Russian defenses are holding across the southern sector and in the northeastern Kharkiv sector Moscow’s troops have gained ground, multiple Kremlin information platforms said on Friday.

Ukrainian and independent news sources confirmed little forward movement by Ukrainian troops anywhere, and a spike of fighting near the Kharkiv sector town Kreminna.

In the southern Zaporizhzhia sector, reportedly, Russian air force helicopter gunships, TOS heavy flamethrower systems and army artillery turned back Ukrainian attacks near the villages Urozhaine and Makarivka. Kyiv losses over the past 24 hours in that narrow sector included at least two tanks and six other armored vehicles, the pro-Russia VoinDV channel claimed.

Villages along the tactically important Velika Novoselivka-Tokmak highway have been at the epicenter of heavy fighting following Ukraine’s kick-off of its summer offensive on June 10. Makarivka and Urozhaine are near the southmost point of the Ukrainian advance.

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Ukrainian progress has been slow and Ukrainian officials are insisting Kyiv’s main attack is yet to be launched. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in an interview with BBC published Thursday acknowledged the offensive’s limited pace thus far and predicted it would accelerate. Vadym Skibitsky, vice head of the AFU’s main intelligence directorate, in an interview published by the web magazine RBK-Ukraina on Friday said Ukrainian offensive operations will probably continue for the next two or three months.

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According to  Kyiv Post research, the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) has committed a bit more than one third of its newly formed reserve units to the summer offensive, the main punch is likely still yet to be thrown, but when that might be is not clear.

Multiple pro-Russia platforms on Friday reported Russian troop advances in the northeastern Kreminna sector, with the Telegram channel Rybar-Z saying: “Intensive battles near Kreminna are continuing, where Russian airborne infantry are conducting offensive operations in the Serebransky forest region… the (Ukrainian) situation is difficult in this sector and they have lost a series of positions.”

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A Friday Russian Defense Ministry statement also claimed offensive success in the Kreminna sector, saying Russian air strikes had badly damaged a Ukrainian unit near the village Kolodezhnoye. Russian artillery and mortar attacks inflicted heavy personnel and military equipment losses on Ukraine’s 32nd Brigade, in fighting further to the south, the official Kremlin statement claimed.

Contradicting Russian reports of captured Ukrainian positions, Kyiv official sources claimed their troops had advanced in the Kreminna sector. Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar, in an official statement said Ukrainian forces in the Kreminna area in the Luhansk region achieved “partial success” and had “consolidated themselves in new positions.”

The relatively rosy Russian situation reports directly contradicted Wednesday claims by Russian mercenary boss Evgeney Prigozhin, who accused the Russian top army leadership of lying to President Vladimir Putin about the situation in the villages Sadove and Urozhaine which, Prigozhin declared, were lost to Ukrainian forces earlier in the week.

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Russia’s Defense Ministry on Friday moved to confront that narrative, publishing video on its official Telegram channel of an armed men standing in front of what appeared to be buildings in both villages. Kyiv Post was unable to confirm the Russian claims.

Ukrainian army spokesperson Andriy Kovalev in Wednesday comments to independent media said the village Makarivka, consistent with Prigozhin’s claims, was partially under Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) control and that AFU units advancing elsewhere had achieved “limited success.” Heavy fighting in the northeastern Kreminna sector was still in progress, Kovalev said in a Friday update.

The AFU does not permit independent media on frontline positions. Kyiv Post was unable to confirm Kovalev’s claims.

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Comments (4)

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dfarning
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I would like to note that this article has been edited since I posted my comments. The tone and headline have changed from the Ukrainian counter-offense has stalled, according to the author's sources, to a more appropriate assessment that Russian defense lines are currently holding.

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dfarning
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I found this to be a very low-quality story by Stefan Korshak.

Professional and successful militaries practice operational security or (OPSEC). The lack of information leaking from the front is good, even though it might inconvenience writers trying to fill column inches.

Combine arms offensive maneuver operations are challenging. They take skill and experience to master. It is very reasonable for the AFU to start the offensive with a series of raids. Over time, these raids will increase in size, complexity, and tempo. Eventually, the attacks will have the follow-on forces to capture and hold territory.

The goals of these initial raids(attacks) are not necessarily to capture ground. Equally important short and medium-term objectives are:

1. Provide combat experience to new soldiers. It is also necessary to provide soldiers who have been promoted experience in their new roles.

2. Focus on high-value targets instead of gaining land. In a war, specific targets are often essential to destroy or degrade before capturing ground. Electronic Warfare, Radar, and other intelligence-gathering sites come to mind.

3. Attrite the enemy. Destroying or damaging an enemy's troops and equipment reduces their combat effectiveness.

dfarning
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4. Stress the enemy's reinforcements and supply lines. Russian defensive doctrine uses relatively weak first defenses. This first line depends on artillery and reinforcement troops on a secondary line to support them. Frequent, high-tempo raids wear out the reinforcing troops and equipment.

5. Counter-battery. Although Ukraine is improving in artillery parity, Russia still has more artillery rounds and artillery pieces. Ukraine is heavily emphasizing counter-battery at this phase in the offensive.

As impatient as people following along at home (and writers) might be, it may be weeks until we can assess the counter-offense's progress.

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Anna Maria
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Maybe read this- just waiting in comfortable position on hills in Zaphorizia to grind the enemy https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2023/6/23/2177122/-Ukraine-Update-Pyatykhatky-and-Pickett-s-Charge

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Jane Ramshaw
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What ever have I stumbled in to? I expected a news report from Ukraine, instead I'm reading a news feed about UAF provided by the enemy Russia! Have your offices been taken over? Definitely a "news" site to be avoided in future.

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