Russian Federation (RF) attacks ground forward in the eastern Donbas sector on 28 Apr., according to Ukrainian official statements and news reports, as Kyiv blew up one key road bridge across the Severny Donets River, and prepared another for demolition, in an attempt to blunt the RF attack.
A Ukraine Armed Forces (UAF) statement confirmed earlier reports and images on social media that sappers had blown up a bridge across the Severny Donets River close to the village of Yampol. RF forces have been fighting with UAF units in the adjacent town Liman for at least five days, in an attempt to break through to the regional RF objectives, the cities Slovyansk and Kramatorsk, said Serhiy Haidai, Luhansk regional defense command head, in a statement.
The US-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) 27 April Published graphics showing progressive RF penetration into, and degradation of UAF positions blocking attacks towards Slovyansk and Severodonetsk. UAF official statements have confirmed limited losses of ground but claimed RF units paid a high price in men and equipment to advance.
UAF units in general were maintaining a coherent defensive line and no RF breakthroughs had taken place, the AGS statement said. According to social media reports, another key bridge across the Severny Donetsk, north of the town of Slovyansk, was prepped for detonation. RF-controlled media confirmed the report.
Oleh Sinehubov, head of the neighboring Kharkiv regional defense command, said that RF forces were, beyond attempting to force their way across the Severny Donets River, attempting to advance west towards Kharkiv, in a bid to widen what he called the main RF offensive aiming south from RF railheads in Kupiansk.
RF units also were focusing strong attacks on the town Rubzhne, on the outskirts of the regional center Severodonetsk, Hadai said. For the three days in a row RF units have launched three or four storming attempts at Rubizhne every 24 hours, each time to be repelled with losses, he said. Haidai and social media from UAF units in the Rubizhne sector reported RF prisoners and combat vehicles were captured on 27 Apr. fighting.
Elsewhere in the Donbas sector, RF artillery pounded UAF positions near the towns Popasna and Marynka, and RF ground units captured the villages Spivakova and Zavody, a statement from the Ukraine Army General Staff (AGS) said. This was the second day in a row the AGS, one of Ukraine’s most careful and conservative official military information sources, admitted the UAF had lost ground to RF forces in the Donbas sector.
According to Ukrainian military unit social media, RF forces have changed attack tactics from the early days of the war, preceding any attempt at advance with heavy artillery fire and airstrikes, and trying to keep ground forces under cover as much as possible.
In late February and March UAF drone-controlled artillery inflicted heavy casualties on RF forces which, at the time, moved along open roads in columns, at times, of hundreds of vehicles.
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