Ukrainian assault and airborne infantry units were consolidating around newly-captured terrain at locations across the frontline Bakhmut sector and repelled Russian attempts to recapture lost ground at two locations, according to news reports and official Ukrainian statements, on Thursday July 6.

Pro-Russian information platforms reported that Ukrainian troops were digging in near the Berkhivka and Yahidne villages to the north-east of Bakhmut, after recapturing positions lost to Russian assaults as long ago as May. The early July successes marked continued progress on a wider front in a double axis offensive that was initially launched by Ukraine in the Bakhmut sector in early June.

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A Russian combined arms assault to push Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU) units back on Wednesday failed to eject Ukrainian troops from the newly-gained positions, as pro-Russia combat correspondent Simon Pegov reported on Thursday on his Telegram channel.  An official July 6 situation estimate published by Ukraine’s Army General Staff (AGS) confirmed Ukrainian units had repelled the Russian counterattacks against Berkhivka and Yahidne.

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Social media and news reports, in some cases backed up by video and geolocated photographs posted by soldiers themselves, showed Ukrainian daily progress measured in hundreds of meters. The AFU advances were based on deliberate, short-range assaults calculated to captured a single wood-line or a farm field, reports agreed.

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One person was injured in the attack, which also damaged the church and about a dozen houses and shops.

Comments made by Ukraine’s ground forces commander, Oleksandr Syrsky to Ukrainian national media on Wednesday July 5 praised the 10th Mountain Brigade, a formation long-deployed to the north-west of Bakhmut, for recently gaining ground, capturing prisoners of war, and success in defeating the Russian counterattacks. Syrsky said: the brigade had conducted “assaults that succeeded in seizing a range of territory and in destroying a significant number of occupiers [Russian troops].” He did not say where.

Battle videos posted by the brigade itself on Tuesday July 4 and Wednesday July 5 indicated the unit is fighting in the northern Bakhmut sector. Footage showed heavily-armed Ukrainian infantrymen backed by armored personnel carriers and observation drones, deliberately clearing trench lines using grenades and small arms fire. Other images showed medics from the 10th treating soldiers for splinter and gunshot wounds

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The 80th Air Assault Brigade, a seasoned AFU fighting unit deployed to the south-west of Bakhmut, published YouTube video on Wednesday July 5 showing Russian soldiers peacefully agreeing to surrender to Ukrainian troopers advancing through a wood-line, and other Russian soldiers fighting to the death from fortifications only meters away. One surviving Russian said he was a reservist from Omsk. The 80th attack puElena Milashinashed Ukrainian lines 300 meters forward, the high-profile Ukrainian military journalist Yury Butusov said.

Aside from the 10th Mountain and 80th Air Assault, are both longstanding regular AFU formations that existed prior to Russia’s Feb. 2022 invasion. The recently-raised 3rd and 5th Assault Brigades have long been deployed to the Bakhmut sector and are widely credited as being key players in Ukraine’s most successful advances in its summer offensive to date.

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Both the 3rd and 5th were raised at the outset of the war as all volunteer formations with strong contingents from pre-existing civil society patriotic groups, and veterans of fighting against Russia’s initial invasion of Ukraine from 2014-2022.  

The 5th Brigade’s 24th “Aidar” battalion on Wednesday reported on its unit social media channels on Wednesday July 5 that it had continued progress to the south of Bakhmut and had captured multiple Russian POWs.

Soldiers from the Kyiv-raised 3rd forwarded images to Kyiv Post of their unit improving former Russian army fortifications captured over the past several days, in the same vicinity. Unit press statements credited the 3rd with recent territorial gains to the south-west of Bakhmut.

The Kremlin lost a reported 22,000 soldiers killed during almost five months of bloody, frontal attacks before eventually capturing Bakhmut in May.

Russian military blogger Alexander Sladkov in his personal news feed on Thursday, July 6 said Ukrainian infantry backed by armored vehicles was digging in on high ground overlooking Klishchiivka, to the south-west of Bakhmut, although Russian troops still held the town itself. Continued AFU control of the Klishchiivka high ground would place much of the city of Bakhmut under threat from Ukrainian artillery, he said.

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The AFU was rotating in fresh troops and was, therefore not conducting ground attacks in the area during Thursday July 6, but drone-controlled Ukrainian shell fire was intense. Russian troops were holding their positions, Sladkov said. Pegov, in a July 6 news article said of the Donbas sector “In any case, in terms of numbers of artillery strikes … the Ukrainian side has the advantage in this area.”

“Ukrainian tanks are causing a lot of trouble because they are firing from hidden positions, and hitting [Russian troops and equipment] with direct fire. The [Ukrainian tanks] drive out under the cover of a large amount of smoke, they hit our [Russian] positions, after which they roll back,” Pegov said.

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Comments (2)

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Paolo
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I still think/hope the Ukrainian strategy is,
1. retake Bakhmut and destroy the little morale russian troops have left.
2. The main thrust/offensive will be across pontoon Bridges at kherson, which will see many russian defence lines collapse in kherson and zaporizhzhia oblasts.

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Oslo
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If they had airsuppot think what they could do. Their resistance to this evil is courageous.

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