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ISW: Ukraine signals plan to leverage initiative in Bakhmut offensive

by Abbey Fenbert June 30, 2023 7:28 AM 1 min read
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Announcements from top Ukrainian officials show that Ukraine has seized the strategic initiative in their advance on Bakhmut and will likely leverage this advantage in a broad offensive, the Institute for the Study of War reported on June 29.

Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said in a June 29 Telegram post that Ukrainian troops "seized the operational initiative in (the Bakhmut) area of the front" and that Russian forces are "gradually retreating after suffering losses."

According to Malyar, Ukrainian troops gained 1,200 meters in their advance toward Klischiivka, which lies seven kilometers southwest of Bakhmut, and 1,500 meters toward Kurdyumivka, 13 kilometers southwest of the city.

In a similar announcement, the Ukrainian military reported on Facebook that its soldiers are conducting "a broad offensive" near Bakhmut.  

Commander in Chief Valeriy Zaluzhniy echoed assertions of a "strategic initiative" in a telephone conversation with Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, Zaluzhniy said in a Telegram post on June 28.

Russians captured Bakhmut on May 21, 2023, after nearly a year of fighting for control over the city in Donetsk Oblast. Since then, the ISW reports, Ukraine has held strategic initiative "at every level of war across nearly the entire front."

The joint announcements from Ukrainian officials may indicate  plans to exploit this initiative to a greater extent in the ongoing battle over Bakhmut, the ISW writes.

Ukraine war latest: Reznikov says ‘main event’ of counteroffensive ahead; Russian June 27 attack on Kramatorsk kills 11
Key developments on June 28: * Reznikov: ‘Main event’ of counteroffensive yet to come, reserves still not deployed * General: ‘Partial success’ over past day on the southeastern front * State Emergency Service: 11 killed, 56 wounded in Russia’s June 27 missile strike on Kramatorsk * Polish and…
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