UKRAINE: The main battles in Ukraine continue on the Donbass front lines. Despite fierce resistance of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) and their heavily fortified positions in the region, the DPR, LPR Armies supported by Russian forces continue to slowly advance in different directions, claiming victories on a daily basis.
On April 7, the Russian Ministry of Defence claimed that units of the Russian armed forces blockaded the town of Ugledar, where the mop-up operation was launched. The main forces of the units of the 54th Mechanized Brigade of the AFU were forced to retreat to the north. The major Russian assault on Ugledar is expected to begin in the coming days.
On April 6, footage of strikes on civilian facilities in Ugledar was shared online. Civilian casualties were not avoided. So far, civilians have not been evacuated from the town. Ugledar risks to be significantly damaged after street fighting breaks out.
In the south of the DPR front lines, main clashes continue between the towns of Velikaya Novoselka and Ugledar. The situation in the town of Velikaya Novoselka remains unchanged. There have been no reports about any progress of Russian troops in the area for about a week. The main clashes reportedly continue on the eastern outskirts, near the village of Blagodatnoye. Russian forces are yet to cross the Kashlagach River to advance in the direction of the Zaporozhye-Donetsk highway.
On the south-western outskirts of the city of Donetsk, Russian forces are advancing fast towards the town of Mariinka from the south.
On April 6, Russian forces took control over the village of Sladkoe, located about 30 kilometers to the south Mariinka. The 11th unit of the DPR PM broke through the AFU defence after fierce clashes in the area. During the day they advanced more than a dozen kilometres and reached the village of Novomikhailovka.
On April 7, the Russian Ministry of Defence confirmed that the Russian armed forces completely blockaded the village of Novomikhailovka. The mop up operation against the AFU remnants in the village was launched.
The advance is slowed down by the heavily fortified positions of the AFU in Novomikhailovka, as well as by the artillery shelling from the AFU positions near the village of Kostyantinovka.
Battles for the control over the towns of Olexandrivka and Mariinka continue for more than two week. No side has claimed any significant successes in the towns so far.
DPR troops supported by Russian forces are pushing Ukrainian positions out of the city of Donetsk in order to end shelling on civilian areas which have continued for years. The pressure significantly increased after a Ukrainian Tochka-U missile hit the center of the city of Donetsk on March 14. As a result of the bloody and senseless attack dozens of civilians were killed and wounded.
The advance is slow, fierce clashes continue and the shelling on civilians continues. Dozens of civilians in the DPR and LPR are killed and wounded on a daily basis.
DPR air defense systems hit targets over the city of Shakhtersk:
Artillery fire on the AFU positions south of Mariinka:
Battles in Mariinka:
Another hotspot in the Donbass region is the area of Avdiivka. The last success claimed by the DPR troops was the capture of the village of Novobakhmutivka, north of Avdiivka. DPR and Russian troops avoid entering the streets of Avdiivka. They have recently imposed control over the smaller villages to the north of the town and have secured their positions in the area. The fortified positions of the AFU near Avdiivka are constantly shelled by the DPR artillery and the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) are carrying air strikes almost on a daily basis.
Avdiivka is an important stronghold of the AFU on the North-Western outskirts of the city of Donetsk, from where the AFU artillery constantly shelled the nearby areas, including civilian facilities and houses.
In the Donetsk region Russian high-precision air-launched missiles hit the railway stations Pokrovsk, Slavyansk, Barvenkovo. Weapons and military equipment of the Ukrainian troops who were destroyed.
Strike with high-precision ammunition “Krasnopol” on the AFU positions:
In the LPR, no significant advances on the main front lines have been recently reported. The main hotspots remain the town of Popasnaya and nearby areas and the Severodonetsk-Lisichansk agglomeration.
Fierce clashes continue in the town of Popasnaya. No advances were reported by any side for more than a week. Artillery shelling has significantly intensified from the both sides. Pervomaisk and Zolotoe are the main strongholds of the LPR Army in the region.
To the north of Popasnaya, clashes continue on the approaches to the town of Novotashkivske, which is under the AFU control. On April 7, LPR forces took control of the 29th checkpoint on the road west of the town.
The fighting for this area has been going on since 2014. It was a fortified position of the AFU, which controlled the road to Lisichansk. It was difficult to approach the checkpoint in an open area and forces of the LPR were not enough for an assault. Today, LPR troops deployed their equipment in the area, preparing for the assault of the AFU in Novotashkivske.
On the outskirts of the city of Severodonetsk, LPR are yet to repel Ukrainian forces from the souther regions of Rubezhnoye. The town is heavily shelled by the AFU artillery, clashes on the streets continue. North of Rubezhnoye, the AFU have launched a counterattack, however any successes are yet to be confirmed.
While the southern outskirts of Rubezhnoe are yet to be secured, a big number of the T-80 tanks of the LPR were spotted heading to the firing line in Severodonetsk.
On April 8, a Ukrainian Tochka-U missile hit the railway station in the city of Kramatorsk. The bloody provocation of the AFU lead to at least 30 civilian casualties.
Recently, no changes were reported in the Izyum area in the Kharkiv region. Fighting continues for the villages of Suligovka and Dolgenkoe, from where Russian are expected to move towards the city of Slavyansk or Barvenkovo to surround the AFU groupings on the Donbass front lines.
An attempt of counter offensive of the AFU was reported in the village of Topolskoye, southwest of Izyum. Heavy fighting broke out, but the AFU reportedly suffered heavy losses and were forced to step back. They hold their positions on the outskirts and continue shelling on Russian forces in the village.
Rare air raids by Ukraine aircraft and helicopters also continue in the area of Izyum.
At the moment, the both sides are reinforcing their positions in the area. The AFU are amassing forces in the towns of Kramatorsk, Artemovsk, Druzhkovka. Heavy machinery and trucks with Ukrainian soldiers are continuously driving along the highway through the city towards Konstantinovka.
The AFU is constantly shelling the town of Izyum, especially at night time.
Russian forces provide evacuation of civilians from the town. On April 8, the first Russian column with humanitarian aid came into the city.
DPR, LPR and Russian forces are slowly advancing on several front lines in the Donbass region. Mainly positional battles and artillery duels continue in the region. It is expected that the major assault will begin after the AFU grouping in the city of Mariupol is destroyed. Some Russian and DPR troops have already been sent from Mariupol to the Ugledar region to support the advance on the southern front lines of the Donbass. The russian reinforcement also comes from the Kiev and Chernihiv regions. Some of these units were already deployed in the Kharkiv region.
At the same time, Moscow does not even announce a partial mobilization in the country to strengthen the grouping in the Donbas. Not so long ago, Russian volunteers were allowed to go to Ukraine. Earlier, it was announced about 16,000 military personnel wishing to join the Russian troops from abroad, including from Syria. However, the mechanism of their transfer to Donbass has not yet been worked out, and it is unknown whether they will go to Ukraine at all.
In its turn, Ukrainian troops are supplied with more advanced weapons and heavy equipment from the West. That’s why it is vitally important for the Russian Army to destroy the supply facilities, oil depots, roots and rail ways which are used for transfer of reinforcements to the AFU groupings in the Donbass. What is not an easy task.
Moreover, the third wave of general mobilization was launched in Ukraine. Reservists who graduated from military departments of universities, as well as those who were not mobilized during the previous mobilization waves will be conscripted into the Armed Forces.
Time is flying, and the advance of Russian troops, DPR and LPR forces must be accelerated in order to lead to any strategic successes in the East of Ukraine.
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