Escalation of Russian Military Actions in Eastern Ukraine’s Key Cities

by Ethan Kim
Russia-Ukraine Conflict

Russian military forces have intensified their offensive in eastern Ukraine, targeting two critical front line cities, according to Ukrainian military authorities on Sunday.

In an effort to reclaim lost ground, Moscow’s troops have launched an offensive near Bakhmut, an eastern mining city that previously experienced the war’s most intense battle before succumbing to Russian control in May, as noted by the leader of Ukraine’s ground forces in a message on the Telegram messaging platform.

Following Kyiv’s summer counteroffensive, Ukrainian forces succeeded in recapturing strategic positions above Bakhmut, and have made progress in various directions surrounding the city.

Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi updated on Telegram Sunday afternoon, stating, “The Russian forces have escalated their activities near Bakhmut, striving to recover previously lost territories. … We are successfully repelling enemy assaults.”

Lt. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, reported on Sunday that Russian forces thwarted five Ukrainian attacks near Klischiivka and Kurdyumivka, two minor localities south of Bakhmut, during his regular press briefing.

Ukraine’s much-anticipated counteroffensive has yielded only modest territorial gains and inflicted significant losses, with Ukrainian forces facing difficulties breaking through Russian defenses in the south. In contrast, Moscow’s forces have been making concerted efforts to advance in the northeast, presumably to divert Kyiv’s attention and reduce the Ukrainian military presence in critical southern and eastern battle zones.

The Ukrainian General Staff revealed that Russian troops are persistently attempting to encircle Avdiivka, a vital Ukrainian stronghold south of Bakhmut and a major target since the war’s outset. Avdiivka is considered a gateway to parts of the Donetsk region under Kyiv’s control. The General Staff emphasized the significant role of the Russian air force in the latest offensive.

Gen. Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, commanding the Ukrainian forces in and around Avdiivka, noted on Sunday that Russian forces are intensifying their airstrikes, especially using precision-guided bombs. He reported via Telegram that Russian forces conducted 30 airstrikes and 712 artillery barrages on the city and its vicinity in the past day, engaging in nearly 50 skirmishes with Ukrainian units.

Furthermore, on Sunday, Ukraine’s intelligence agency took responsibility for a powerful explosion in the Russian-occupied south the previous day, claiming it resulted in the deaths of “at least three” officers from Russia’s internal military force.

The Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry described the blast at the headquarters of the Russian occupation authorities in Melitopol on Saturday as “an act of revenge” executed by local resistance members.

The GUR stated that the attack occurred during a meeting attended by officers of the Russian National Guard and operatives from the FSB, Russia’s principal security agency.

Melitopol, located in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region with a pre-war population exceeding 150,000, fell to Russian forces early in the war. The city is now situated well behind the southern front line, even as Ukraine’s counteroffensive persists in Zaporizhzhia.

Russian officials have yet to respond to these Ukrainian claims, which remain unverified independently. This announcement came shortly after more than a dozen freight cars carrying cargo in Russia’s western Ryazan region were derailed by an improvised explosive device, as reported by Russian law enforcement.

In total, nineteen carriages from Rybnoye were derailed, with 15 sustaining damage, according to a statement by investigators on social media. They announced the initiation of a criminal investigation on terrorism charges.

Ukraine’s public broadcaster Suspilne, citing anonymous sources from the GUR, suggested that the intelligence agency was behind the blast on Saturday. GUR spokesman Andriy Yusov, while not confirming or denying the agency’s involvement, stated in an interview with ArmyInform, the Ukrainian armed forces’ official news service, that similar operations in Russia “will continue.”

Russian officials have previously attributed several attacks on their railway system to pro-Ukrainian saboteurs since the invasion in February 2022, though no group has openly claimed responsibility.

In the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, a 64-year-old man lost his life due to Russian shelling in his yard, as informed by regional Gov. Oleksandr Prokudin. The governor added that the man’s wife was hospitalized with a skull injury, concussion, and shrapnel wounds to her legs.

Prokudin reported that Russian forces bombarded Kherson and its surrounding region 62 times in the last 24 hours, injuring four civilians and damaging a city library. Kherson has been subject to almost daily attacks since its recapture by Ukraine a year ago.

For comprehensive coverage of the war, follow the AP’s reports at https://bigbignews.net/russia-ukraine.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Russia-Ukraine Conflict

What areas are currently being targeted by Russia in Eastern Ukraine?

Russia has intensified its military actions in Eastern Ukraine, focusing on two crucial front line cities. The city of Bakhmut, known for its mining and strategic significance, has seen an escalation in attacks. Additionally, Russian forces are attempting to encircle Avdiivka, a key Ukrainian stronghold south of Bakhmut.

How effective has Ukraine’s counteroffensive been against Russian advances?

Ukraine’s counteroffensive has achieved only modest territorial gains while incurring significant losses. Ukrainian forces have struggled to penetrate Russian lines in the south, though they have made some advances around Bakhmut. Meanwhile, Russia is attempting to advance in the northeast to distract Kyiv and minimize Ukrainian troop deployment in key battle zones.

What recent developments have occurred in the Russian-occupied south of Ukraine?

Ukraine’s intelligence agency has claimed responsibility for a significant explosion in the Russian-occupied south, specifically targeting the headquarters of the Russian occupation authorities in Melitopol. The attack reportedly resulted in the deaths of at least three officers from Russia’s internal military force and was described as an act of revenge by local resistance members.

What has been the impact of the conflict on civilian areas, particularly Kherson?

In Kherson, a city in southern Ukraine, Russian shelling has resulted in civilian casualties and damage to infrastructure. A recent incident involved a 64-year-old man killed by shellfire in his yard, with his wife sustaining serious injuries. The region has experienced frequent bombardments, causing injuries to civilians and damage to public buildings, including a city library.

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Tom H November 13, 2023 - 6:17 am

These updates are really helpful, keeping track of what’s happening in Ukraine isn’t easy with so much going on, Thanks for the summary!

Anna K November 13, 2023 - 9:07 am

Its heartbreaking to hear about the civilians in Kherson, war is just terrible for innocent people, Why can’t leaders just sit and talk instead of this?

Mike Johnson November 13, 2023 - 12:05 pm

wow, this situation in Ukraine is really intense… can’t believe how things are escalating over there, hope peace comes soon.

Linda Smith November 13, 2023 - 1:33 pm

Just read about the Melitopol blast. It’s kind of scary to think about the undercover operations going on. War has so many layers, not just the fighting.

Dave R November 13, 2023 - 5:49 pm

The strategy behind Ukraine’s counteroffensive sounds complicated. Wonder if they can really push back against Russia’s forces…


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