There’s supposedly a lot of action in this area, including several reports that Ukrainian forces have advanced multiple kilometers into formerly Russian occupied territory. But … you wouldn’t know that from this map, which actually shows more villages either held by Russia or in dispute than the last version. That’s not a function of a Russian advance. It’s more due to my having largely ignored this area until the last few weeks and failing to do the kind of village-by-village confirmations that have added detail to the Kherson and Kharkiv maps.
Basically, Ukraine has repelled a number of Russian attempts at a breakthrough along a line that runs from Kamyanske to Orhikiv to Hulyaipole. Back on June 4, there were also reports that Ukraine was pushing south with the intention of capturing Polohy. However, other than a couple of notable explosions at ammunition dumps in the area, there doesn’t seem to be any indication that Ukraine was more successful in this advance than Russia has been in theirs.
For all the Telegrams and Tweets indicating that Ukraine has taken X number of villages, or moved Y number of kilometers, I don’t have the detail — yet — to seriously define the boundaries in this area.
After moving across the Inhulets River south of Davydiv Brid, Ukrainian forces seemed to quicky expand the bridgehead and move swiftly east to liberate a number of small villages. However, Ukrainian movements toward the northern bridge at Nova Kakhovka continue to be mostly held up at Bruskynske, a location that has been reportedly “heavily fortified” by Russia. In a reversal of the normal reporting of events during this war, Ukraine had made multiple moves toward Bruskynske, but has been repelled by dug in Russian forces. However, fighting in the area continues.
There are really few changes in this map from yesterday. I’ve re-Russia’d the town of Tamaryne. After reports that Ukrainian forces were in the area back on June 4, there’s really been no more indication that this town was being contested. On the other hand, word on Friday evening was that Ukrainian forces had entered Snihurivka, so the status if that location may change soon.
On the southern end of the line, along the highway heading straight into Kherson, there are reportedly a lot of battery-counterbattery artillery battles underway. Whether Ukrainian forces in the area have any of the new Western artillery to engage with isn’t clear.
Ukrainian forces are reportedly in Davydiv Brid, actually fighting to take the town at this point. But a video on Saturday morning showed Ukrainan troops attempting to make a landing in the town from the west side using an inflatable boat, being hit and, at least, severely injured by an explosion guided by a Russian drone. I’m not showing that one.
On Friday, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense announced that a Russian battalion — the motorized infantry of the 1st Army Corps — had “refused to participate in hostilities” in the Kharkiv region due to “losses received in combat with Ukrainian defenders.” Keep in mind that this is the Ukrainian military making a statement about the Russian military, so the possibility of a pure propaganda statement here is high. But let’s hope it’s true.
The focus of much of the fighting appears to be over in the western half of this area. There were reports on Friday that Ukrainian troops were on the edge of eastern Lyptsi, but frankly … they’ve been there before. It’s been clear for awhile that Russia’s artillery positions were actually west of the town proper, so removing this threat requires Ukraine to fight through the town and force Russia to retreat from those positions to the west. The rest of this western line seems to be held by trenches that Russia dug along a line near the village of Dementiivka and up around the long established stronghold at Kozacha Lopan. If Ukraine can come around the right side at Lyptsi, not only might they finally start to significantly erase this holdout area of Russian control, they could finally — finally — end the daily hate-shelling of Kharkiv.
The big surprise on this map? Look way over on the lower right. Look lower. Okay, there are reports that Ukraine has not just assaulted, but recaptured Khotimlya. That east side of the river bridgehead is expanding. But if there’s one area on this map that is still getting whacked by artillery, it’s also over on that east side in the disputed area around Buhaivka and Metalivka (that’s the next white dot to the south). Most of these actions on the east side still seem to be relatively small. It’s unclear how much force Russia has detached to deal with these fights, but as Ukraine threatens their supply lines in two locations, expect that to change.
Earlier this week, we had a striking image of young woman wearing her prom dress in the ruins of the high school where she was supposed to graduate. That was in Kharkiv. Here are two groups of students in Chernihiv who took a pair of graduation photos that seem absolutely appropriate.
Russian Stuff Blowing Up Theater
If these names sound unfamiliar in terms of coverage about Kharkiv, it’s because they’re not up in the area north of the city of Kharkiv, but down near Izyum. If the implication here is that Brazhkivka is in Ukrainian control, that would be news, because that town has been ceded to Russia on most maps for a week. However, if Russia is all the way over on the doorsteps of Dolyna, that’s bad news, as it would put Russia about 7km closer to Slovyansk than reports on Friday, as well as positioning them where it might be possible to control both sides of a river crossing.