Ukrainian forces pressed assaults in three zones, while Russian forces counterattacked near Kremmina and Avdiivka. There were reported Ukrainian moves toward Priyutne in Zaporizhzhia region – the southern-most point of Ukraine’s offensive to date. Ukrainians held their small foothold near Antonivsky Bridge across Dnipro in Kherson region and may be amphibiously attempting to take adjacent islands. Russian propaganda proclaims pizzeria attack a success that targeted NATO instructors – and killed three teenage girls.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov told the UK’s Financial Times:
· Offensive action to date is a “preview” of a much bigger push to come;
· Ukraine’s army continues to impose heavy losses on Russian troops with “degradation as a tool and the liberation of Ukrainian lands as the goal”;
· Ukraine’s main troop reserves, including most brigades recently trained in the West and equipped with modern NATO tanks and armored vehicles, have yet to be used;
· Ukraine’s forces had made “certain gains” that the General Staff had not made public to avoid exposing troops; and,
· The operation would contrast with last year’s rout of Russian forces in Kyiv, the northeastern Kharkiv region and the southern city of Kherson. “You can’t expect a miracle in every operation.”
General Zones and Activity
Russian forces continued intense artillery, aerial and armored counterattacks at Dachi on the left-bank of the Dnipro River and near the Antonivsky Bridge in the Kherson region. Ukrainian forces – estimated at company strength – remain on the position, according to Deep State and to pro-Russian sources.
Pro-Russian sources said the Ukrainians were undertaking amphibious raids in the area of several islands south of Kherson and that “there is no confident control over the gray zone in the region of the islands.”
A leading Ukrainian milblogger said that “by pushing Russians from these small islands and residential areas, Ukrainians can gradually gain complete freedom of movement on the river, even without controlling the other bank. Russian analysts are warning that once Ukrainian forces push the Russians to the mainland, the Ukrainians will start looking for a weak spot. Given the length of the front line, the probability that the Ukrainians will find such a weak spot is extremely high.”
Russia took a form of responsibility for the missile strike on a Kramatorsk pizzeria which killed 11 people including three teenage girls. Russian propagandist Olga Skabeyeva, a state TV host, said: “The missiles were aimed at NATO instructors and the strike’s objective was achieved.”
Russian forces mounted offensive assaults: a) in the Serebyansky forest area near Kremmina in Luhansk region, where fighting is extensive and intensive, and; b) at Pervomaisk and Mariinka, which were unsuccessful according to pro-Russian sources, in Donetsk region.
Ukrainian soldiers from the anti-aircraft missile division of the Edelweiss 10th Mountain Assault Brigade shot down a Russian Su-25 ground attack aircraft.
Russian forces undertook two missile strikes, 44 air strikes and 20 strikes using Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), such as the S-300 system used to hit Kramatorsk.
A prominent Russian milblogger cited by ISW claimed that Wagner’s rebellion has prompted “large-scale purges” among the command cadre of the Russian armed forces and that the Russian MoD is currently undergoing a “crash test” for loyalty.
Three people were killed by Russian shelling in Kherson region, according to the regional governor.
Zone A. TO518 / Mokri Yaly River Axis - boundary of the Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions
Ukrainian units advanced towards Priyutne, according to pro-Russian sources. This would represent the “southern-most” assault position in this zone to date. Taking Priyutne would represent a spearhead Ukrainian position between liberated Levadne, five kilometers to the west, liberated Makarivka, some 10 kilometers to the east and liberated Rivnopil, some five kilometers to the north.
Zone B. Western Zaporizhzhia
There was on-going fighting and Ukrainian offensive assaults north of Robotyne, according to Ukrainian milblogger Deep State and pro-Russian sources.
Zone C. Bakhmut
Ukrainian forces made gains on the route from Slovyansk to Bakhmut, according to Deep State, and gains near Klishchivka, according to pro-Russian sources.
Russian forces unsuccessfully counterattacked near Berehivka, according to pro-Russian sources.
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