In many sections where the Ukrainian army is on the offensive, the situation is much worse.
As a result, in a month across the entire Zaporizhzhia front, the Ukrainian army has managed to either penetrate the Russian defenses in about three or four places or come close to its first line. The biggest success was cutting-off the so-called Vremievsky salient near the town of Velyka Novosilka (about 7 kilometers deep and up to 10 kilometers wide), allowing the Ukrainian army to approach the second line of defense of the Russian forces in this area and liberate the ruins of seven villages.
Still, the Ukrainian army has not thrown in about 85% of what it had built up – both in terms of people and equipment. It became clear that with the tactics of breaking through in columns, as planned initially, it would be very quickly wasted. With new tactics, the Ukrainian army will use this potential if the right circumstances arise: if the forward detachments find a “weakness” in the defense or some Russian unit leaves its position, unable to withstand attack in the rear or having been left without ammunition.
Perhaps US-supplied 155-mm cluster artillery shells (DPICM) will help – they can remotely clear fields, strike at anti-tank groups hiding in forest belts and strongholds, and create wide, deep corridors for the advance of tank groups. In the steppe, their effectiveness is theoretically significantly higher than in forests or cities. However, we will see only when the shells are fired.
Meanwhile, some US allies expressed unease
at Washington’s decision to supply Ukraine with cluster bombs, so US President Biden, in an interview with CNN
on July 7, considered it necessary to explain himself:
It was a very difficult decision on my part. […]I discussed this with our allies… This is a war relating to munitions. And [the Ukrainians] are running out of ammunition… I took the recommendation of the Defense Department to – not permanently – but to allow for this transition period, while we get more 155 weapons, these shells, for the Ukrainians.Dnieper front
The front line along the banks of the Dnieper (about 400 km) is often called the Dnieper front, but there are practically no clashes and things are limited to shelling.
Since April 2023, the Ukrainian army has begun to occupy numerous islands in the course of this wide river, especially in the area mentioned above between Kherson and Oleshky. Popular Russian war bloggers, basically broadcasting the position of Russia’s GRU, were very worried on June 5 about the start of a Ukrainian offensive in the Oleshky area and in the area of the Kakhovka HPP – a few hours later the dam was blown up from the inside (see this article
by the author in Russia.Post about this).
Thus, the Russian military prevented a likely Ukrainian offensive to its flank and made it impossible until at least the end of July – until the soil on the islands and in many places in the Dnieper floodplain dries out after the flood caused by the dam explosion and becomes passable for heavy equipment.
In late June, the Ukrainian army tried to take advantage of the situation when the bank emerged from under the water on the left bank of the Dnieper, while further, in old channels and floodplains, the water was still high. The Ukrainian army landed a relatively large force (according to Russian data, up to 100 people) around the largest bridge in the area – the Antonivka Road Bridge – which was partially destroyed.
The landing party has been holding out for more than three weeks, though on June 30, after being hit by a Russian Iskander missile on the remains of the bridge, it was partially eliminated. In any case,