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Thu May 23, 2024, 11:50 PM May 23

23 May: Russians decimated! Ukrainians launch successful counterattacks! - Reporting from Ukraine [View all]

Day 820: May 23

Today, there are a lot of developments in the Avdiivka direction.

Here, Ukrainians have halted the Russian breakthrough and commenced counterattacks to regain lost positions.

The main Russian objective to the west of Avdiivka is to take control over the Ukrainian city and headquarters of Pokrovsk. Ukrainians have established numerous defensive lines to defend the city. As Russians had taken huge losses in attacking the Ukrainian lines head-on, they attempted to utilize their breakthrough near Ocheretyne to outflank the Ukrainian defenses and collapse the frontline.

Over the past month, Russian forces have leveraged their breakthrough near Ocheretyne to take control over as many settlements as possible. Ukrainians, initially still suffering from a significant shortage of artillery shells, utilized intense drone strikes to halt the Russian momentum. At the same time, the Russian offensive effort near Chasiv-Yar and Kharkiv limited the Russian ability to reinforce their losses in the salient adequately. With insufficient reinforcements and a high rate of losses, the Russian offensive is quickly stalling.

Despite their quickly draining combat capabilities, Russians continued to attempt localized attacks to improve their tactical situation and consolidate their gains. In particular, Russians tried to increase their buffer zone south-west of Ocheretyne by attacking toward the settlements of Sokil and Novopokrovske. Towards Novopokrovske, Russian infantry assault groups advanced through the tree lines with the support of numerous tanks.

Drone operators from the 47th mechanized brigade released geolocated footage of a Russian assault consisting of 2 armored personnel carriers and a T-90M tank. Interestingly, the Russian tank was not leading the assault group and was instead held back for support. The first armored personnel carrier then promptly drove over an anti-tank mine and was destroyed on impact. Russian infantry on the second armored transport then quickly dismounted and attempted to take cover while Ukrainian artillery opened fire on their positions.

The Russian assault quickly devolved into chaos as the supporting tank turned around to escape from the Ukrainian artillery barrage. During its retreat, the tank was hit by an FPV drone, disabling it as the crew fled to safety. Footage from a second observation drone shows how another Russian tank was sent into the settlement to support the Russian infantry. This tank was hit by an FPV drone as well but managed to make it out of the settlement, where it was later abandoned. Astonishingly, Russians sent a third tank into the village, which also quickly turned around as soon as Ukrainian artillery shells started exploding near it. Ukrainian drone operators later shared footage of how they finished off both disabled Russian tanks with FPV kamikaze drones.

The Russian attacks toward Sokil went similarly; Russian assault groups transported by armored personnel carriers attacked the settlement of Sokil. The armored transports drove over mines, whereafter, the infantry dismounted and were engaged by Ukrainian artillery. However, here, Russian assault groups managed to take up positions in the clearing halfway down the road. Another failed Russian assault was also halted halfway, but this time with an FPV kamikaze drone. Ukrainian artillery crews then opened fire on the remaining Russian infantry with cluster munitions. Ukrainians also deployed a Bradley infantry fighting vehicle to finish off the Russian vehicle together with the infantry.

After the attacks, Ukrainians decided to degrade the Russian infantry, not only in their newly established positions but also in the settlements themselves. Geolocated footage shows how Ukrainian drone operators intensely targeted Russian infantry with FPV kamikaze drones during the day and drone-dropped grenades at night. Ukrainians also detected a large group of infantry moving into one of the houses to take shelter there. Ukrainians later detected many more of these shelters and equipped their FPV drones with heavy explosives to effectively collapse and destroy these buildings. Besides destroying all Russian infantry inside, collapsing...
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