Fortified Chasiv Yar difficult for Russia to capture — Estonian intelligence

Ukrainian troops in Donetsk Oblast
Ukrainian troops in Donetsk Oblast

Although Russia has been gradually gaining ground in Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast, seizing Chasiv Yar would be a substantial challenge for Moscow, head of Estonia’s Defense Intelligence, Col. Ants Kiviselg, said on April 19.

The Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service reports an increase in Russian military artillery assaults on Ukrainian forces across all fronts in recent days. According to the intelligence service, the invaders have achieved "some successes" on the front line.

As reported by Estonian public broadcaster ERR, Kiviselg added that Russian troops northwest of Avdiivka managed to push Ukrainian forces back by approximately 5 km in recent weeks.

Around Chasy Yar itself, enemy forces advanced from the southern flank, intensifying their offensive. However, no significant retreats or breaches in the Ukrainian defensive lines have been identified, according to the report.

Read also: Russia aims to capture Chasiv Yar in Donbas by May 9 - Ukraine's army chief Syrskyi

Estonian intelligence notes that Ukrainian forces are gradually relinquishing control over territories where fortifications are nonexistent or where effective defense cannot be maintained. Ukraine desperately requires support from its Western partners, primarily in terms of munitions.

The Donetsk direction remains the primary focus of Russian offensive efforts, where a considerable portion of Russian forces is concentrated. Nevertheless, Estonian intelligence does not predict a swift capture of Chasy Yar due to Ukraine's strong defensive fortifications in the area.

Ukrainian military officials previously warned that if Chasy Yar falls under Russian control, an offensive towards Kostiantynivka, Druzhkivka, Kramatorsk, and Slovyansk could follow.

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