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ISW: Ukrainian forces likely conducted localized counterattack southwest of Bakhmut
Geolocated footage published on March 19 indicates that Ukrainian forces conducted a successful counterattack southwest of Ivanivske, located six kilometers west of Bakhmut, and pushed Russian forces further away from the key highway in the area, the Institute for the Study of War said in its latest update.
Serhii Cherevaty, a spokesperson for the eastern grouping of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said that Russian forces conducted 25 attacks in the Bakhmut area on March 19, but Russian forces likely only secured "marginal gains."
Russian sources amplified footage on March 18 alleging to show a column of Ukrainian armored vehicles along the highway southwest of Kostiantynivka (22 kilometers southwest of Bakhmut) and speculated that Ukrainian forces are preparing to launch counteroffensive operations southwest of Bakhmut.
A prominent Russian military blogger claimed that Ukrainian forces "are currently capable of intensifying counterattacks to stabilize the front line around Bakhmut."
"The growing Russian discussions about an imminent Ukrainian counteroffensive in the Bakhmut area suggest that Russian sources are increasingly uncertain about the Russian military’s ability to maintain the initiative around Bakhmut," the ISW found.