Monday, July 3, 2023

UKRainian Forces Make Gains in Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia Oblasts; UKR Aims for Comeback in Shattered Bakhmut; Over 20 Combat Clashes on 3 Main Fronts; Satellite Images Appear to Show Build-Up at Wagner Base in Belarus; Wagner Continues to Recruit in Russia, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Wojciech Grzedzinski/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Official: Ukrainian forces make gains in Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia oblasts:
As part of its counteroffensive efforts, Ukraine's military has advanced 1,300 meters toward Russian-occupied Berdiansk, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar reported on June 29.
Ukrainian forces also advanced 1,200-1,500 meters in the directions of Klishchiivka and Kurdiumivka south of Bakhmut, according to the official.
On the southern front lines, Ukrainian soldiers strengthen their positions near recently liberated Rivnopil, inflicting "serious losses" on Russia, Maliar said on Telegram. "The enemy is pulling up all its reserves for defense, even a brigade of marines that at one time fled from Kherson."
In the country's east, Ukraine's Armed Forces have reportedly gained the initiative in the Bakhmut area, with the fighting ongoing on the city's flanks. "The enemy is trying to hold the occupied positions, carries out counterattacks, but gradually retreats after suffering losses," added Maliar.
Russia also continues its offensive operations in the areas of Lyman, Marinka, and Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast, but unsuccessfully, reads Maliar's post.
In its June 29 morning update, the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces reported that Ukrainian troops had shot down a Russian Su-25 jet, six Iranian-made Shahed drones, and three reconnaissance drones.
Over the past day, Ukraine also destroyed a Russian ammunition depot, 11 artillery units in Russian firing positions, three anti-aircraft systems, two electronic warfare stations, and an undisclosed "important enemy target," according to the General Staff. --->READ MORE HERE
Photographs by Manu Brabo for The Wall Street Journal 
WSJ: Ukraine Aims for Comeback in Shattered Bakhmut After Wagner Revolt
Five weeks after Russia trumpeted the capture of the small eastern city of Bakhmut, where the longest and bloodiest engagement of the war has played out, Ukrainian troops are clawing back high ground on its northern and southern edges in a bid to encircle Russian troops there.
Soldiers from Ukraine’s 3rd Assault Brigade are posting footage of intense firefights in Russian trenches, with the Ukrainians lobbing grenades into Russian foxholes and taking prisoners. On Monday, the brigade announced the capture of a Russian bridgehead on the western bank of a key canal near Bakhmut.
“We’re slowly moving forward. Not by miles, but bit by bit,” said a platoon commander in the 3rd Assault Brigade, who goes by the callsign Small.
With its counteroffensive in the south largely on hold, Ukraine is making some of its most significant advances around a city that took Russia 10 months of brutal house-to-house combat to seize. It is a chance to exhaust Russian units disoriented after Wagner paramilitary fighters launched a mutiny over the weekend. If Ukraine makes further gains here, it could prove a demoralizing blow for the Russians.
Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin has ridiculed the regular Russian military’s skills in Bakhmut after his men did the bulk of the work to capture it. Before declaring war on the top brass and agreeing to exile himself in Belarus, he predicted significant territorial losses around Bakhmut as his feud with the Defense Ministry spilled over into open revolt.
The aborted rebellion, which saw Wagner seize a city in southern Russia before stopping short of Moscow, has left the future of Russia’s most effective fighting force unclear. If Wagner troops do return to the battlefield in Ukraine, they will likely be under the command of the regular army. Western and Ukrainian officials say Russia is now repositioning troops from the south to bolster the defenses around Bakhmut. Col. Serhiy Cherevaty, spokesman for Ukraine’s eastern military command, said around 50,000 Russian troops are stationed there, with triple that amount in the broader region.
In the meantime, Ukrainian forces, including the 3rd Assault Brigade, are attempting to make the most of the confusion following the Wagner rebellion. Together with other units it has clawed back some 18 square miles of territory around the city since mid-May, according to Cherevaty, gaining high ground that makes it harder for Russia to use the city as a springboard for a bigger westward advance. “We’re gnawing away at every meter of land,” said Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to +++++relevant+++++ and related stories:

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

+++++Over 20 combat clashes on three main fronts – General Staff report+++++

+++++Satellite images appear to show build-up at Wagner base in Belarus+++++

+++++BBC: Wagner continues to recruit in Russia+++++

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