Ukraine is said to be unleashing “hell” on Russia’s defences as its counteroffensive continues to make territorial gains. It comes as Vladimir Putin’s elite fighting forces and military top brass continue to suffer “extreme attrition”, according to the UK’s Ministry olf Defence (MoD).
In the east of Ukraine, the battle for Bakhmut – which was captured by Russia in May – continues to rage on, with fierce fighting continuing after Kyiv’s troops liberated a key village. And Ukrainian armed forces say the heavy artillery, supplied by the United States and its NATO allies, are a making a big difference in the war.
The 155 millimetre howitzers are continuously pounding Putin’s troops – sapping their morale – according to military intelligence.
A Ukrainian Unit commander named only as Oleksandr told Reuters: “They [the Russians[ hate our hardware. That’s what we gather from our intercepts.
“We hear that we keep giving them hell. They keep wondering how much ammunition we have left.”
Last week, Ukraine recaptured the village of Klishchiivka – which Oleksandr said was “one of the places they [the Russians] were clinging to”.
“We will see what’s next. We will develop our success,” he vowed.
In its latest assessment of the situation around Bakhmut, US-based analysts the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said: “Ukrainian forces advanced south of Bakhmut and reportedly advanced in western Zaporizhia Oblast on September 22. Geolocated footage published on September 22 indicates that Ukrainian forces advanced southeast of Klishchiivka (7km southwest of Bakhmut).
“A Kremlin-affiliated mil blogger claimed that Ukrainian forces slightly advanced north of Novoprokopivka and are currently about 800 meters away from the settlement’s outskirts, a claim that generally corresponds to ISW’s assessment of the closest approach of the Ukrainian counter-offensive to the settlement.
“The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces continued to conduct offensive operations in the Melitopol (western Zaporizhia Oblast) direction and offensive actions in the Bakhmut direction, exhausting and inflicting losses on Russian forces along the entire front.”
Meanwhile, in an intelligence update on Saturday (September 23), the UK’s MoD said: “Since February 2022, three successive commanders of one of Russia’s most prestigious airborne regiments have either resigned or been killed.
“The 247th Guards Air Assault Landing Regiment commander Colonel Vasily Popov was likely killed in the heavily contested Orikhiv sector in early September 2023.
“Only weeks before, in August 2023, his predecessor, Colonel Pytor Popov, likely resigned his command. Independent Russian media sources claim he acted in protest over the military’s failure to recover the bodies of Russian casualties.
“In the early weeks of the invasion, then 247th commander Colonel Konstantin Zizevsky was killed near Mykolaiv. The experience of the 247th highlights the extreme attrition and high turnover in Russia’s deployed military, even amongst relatively senior ranks.”