The Armed Forces of Ukraine have recently increased their attacks on Russian military positions on the southern Donbass front lines. At the same time, large Ukrainian forces are accumulated in the Zaporozhie and Kherson regions. The ongoing military developments may mark the upcoming large-scale Ukrainian offensive aimed at slashing the Russian grouping in the Donbass and Ukrainian advance towards the Sea of Azov.
On March 19, the AFU launched a counterattack near the village of Novodanilovka located to the south-east of the town of Orekhov. Two assault groups of the 128th mountain assault brigade of the AFU, reinforced by the units of the territorial defense attempted to bypass Russian strongholds from the flanks.
Ukrainian forces used smoke before the attack. They cleared the passages in minefields in the area and remotely mined approaches to the Russian positions to prevent them from sending reserves and blockade evacuation. According to Russian military reporters, Ukrainian aircraft struck Russian military positions.
The Ukrainian column was timely detected by the Russian drones and immediately shelled by Russian artillery and struck with ATGMs. Shooting battle broke out on the right flank of the Russian positions.
The Russian 291st regiment of the 42nd motor rifle division and the scouts of the 22nd separate special mission brigade repelled the attack and the AFU turned back towards Novodanilovka.
According to preliminary reports, about 25 Ukrainian servicemen were killed, 3 tanks, 3 infantry fighting vehicles were destroyed. Several Russian servicemen were wounded.
The fighting filmed by the Ukrainian servicemen who was killed in the battle:
It was the second Ukrainian attack in the area this week.
On March 15, units of the 56th and 58th motorized Infantry Brigades of the AFU attempted to attack Russian positions near the settlements of Krasnoe and Marfopol located to the east of GulyaiPole.
A tank platoon and a BMP platoon, as well as up to two companies (200 servicemen) of infantry units took part in the offensive. The approach of the Ukrainian military was also detected by Russian UAVs and the column was stopped by Russian artillery.
As a result of the operation, the AFU also reportedly lost up to 30 servicemen, at least 3 tanks and 3 infantry vehicles.
The following video shows the destroyed Ukrainian vehicles (18+):
The Ukrainian attacks are likely to repeat on the Zaporozhie front lines. The Ukrainian military continues combat reconnaissance, looking for soft spots in Russian defenses and assessing the reaction of Russian forces. All Ukrainian servicemen are equipped and likely trained by NATO.
The Ukrainian command is preparing for a large-scale offensive, while the columns of Western military equipment are on their way to Ukrainian front lines.
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