On Tuesday, Ukraine advanced on every front. Ukrainian counterattacks took place in two separate areas of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Kharkiv Oblasts. The number of towns either thrown into conflict or completely liberated by Ukraine in the past 24 hours has retreated overnight, as has a month of Russian advances in the offensive.
And sometimes it is more than a month. Does Volokhiv Yar’s name sound familiar? Back in March and April, the name appeared in a dozen Ukraine updates. It is a small intersection with the M03 highway that occurs just where the main body that Russia pulled out of Kupyansk in the east turned south towards Izyum. Here’s a map from April 1, when Russia had just taken Izeum. Volokhiv Yar is where the dark line of the highway from Kharkiv meets that Red Russian major.
This was at a time when Russia was removed from the area around Kyiv. The highway connecting Kyiv and Kharkiv had just been cleared of Russian forces, and Ukraine had also sent troops down the M03, clearing nearby suburbs. For several days, we kept up a constant barrage of statements, “If Ukraine can get to Volokhiv Yar, he can possibly cut off supplies and reinforcements from reaching the Izyum main.” But then Russia occupied the entire area around Izyum, and Volokhiv Yar disappeared from the story.
Until tomorrow. Because these are Ukrainian troops passing through Volokhiv Yar Crossing.
On Tuesday, Ukrainian forces launched a sudden and forceful offensive in southern Kharkiv Oblast near the town of Blaklia. By all accounts, the attack took Russia completely by surprise. Ukraine apparently managed to move enough forces into the region that they had an advantage in both men and armor. Also they reportedly used NATO-style combined arms tactics, with armor, infantry, artillery and air support all working in concert. When a core of the opposition prevented Ukraine from immediately occupying the Balkans, they didn’t stop. They moved the barracks to the south. They took Varubivka to the north. They completely surrounded Balaklia and They just kept going.
Both Twitter and Telegram are awash with images of captured Russian soldiers, Ukrainian forces shooting down a Russian jet, and Russian equipment either destroyed or captured. Even ready positions were quickly overrun as World War I-style artillery warfare evolved into modern warfare. In a war where gains have been measured in meters, Ukrainian forces advanced more than 20 kilometers a day.
Russian channels are reporting that instead of turning south towards Izyum, the Ukrainian force that reached Volokhiv Yar on Tuesday is continuing east. They suspect that Ukraine is heading straight for Kupyansk, but this is little more than a guess. However, there have been unconfirmed reports from Ukrainian scouts at Petropilia and also at Shevchenkov.
I’ll tell you right now, This map is incorrect. This is based on the best information I could get on Wednesday morning, but there is no doubt that this information is already hours old, and this is a situation where hours count. It is now pushing a major in Ukraine occupied territory of Russia. Will they drive ahead? Pull back and consolidate gains? Try to expand the base, or push along one of the highways to isolate some front-line villages? One of these things (or more) has already happened.
If it was happening in a vacuum, it would still be the most significant advance by Ukrainian forces since Russia withdrew from the north. But it is not so. In Kherson there was significant progress in both north And There were further Ukrainian advances north of the southern Kharkiv city. And there is definite activity pushing south in Zaporizhzhia, although the details are still unclear. Surprises are inevitable.
Speaking of which…if the name Volokhiv Yar needs to be reached back, what about Lyman?
Over the weekend, there were reports that Ukrainian forces had crossed the Siverskyi Donets River to liberate some villages and towns along the northern bank. From the videos seen, it looked like some special forces in boats, and it was easy to dismiss the whole thing as just a few people flying colors and showing Russia they have another soft spot.
However, more videos have now emerged which allegedly show that Ukrainian forces have actually been in control of Ozerne and Stari Karvan for at least two days. This appears to represent a more important bridgehead across the river than previously thought, and places Ukraine only 3 km from the city of Lyman.
In the Kherson region, Ukrainian forces advanced from securing Vysokopilya and nearby villages and began a southward push that quickly advanced 10 km to Novovoskresensk. There are some reports (not reflected on this map) that Ukrainian forces are also moving south from Zolota Balka and are engaged in fighting at Novoleksandryvka. There doesn’t seem to be any new word of activity from the Inhulets Bridgehead, but there is a lot of free space, so almost any kind of activity can go on.
Another surprise came from the southern part of the Kherson region, where the Ukrainians reportedly moved against the entire line of Russian-held towns in Mykolayiv Oblast, northeast of Kislyvka. Liubomyrivka and Shmidtove are reported to be free, while four others are currently in contention.
In both northern and southern sections, the front line around Kherson is becoming more and more fragmented. At least four separate battles are ongoing in addition to reports of shelling and small actions around individual towns. As in other areas, it is difficult to predict where any of these individual movements will lead next, but the overall strategy in Kherson is to keep Russian forces divided by the Inhulets River and prevent Russia from resupplying across the Dnipro River. seems to be
For weeks, it has been reported that Kherson in Russia has a “second line” of towns and villages that are much better fortified and prepared than the front-line towns. which is to be investigated.
Russia scored a victory Tuesday: Ukrainian forces withdrew from the town of Kodema, about a dozen kilometers southeast of Bakhmut. Russian forces have now reportedly captured the town. Russian forces had been in the eastern part of the town for some time, but now they have completed the occupation. Further Russian attempts to advance in the region failed.
Volokhiv Yar is completely missing from my map of advance, which is allegedly more Ukrainian forces push north of Harkov. The force reportedly moved as far east as Vasilenkov and Hetmanivka, leaving Kharkov on a narrow peninsula of Russian-held territory. If that section is connected with a push from the Balaklia area, it will be a widely supported advance.
I will provide an updated map when I know more details.
There are reports that a part of the Ukrainian force has surrounded the remaining Russians Shevchenkov, while the rest of the force continued east. These are all secondhand Russian Telegram accounts, so it could be fake, scam, or even a deliberate scam. If not, encirclement and advance may be part of the new Ukrainian playbook.
Russian sources are also reporting a build-up of Ukrainian forces south of Izyum near Dolina.