Tuesday, July 25, 2023

RUssia Seeks to Divert UKRainian Forces Away From Counteroffensive; RU TRIES to Conduct Sabotage Raids in Sumy, Chernihiv Oblasts; Scorched Earth Tactics in Bakhmut Now Turns Against RU; UKR Holds Line Near Avdiivka, Advances on Tavriia Front, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Photo by Emanuele Satolli for The WSJ
WSJ: Russia Seeks to Divert Ukrainian Forces Away From Counteroffensive
As Ukraine’s troops edge forward in the south and east, Russia presses an offensive in the north
As Ukrainian forces press a slow and costly counteroffensive to retake Russian-occupied territory in the south and east of the country, Moscow’s troops in one corner of northeastern Ukraine are pushing back in an effort to divert Kyiv’s army.
“They are constantly trying to advance, but we are fighting back,” said Lt. Oleksandr Zhytar, the commander of a howitzer battery stationed in hilly fields near the northeastern town of Lyman.
On a recent day, a Russian tank threatened Zhytar’s position, and the slim 21-year-old with an earring had to work fast.
After plotting the tank’s location on a tablet computer connected to the internet via Starlink, Zhytar gave the order to fire. A Ukrainian Gvozdika self-propelled howitzer emerged from the nearby woods and fired off two quick shots that made the tank retreat—for now.
On the front line here and further north, Russian forces have launched repeated attacks against Ukrainian forces in recent weeks. Ukrainian officials have warned that Russia is massing troops near the northern city of Kupyansk, which Kyiv’s army retook from Moscow during a lightning offensive last fall.
The aim is to prevent Kyiv from deploying more troops and equipment to other fronts in the south, where Ukrainian forces are assaulting entrenched Russian positions as part of a counteroffensive using troops trained and equipped by the West. While progress has been difficult, Ukrainian forces have recently seized most of the dominant heights around Bakhmut, threatening Russia’s hold on the eastern city it captured two months ago after a long and bloody urban battle.
“Just after we take the initiative and start advances, the enemy immediately gets active in the additional directions in order to distract us and stretch out forces,” Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said this week.
The area around Lyman is the most heavily shelled on the eastern front, Col. Serhiy Cherevatiy, a spokesman for Ukraine’s armed forces, said in a recent television appearance. “The enemy is concentrating a strong group of airborne and infantry units there,” he said.
In the city of Lyman, blood stains are still visible on the pavement after the morning of July 8, when Russian troops shelled a street market with multiple-rocket launchers. At least eight people were killed and more than a dozen wounded, according to police.
“Two women who were selling milk were killed here,” said a local woman who left the market minutes before the shelling began. --->READ MORE HERE
Photo by Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images
Ukraine war latest: Russia tries to conduct sabotage raids in Sumy, Chernihiv oblasts:
Russian sabotage units tried unsuccessfully to cross the Ukrainian border into Sumy and Chernihiv oblasts, Lieutenant General Serhii Naiev said on July 21.
"The Russian Federation does not cease trying to find weak points in our defense in the Chernihiv and Sumy directions," the general wrote on Telegram.
"A penetration of sabotage groups at the border was recorded, but all attempts were unsuccessful."
Naiev said that the military is working together with local administrations to strengthen the security of the border regions by installing barriers and cameras.
In the case of an increased threat, the military will provide sufficient reinforcements to prevent the Russian forces from crossing into Ukraine's territory in these areas, the general added.
The Sumy and Chernihiv oblasts lie at Ukraine's northern border with Russia. Both of them were invaded and partially occupied during Russia's initial onslaught in February 2022, but the invading forces withdrew in April after the Kremlin's failure to take Kyiv.
Meanwhile, Russia is attempting to gain ground in the Kupiansk area, Kharkiv Oblast, and continues "the offensive into the depth of our battle formations," Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, commander of Ukraine's Ground Forces, reported on July 17. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to +++++relevant+++++ and related stories:

+++++Russia-Ukraine News LATEST UPDATES: (REUTERS) (AP) (NY POST) and (WSJ)+++++

+++++Scorched earth tactics in Bakhmut now turns against Russia – Ukrainian National Guard+++++

+++++Ukraine holds the line near Avdiivka, as Russian forces step up assaults on Zaporizhzhya axis +++++

+++++Advance on Tavriia front: Russia loses almost two companies+++++

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