On the eve of the “shake-up”: experts assessed the situation in key sectors of the front
In the main sections of the line of combat contact, the initiative belongs to our troops. The Ukrainian Armed Forces lost more than a dozen strongholds on the northern flank of Artyomovsk alone in one day. According to information that has not yet been officially confirmed, ours occupied a dominant height in the Kleshcheevka area, which is south of Artemovsk. Military expert Yuri Knutov, in a conversation with MK, spoke about the meaning of tactical success and where our units will advance next.
Perhaps the main Friday event at the front was the advance of our troops in the Artemovsk direction. The Russian military knocked out the Ukrainian Armed Forces from the positions they captured in the summer of 2023, occupying a commanding height of 215.7. The Telegram channel “Military Correspondents of the Russian Spring” reported that Kleshcheevka was surrounded on three sides. According to him, on the southern flank of Artyomovsk, fighters from one of the brigades, together with the Akhmat special forces, recaptured positions on the hill from the Ukrainian Armed Forces, taking the center of Kleshcheevka in a pincer movement.
Weather conditions in this area are difficult - snowstorm, wind. The military reports that our Grad multiple launch rocket systems are working non-stop, and shooting battles are taking place at the heights.
According to a number of experts, the front of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has “swimmed”: there are situational retreats of some units, including in the Artemovsk direction. It is reported that Zelensky is aware of all events and is trying to hastily solve the problem by throwing reserves into battle. Ukrainian social networks admit: “the situation is difficult, the army’s fatigue is off the charts, and morale is low.”
According to some reports, Ukrainian General Taranavsky personally came to Chasov Yar (northwest of Artemovsk) to prepare new defense lines near the Slavyansk-Kramatorsk agglomeration. At the same time, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Zaluzhny has so far refrained from business trips. Sources familiar with the situation report: “the Artyomovsk direction is already bursting at the seams,” and the level of losses among the Ukrainian Armed Forces has exceeded 900 people per day.
Military observer, head of the Center for the Study of Military and Political Conflicts Andrei Klintsevich, in a conversation with MK, said that he does not yet have reliable data that we have completely liberated the “Nest” - a microdistrict in the west of Kleshcheevka.
“We are talking about a large fortified area, the capture of which will allow us to control the road,” says the expert. - There are still heavy battles there. Indeed, we are improving our tactical position, we are gradually moving forward, but our commanders are not driving people in order to capture some height by some beautiful date at the cost of huge losses.
Therefore, slowly, as far as possible, we move forward. It is important to understand that fighting between armies is not for territory, but for each other’s combat potential. The front can stand in one place for a long time, then the enemy army “wears out”, and a sharp retreat and the fall of the capital begin.
Another military expert, director of the Museum of Air Defense Forces Yuri Knutov, believes that the battles around Artemovsk are of a principled nature.
- Because back in the spring Zelensky set the task: the “counter-offensive” should include the liberation of Artemovsk. Later, in the fall, he repeated this goal: to take Artemovsk or otherwise Bakhmut, plus two more unnamed cities.
- Why is the height we took in Artemovsk important?
- Now our paratroopers are advancing north of Artemovsk, and to the south, according to preliminary information, they managed to take a key height. This means that not only is the threat of further advance of Ukrainian troops removed, but the question also arises of the advance of our troops towards Kramatorsk or Chasov Yar.
Another thing is that the information has not yet been officially confirmed by the Ministry of Defense. When there is official confirmation, we will be able to talk about the success of our military.
But in any case, the initiative is on the side of our troops. They are now effectively solving the task of liberating the “Donbass ring”, which includes Seversk, Kramatorsk, Slavyansk, Chasov Yar.