Date: 28 August 2023 Author: Grzegorz Kuczyński

War In Donbas: Battles Of Kupyansk And Bakhmut

No breakthrough was made in the second half of August in the Kharkiv-Donbas sector of the Russia-Ukraine war. Russia is putting continuous pressure on the Luhansk-Kharkiv border while Ukraine is trying to seize the hills around Bakhmut, flank the city seen as a symbol of defiance, and push Russian forces out of it.


Russia has concentrated over 100,000 troops in the Kupiansk-Lyman direction of the front in Kharkiv Oblast and Luhansk Oblast, Eastern Force Grouping press officer Illia Yevlash said on August 27. He said there were 45,000 soldiers specifically attacking towards Kupiansk and 48,000 towards Lyman. These troops have continued to advance towards Kupyansk, yet in vain. Russia and Ukraine are now battling in the north where the former has more artillery and better logistics facilities. On August 26, Ukrainian Ground Forces Commander Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi visited the Kupyansk and Lyman sectors. He said Russian forces had suffered major damage in the region in the previous month, but Moscow was adding new troops. Russia’s Western Group of Forces has continued small-scale attacks in the northeast, in the Kupiansk-Lyman sector, and has made some limited local advances. The Russian offensive in this sector has two goals. Firstly, Russian forces seek to make Ukrainian troops build up the sector at the expense of others, where Kyiv is now busy carrying out offensive operations. Secondly, Moscow is keen to seize at least the entire Luhansk province before sitting at the negotiating table. Heavy fighting continued throughout August near Bakhmut. However, the front line has not moved much in late August. After a weeks-long assault, Russian forces and military reinforcement troops strengthened defensive lines north and south of the city. Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar on August 21 said Kyiv’s forces had retaken about 43 square km around Bakhmut since the Ukrainian counteroffensive began in June. Fierce fighting in Bakhmut is ongoing as Russia hopes to take the hills north of the city.

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