Dozens Of Russian Armored Vehicles Destroyed In Bold Offensive

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Russian troops sustained a substantial loss in equipment and personnel after the Ukrainian army’s 17th Tank Brigade struck a large grouping of Russian forces trying to cross a river. The Russian troops were trying to cross the Siverskyi Donets River — where Ukrainian personnel evidently destroyed some three dozen Russian armored vehicles around the same time. It’s unclear how many Russian soldiers may have been killed in Ukraine’s strike, although Forbes identifies around 50 vehicles and up to a thousand troops as involved in the originally attempted crossing.

The river lies — in part — between the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine, which Ukrainian authorities say Russian invaders have been seeking to completely control. Per Ukraine’s revelations, Russian forces are also trying to hold a land bridge between Russian territory and the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014, seizing it from Ukraine. In the river incident in which Russia lost all those vehicles in Ukraine’s east, the bridge the forces were trying to use was also severely impacted by Ukraine’s strike. According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Russian forces in the Donetsk region are “focused on gaining full control over the city of Rubizhne and conducting an offensive in the direction of the village of Lyman.”

Forbes identifies the Ukrainian hit on Russian forces around that river as destroying “at least seven T-72 and T-80 tanks, 17 BMPs, seven MT-LB armored tractors, five other vehicles and much of the bridging unit itself, including a tugboat and the pontoon span.” Alexander Lanoszka, a professor and author specializing in related areas, remarked that the “failed Siveskyi Donets River crossing does not capture the imagination as much as the sinking of the Moskva. However, it increasingly seems like one of the biggest single events in terms of tactical losses suffered by Russia in this war.” For Russia to have lost that many vehicles in one confrontation with Ukrainian forces appears to indicate that the entire battalion was apparently left out-of-service, since whatever was left seemed below the level required for operations.

Ukrainian personnel also recently obtained significant battlefield successes in the Kharkiv area, where a steady stream of settlements have been liberated. Russians “did not carry out offensive operations in the Kharkiv direction,” the General Staff said in a Wednesday update. “The occupying forces moved to the defence in order to slow down the pace of the offensive of our troops. In the course of successful actions of units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the settlement of Pytomnyk of Kharkiv region was liberated.” Kharkiv is the second-largest city in Ukraine, and it has been targeted by Russians throughout the course of the war — although as Ukrainians push the Russians further back, ground-based assaults by Russian invaders end up more difficult for Putin’s forces to launch. Russians, however, largely control Mariupol at this point, where tens of thousands have died and many have been subjected to so-called filtration camps with accompanying threats of torture and execution.