Emil Kastehelmi Profile picture
Aug 30 7 tweets 3 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Ukraine has breached the first Russian main defensive line, as known as the Surovikin line, in the direction of Verbove.

The village is integrated to the Russian defenses, and it's not clear if Ukraine tries to push inside the village, or are they just widening the flanks. 1/6 Image
Ukrainians were geolocated to the outskirts of Verbove, at 47.44189, 35.95220.

That's well behind the anti-tank obstacles and first trenches. It's not yet clear how extensively the line has actually been breached, and if this is just reconnaissance operations. 2/6
You can read more about the fortifications of this area from my thread here.

I'm rather convinced the Ukrainian attack won't stop here, the defences are breachable. It seems they are going for the Ocheretuvate direction. 3/6

It's important to note that this is not an actual breakthrough yet - the progress is still local, and there has not been a rapid collapse of Russian defences.

On the other side, this isn't looking good for the Russians - Ukrainians continue attacking, despite difficulties. 4/6
Also, there is possibly some Ukrainian success south of Urozhaine. Our team is looking into that, we'll get back to this later if we manage to geolocate this video. Follow our master geolocator @EerikMatero for updates. 5/6
Our team @Black_BirdGroup continues to do updates on our interactive map.

Surprisingly, I'm feeling a bit optimism instead of constant doomerism. Things may develop in a positive direction for Ukraine, but it's still too early to say anything final. 6/6

By the way, thanks to @moklasen, he was the first to geolocate the video. Nice work!

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More from @emilkastehelmi

Aug 27
The Ukrainian offensive in the Robotyne sector has progressed, and the first Russian main defence line has been reached.

In this thread we’ll take a closer look at the main defensive line and what might happen next.

This thread includes high resolution satellite imagery. 🧵 1/ Image
Ukrainians have been trying to advance in the Robotyne area since June. After over two and a half months of fighting, Ukraine has liberated most of Robotyne and continued south, bypassing Novoprokokivka.

In this map, you can see the Southern front on 1.6. and now, 27.8.

2/ Image
The first significant fortified obstacle is located just outside Robotyne. The Russians have prepared formidable defences, which include covered firing positions and bunkers. From here, the Russians can defend against attacks from both north and east.

Zoom in for details. 3/ Image
Read 18 tweets
Jul 27
A new phase in Ukraine's counteroffensive seems to be underway in the south and east, while Russia is attacking in the north.

In this thread I will take a look at the key events & directions, and explain what the current situation means in the big picture. 1/ Image
Ukrainians are counterattacking in the same directions as before. The most activity is observed near Robotyne and Staromaiorske. A strong push is also happening in the Bakhmut area. At the same time Russia is attacking in multiple directions on the Luhansk-Kharkiv front. 2/
Ukraine has had some success in the south. The AFU is advancing east of Robotyne and in the northern parts of Staromaiorske. According to Russians, AFU has also entered Urozhaine.

While this is good news, we’re still talking about rather limited gains in the big picture. 3/ Image
Read 15 tweets
Jul 17
In the Russian narrative the Kerch bridge strike in Crimea is called terrorism, as civilians died in the explosion.

In reality, the bridge is an absolutely legitimate and important military target, which the Ukrainians must attack in order to weaken the Russian logistics. 1/ Image
Russian logistics rely heavily on trains, and the rail connection to southern front is very dependant on the Kerch bridge. The railway from Donetsk to Melitopol isn't as safe, as it's partly very close to the frontline. 2/ Image
In the latest attack, the road section of the bridge sustained the damage. It's not the railway, but it still presents logistical challenges.

It also forces Russia to concentrate even more resources for defending and repairing the bridge. 3/
Read 8 tweets
Jul 8
Ukraine continues its attack in the areas south of Bakhmut.

On the heights next to Klischiivka, there is a fortified position which seemed to hold back the Ukrainian offensive for days. This obstacle is now likely defeated, and Ukraine should be soon in the village itself. 1/4
Satellite images show that fighting in the area has been heavy, and reports of intense artillery fire are true. Some treelines have practically ceased to exist.

This is not unusual in this war - both sides often try to take advantage of the little natural cover there is. 2/4
In the big picture, a lot is happening in the Bakhmut area.

In addition to Klischiivka, AFU has made gains towards Berkhivka. They're also pushing in the immediate vicinity of western Bakhmut while simultaneously clearing the eastern side of Donets-Donbas canal. 3/4
Read 4 tweets
Jul 1
Recent developments suggest that something interesting is happening near Bakhmut.

During the last month, Ukraine has continued to slowly push Russian troops out of multiple areas. I wouldn't call this a second battle of Bakhmut yet, but Ukraine is definitely on the offensive. 1/
This week, Ukraine finally cleared the last Russian positions from western side of the Donets-Donbas canal.

This operation has been ongoing since May, and it’s now complete. On top of that, the 3rd Assault Brigade has already been observed to make gains on the eastern side. 2/
The next likely direction near the canal could be Kurdiymivka and Ozarianivka, where a couple of crossings could be exploited. Liberating these villages and continuing north would help the offensive at Klischiivka, advancing west enables further objectives. 3/
Read 10 tweets
Jun 21
Ukraine is continuing the counterattack in the Melitopol direction. It is the most fortified part of the whole front, with roughly two main defensive lines and multiple secondary layers of defense.

Now we will take a look at the 2nd one of the two main defensive lines. 1/ Image
To give you perspective, in this thread we're examining the fortifications near Mykhailivka. The area is still 25-30km from the frontline, so most likely no fighting will take place here in the near future. 2/ Image
In the first picture we have a part of a nearly 50 kilometre long anti-tank ditch, which runs almost without breaks from the Dnipro river to Tokmak. In the second picture there is a part of the ditch witch surrounds Mykhailivka from all sides expect from the south. 3/ ImageImage
Read 8 tweets

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