Russian army makes small gains on eastern Ukraine front amid intense attacks — British intelligence

Avdiivka (illustrative photo)
Avdiivka (illustrative photo)

Despite Russia opening a new front in northeastern Ukraine's Kharkiv Oblast, the intensity of Russian attacks in eastern Ukraine remains high, according to a British Defense Ministry intelligence report published on May 21.

Russian troops are concentrating their operational efforts northwest of Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast, attacking a wide front on both sides of the E50 highway.

Over the past 72 hours, Russian forces may have scored several small tactical victories, although this likely came at a high cost.

Read also: Russia not likely to seize Kharkiv without extra troops — UK intel

The E50 highway is the main line of communication between occupied Donetsk and Ukraine-controlled Pokrovsk, which is 30 km from the current front line but remains a Russian operational target.

British intelligence notes that attacks in this area are likely aimed at creating a visible threat and splitting Ukrainian forces in Donetsk Oblast.

Read also: Kharkiv Oblast front quiets down - Half as many clashes on May 20 as day before

In the vicinity of Siversk, north of occupied Bakhmut, Ukrainian troops reported heavy clashes with Russian forces on May 18 and 19, and attacks on Ukrainian positions in Bilohorivka, Verkhniokamianske, and Rozdolivka. However, Russian units’ successes in this area remain extremely limited.

The situation in eastern Ukraine and Russia's offensive in Kharkiv Oblast

Russian invasion forces managed to gain a foothold near Ocheretyne in Donetsk Oblast, using four brigades to achieve success in this area, Nazar Voloshyn, spokesman for the Khortytsia operational and strategic troop grouping, said on April 27.

Read also: Russian drone attacks injure at least five in Kharkiv, fires break out at four sites in the city

Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi confirmed on April 28 that the situation at the front had escalated. Ukrainian defenders withdrew to the west of the villages of Berdychi, Semenivka, and Novomykhailivka.

The U.S.-based Institute for the Study of War noted that on April 30, Russian troops did not make any confirmed advances near Avdiivka for the first time in several days.

Oleh Kalashnikov, a spokesman for the 26th Roman Dashkevych Artillery Brigade, said on May 2 that Russian forces would not be able to capture Chasiv Yar in Donetsk Oblast by May 9, as previously planned.

Russian troops attempted to break through Ukraine's defense near Vovchansk in Kharkiv Oblast on May 10, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry reported, noting that Ukrainian defenders repelled the attacks.

Read also: One injured in explosions in Kharkiv after Russia targets transportation infrastructure - Mayor Terekhov

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed that Russian invasion forces had launched a new wave of counteroffensives in this area.

General Syrskyi described the situation in Kharkiv Oblast as "escalated," adding that Russian troops had expanded the area of active hostilities by 70 kilometers.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine