Russian media: Counter-attack in Donbass fails; Ukrainian troops suffer severe casualties

According to Russian military channels, the Ukrainian troops taking part in the operation in Donbass appear to have lost roughly 200 soldiers as well as significant amounts of equipment.

A source at the battlefield, who was reported by a news outlet on January 24, claimed that Ukrainian forces had made an unsuccessful attempt to counterattack Russian forces close to the important town of Ugledar in the southern region of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).

Kiev’s forces attempted two attacks during the past two days, but both times they sustained significant losses. The second wave of attacks, according to the sources, had particularly negative effects for Ukrainian forces.

Ukrainian forces, who were equipped with non-armored vehicles and M113 armoured personnel carriers built in the United States, were unable to reach Russian lines and were eventually forced to retreat while coming under severe artillery bombardment. About 200 troops are said to have died in that attack, along with material losses, for the Ukrainian units participating.

The source further stated that Ukrainian soldiers attempted to repel the Russian assault with US M777 howitzer artillery assistance. But as soon as their location was known, a suicide drone strike was launched against them. Whether the Ukrainian side suffered any artillery losses was not made clear by the sources.

Fighting has been intense recently in and around the town of Ugledar as Russian troops try to drive Ukrainian fighters from their dugout positions. Due to its elevated location, this bastion is a crucial fortification for Ukrainian forces and poses a danger to the Donetsk region’s capital.

The village of Pavlovka, which is situated approximately 2 km southwest of Ugledar, was “liberated,” according to the Russian side, in an announcement made in November 2022. Currently, it appears that Russian soldiers are attempting to enter the town from both the north and the south.

On February 24, 2022, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine under the excuse that Kyiv had neglected to carry out the Minsk agreements, which were meant to grant Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state.

After holding referendums a month earlier, Russia annexed four Ukrainian regions—Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhia—into its territory at the beginning of October 2022.

The four recently seized territories of Russia constitute around 90,000 square kilometres, or 15% of the entire area of Ukraine and 20% if the Crimean peninsula is included.

The Ukrainian government has stated that, if Moscow does not cede control of the territories, Kiev is prepared to retake all of the country’s boundaries established after 1991 by force.

Vladimir Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, included the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity as a demand in the “10-point peace plan” that was first presented in November 2022. This demanded that Russia cede the Crimean Peninsula and four other newly annexed regions.

Zelensky’s 10-point peace plan was, however, rejected by Sergey Lavrov of Russia, who described it as “inadequate and unachievable”.

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