ISW Cards March 29 – What’s Happening at the Front

The situation in Luhansk and Karkiv regions

On March 28, Russian troops continued their ground offensive along the Kubyansk-Svatov-Kreminna line. The General Staff of Ukraine reported that Russian troops carried out unsuccessful offensives near Khrogmalny (20 km northwest of Svadovo), Kuzminy (3 km southwest of Kremenaya), Pylogorivka (10 km south of Kremenaya), and Verkniokamiyansky (18 km south of Kremenaya). Berestovo (30 km south of Kremenaya).

On March 28, a spokesman for Ukraine’s Eastern Forces, Colonel Serhiy Serevaty, said that 13 combat engagements had taken place along the line in the last day, and that while Russian troops have concentrated some of their best troops in the area, they are experiencing a significant shortage of armored vehicles.

Russia’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced that units of the Russian Western Forces (Western Military District) disrupted the transfer of Ukrainian reserves in the area of ​​Hryanikivka (20 km northeast of Kubyansk) northeast of Kubyansk. Sinkivka (7 km northeast of Kubyansk).

Geospatial imagery released on March 28 shows that Ukrainian forces have made limited advances in a wooded area near Diprova, 6 km west of Kremenaya. Denis Pushilin, head of the so-called “DNR”, said that Russian troops recently launched an unspecified offensive in the direction of Liman, west of Kremenaya.

Wars in Donbass

On March 28, Russian troops continued their offensive in the Bagmud area and advanced into the city. Geospatial images released on March 28 suggest that Russian forces may have advanced towards southern Pakmut and the Pakmut city market in the center of the city.

On March 27, a Russian military blogger said that Russian forces had established sufficient crossings over the Pakmutka River and that fighting in Pakmutka would move to the western parts of the city. He also says that Russian troops continued to advance south and east of Ivanovsky, but were unable to advance closer to the T0504 line on March 27.

Denis Pushilin, head of the so-called “DNR”, said on March 28 that he had no immediate orders to attack Russian troops near Mayersk (20 km southwest of Pakmut). The General Staff of Ukraine reported that Russian troops launched unsuccessful attacks on Bakhmut in the Orihovo-Vasylivka and Bohdanivka areas, 11 km northwest of Bakhmut, and in the Ivanivskyi and Ozaryanivka areas, 16 km southwest of Bakhmut. Serhii Cherevaty reported that 19 combat engagements took place in Bagmut, 14 of which took place directly in Bagmut.

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Russian troops may be redeployed in Baghmut region. Cherevaty said that in the past three days, the pace of Russian offensive operations in and around Pakmut has slowed down, which may indicate a regrouping of Russian troops. ISW previously estimated that Russian forces may divert Russian forces and resources from the Bagmut area to intensify their offensive on Avdiivka, although Russian forces may decide to shift personnel and resources for offensive operations to Bagmut after a possible realignment of their forces.

As Wagner’s group continues to expand its recruiting corps, Russian forces will have to regroup around Buckmutt.

Russian forces could regroup in and around Bagmut and add the bulk of the regular forces to what remained of Wagner’s group in the area. Such a Russian realignment would allow Russian forces to intensify offensive operations in and around Baghmut and make more significant gains.

On March 28, Russian troops continued their offensive on the Avdiivka-Donetsk front. The General Staff of Ukraine reported that Russian troops launched unsuccessful attacks near Avdiivka, Stepov (7 km northwest of Avdiivka) and 27 km southwest of Avdiivka near Chiverny, Bervomaiskyi, Nevelskyi and Meringa.

On March 27, the Russian “Battle Force” announced that Russian troops were attempting to advance west of Kamianka (5 km northeast of Avdiivka) to encircle Avdiivka. On March 27, a spokesman for Ukraine’s Taurian Defense Forces, Colonel Oleksiy Dmitrashkivskyi, said Russian troops were considering the possibility of withdrawing the 200th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade (14th Army Corps, Northern Fleet) and the 72nd Motorized Brigade. 3rd Army Corps, Western Military District) from Avdivka-Maringa District for replenishment.

The UK Ministry of Defense said on March 28 that the 10th Tank Regiment (3rd Army Corps, Western Military District) may have lost a significant portion of its tanks as it tried to encircle Avdivka from the south in recent days. Some parts of the 3rd Army Corps may have suffered significant losses during the counteroffensive operations of Ukrainian troops in the Kharkiv region in September 2022, and the formations deployed in the outskirts of the city of Donetsk may be the remnants of combat-ready parts of the 3rd Army. Corps or other organizations that are already degenerate.

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Bushilin said units of the 1st Army Corps, known as the “TNR,” including “Sparta” battalions, “Somalia” battalions and the 11th brigade, were conducting offensive operations in the Avdiivka area in various directions, but Russian forces were nowhere near capturing Avdiivka. The Russian “Military Forces” shared the personnel of the 9th Brigade, known as the “DPR” (formerly the 9th Brigade of the People’s Militia, known as “DPR”), which operated near Bervomaisky (11 km southwest of Avdiyivka). )

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the owner of the “Wagner” group, denied Ukrainian information that his fighters were planning to redeploy to the Avtivka region, and despite the condolences of the experienced “Wagner” fighter, said that they had never fought in that area. The fighter died in Avdiyivka area.

As of March 28, the Russians have not launched any confirmed ground offensives in the western part of Donetsk region. Bushilin said that positional battles are taking place near Vukladar (30 km southwest of Donetsk) and that Ukrainian forces continue to conduct reconnaissance in the area.

Dmitrashkivskiy said last week that Russian forces recently sent two unspecified tank units and a special unit of the 98th Airborne (Airborne) Division to support units of the Pacific Fleet’s 155th Marine Brigade. The 155th OMBr had previously suffered heavy losses during an offensive in the Vugledar area in early 2023, and Russian forces may attempt to rebuild the division to resume the assault on Vugledar.

The Russian Army has reportedly reorganized the 155th Marine Regiment 8 times, and it is unlikely that another reorganization will result in the combat capability needed to resume offensive operations. On the other hand, the participation of limited units of the Air Force would support the resumption of tactical offensive operations of a certain scale and duration.

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“South Axis”

Russian sources said that Ukrainian forces carried out local shelling in the Zaporozhye region. The Russian Ministry of Defense (Ministry of Defense) said that Ukrainian forces had unsuccessfully attempted to advance towards unspecified Russian positions from Lukyanivskoye (about 32 km southeast of the city of Zaporizhia).

The Russian Defense Ministry said that Ukrainian forces were trying to advance to the front line by taking advantage of bad weather conditions in the region. Yevhen Balytskyi, head of the occupation of Zaporizhia region, said that Russian troops continue to repulse attempts by Ukrainian scouts in the occupied Zaporizhia region.

Ukrainian forces fired six HIMARS missiles at an educational institution in Melitopol on March 27, Politskyi said, and Melitopol’s Ukrainian mayor, Ivan Fedorov, said Ukrainian forces struck an area of ​​the city where Russian troops were concentrated. Fedorov announced on March 28 that an electric substation exploded under unknown circumstances in Fedorivka (about 17 km northwest of Melitopol).

Russian troops continue to strengthen their positions in southern Ukraine, fearing a counterattack by Ukrainian troops. By the fall of 2022, Politsky said, the Russian military command has staffed Russian brigades at 15% of their regular strength.

Politsky noted that he could not assess how well Russian troops were prepared for an announced future Ukrainian counteroffensive, and said the battle would reveal the extent of Russian training in the occupied Zaporizhzhya region. Satellite images show Russian troops digging new trenches along roads leading to northern Crimea.

Russian forces have reportedly reduced the intensity of shelling in the Kherson region. On March 28, Natalia Humenyuk, head of the press center of the Joint Coordination of Defense Forces of the South, said that in the past three days, Russian troops did not fire from the Kinburn tip to the Dnipro-Buska estuary due to bad weather. conditions.

Humenyuk noted that Ukrainian attacks on Russian ammunition depots and artillery systems are undermining Russian logistics and forcing Russian troops to scale back their operations on the east (left) bank of the Dnieper.

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