground Forces who heads the military operations in the east, reported on Sept. 18.

Fierce battles are underway around Bakhmut, with Russia conducting multiple counterattacks from various directions, trying to regain lost positions following Ukraine’s liberation of Andriivka and Klishchiivka, according to Syrskyi.

“After all, these small, at first glance, settlements were important elements of the enemy's defensive line, which stretched from Bakhmut to Horlivka,” the military official said.

US intelligence: ‘Realistic possibility’ that Ukraine can break through remaining Russian lines in 2023
There is a “realistic possibility” that Ukrainian forces can break through the remaining Russian defensive lines on the southern front by the end of 2023, Trent Maul, the director for analysis of the U.S.′ Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), said in an interview with The Economist on Sept. 6.

However, the general battlefield situation in the east “remains difficult" as Russia is actively preparing for offensive operations in the Kupiansk and Lyman directions, added Colonel General Syrskyi.

Ukrainian military announced on Sept. 17 that it had liberated Klishchiivka after more than three months of counteroffensive operations on the Bakhmut axis. The village of Klishchiivka, which lies about nine kilometers south of Bakhmut, was occupied by Russia in January.

Soldiers with Ukraine’s 3rd Separate Assault Brigade deployed in the area earlier told the Kyiv Independent that advancing toward Klishchiivka was highly challenging due to heavily mined fields and Russia’s constant artillery fire.

On Sept. 15, Ukraine’s General Staff announced the liberation of Andriivka, another small settlement located nearly three kilometers south of Klishchiivka and less than 10 kilometers from occupied Bakhmut.

Inching forward in Bakhmut counteroffensive, Ukraine’s hardened units look ahead to long, grim war
Editor’s note: Though the commanders quoted in this story are public figures, the other soldiers are identified by first names and callsigns only due to security reasons. DONETSK OBLAST — In a wide field in Donetsk Oblast, the silence of what would otherwise be a sleepy August afternoon is broken

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