Ukrainian troops on the offensive in the eastern Bakhmut sector used a military version of bait and switch to capture a key high ground and advance hundreds of meters towards a tactically important town, Ukrainian and Russian information sources said Wednesday.

Ukrainian units tasked to capture and hold heights overlooking the town Klishchiivka pushed Kremlin troops out of defensive positions, retreated intentionally, and then used drone-controlled artillery and mortar strikes to hammer counter-attacking Russian infantry units attempting to re-occupy the entrenchments, reports said.

Leading Ukrainian military reporter Yury Butusov in a personal Telegram channel comment said elements of the Armed Forces of Ukraine’s (AFU) 80th Air Assault Brigade and the Interior Ministry’s Lyut (Ukrainian: Rage) Assault Brigade executed the artillery ambush against elite Russian army paratroopers.


The Lyut Brigade posted a video of the Russian air assault troops driving straight into a hailstorm of howitzer shells and mortar rounds.

Butusov quoted Russian milbloggers confirming video evidence of close to a dozen Russian paratroopers dying or becoming severely wounded in the space of a few minutes.

“The [Russian] air assault unit went on a counterattack on the outskirts of Klishchiivka, where elite Nazi attack aircraft of Azov [a Ukrainian unit in the vicinity] and other brigades of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are breaking through. The guys [Russian paratroopers] were ambushed and even though outnumbered and outgunned, managed to repel the enemy attack to the end. The result is unknown, we hope that the guys survived.”

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How “the (Russian) guys survived,” Butusov commented sardonically, “is clearly visible from the footage.”

On Tuesday, July 25, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) geolocated footage that showed Ukrainian forces had made tactically significant gains south of Klishchiivka. Major Ukrainian news agencies including UNIAN reported heavy and for Ukrainian forces successful battles around the town.


Official Ukrainian army sources on Wednesday confirmed AFU attacks in the Bakhmut-Klishchiivka sector, without giving details. Kyiv assaults in the area since mid-June have generally been successful but painfully slow, pushing Ukrainian lines eastward at a pace of some 100-200 meters a day.

Pro-Moscow information platforms widely confirmed Russian loss of ground around Klishchiivka, but spins on the degree of local defeat varied, with some sources saying the AFU had completely ejected Kremlin forces from Klishchiivka, and others claiming Kremlin troops in the vicinity were under heavy Ukrainian pressure and possibly losing ground, but still fighting hard.

Simen Pegov, a pro-Russian “war correspondent” posting on his personal WarGonzo Telegram channel, said that the AFU “tried to attack” Klishchiivka, but did not give details. The channel Starshe Eddy, a 600,000+ subscriber platform edited by Russian “journalist” German Kulikovsky, wrote: “The name of the village Klishchiivka will for sure go down in history.

The very best infantry in the world captured it by assault, and on it depends the fate of Bakhmut. Now the [profane Russian word for Ukrainians] are trying to beat our infantryman off the high ground, but the RF Armed Forces are holding this settlement with the hardest battles.”


The independent Russian news agency Astra cited front-line Russian soldiers as saying Klishchiivka was abandoned by Russian reserve troops with poor morale.

“According to our information, they (Russian troops) left Klishchiivka today. Mobilized (reserve) personnel are weakly motivated to fight, tired of the fighting, and don’t understand how much longer they will have to serve in the SVO [war] zone,” the Astra report said.

Some Ukrainian social media identified Chechen paramilitary police as another unit forced out of Klishchiivka in heavy fighting, along with the Russian paratroopers. Kyiv Post was unable to confirm the report.

Ukrainian progress also was reported, by both sides, in the vicinity of the village Andriivka, to the south of Klishchiivka. One video geolocated fighting to a point on the railroad line between Klishchiivka and Andriivka.

The industrial town Klishchiivka lies some seven kilometers to the west of the Donbas city Bakhmut, a focus of intense fierce fighting since August 2022. Russian forces gained full control of Bakhmut in late May 2023, according to Kremlin official statements losing at least 20,000 soldiers dead or seriously wounded in the process.


Ukrainian recapture of Bakhmut would be an embarrassment and setback for the Kremlin, which has named full Russian control of all of Ukraine’s Donbas region a national war aim.

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Comments (4)
Christopher Glover
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Isn't a Klishch a blood sucking parasite. How apt that the Russian leadership has decided to let their army bleed out in a town named after ticks.
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Keep the good fight up forcUkraine
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That was beautiful seeing those rotten bastard Russians being slaughtered!! hats off to the Ukraine soldiers who sent these mfrs to hell😈

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@Mark, It was beautiful! It brought a smile to my face!
I support
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Good work!