The Russian army launched several fierce attack in the east and south directions; American media said that the battle of Donbas “seems to have entered a dramatic phase”.
Different from the repeated declaration of victory of the Russian Army a few days ago, the Ukrainian Army on the 27th and 28th announced that they had failed in two different directions on the long front; and some positions were captured by the Russian Army.
The Ukrainian military believes that this may reflect the deployment of the Russian Army in large numbers and a change in tactics. And the US news agency CNN said that the Ukrainian army is having difficulty keeping the battlefield, when Russia increases its troops to fight; when the defensive positions, have been peeled for weeks.
Western military analysts, who closely monitor the situation on the Ukrainian battlefield almost every day, believe that the Ukrainian Army is at a disadvantage against the Russian army.
In a nutshell, the Ukrainian Army is facing the enemy on three fronts, and the pocket of the Russian Army is gradually shrinking. The only supply route for the Ukrainian Army is from the west. If the Russian Army makes significant progress, the fighting forces of the Ukrainian Army could be surrounded.
In Russian military operations in the Donbass, there is a lot of movement from the northeast direction. Ukraine said that the Russian military had moved two battalion-level combat groups of the 76th Airborne Division, from the Russian city of Belgorod to the Ukrainian region of Izum. In addition, two missile battalions “Iskander-M” of the Russian Army, are also being deployed from the city of Belgorod.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said on April 28 that Russian troops were concentrating their forces to try to make a breakthrough from the Izum area. Izum is located in the Kharkiv region, which has become an important gathering point for Russian troops, which are trying to advance towards the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
In the Donetsk region, the Russian Army is focusing on capturing two important cities, Slovyansk and Kramatorsk; both of these cities, briefly occupied by Russian-backed militias in 2014 and later recaptured by the Ukrainian government.
Russian forces are trying to advance towards the Donbass from the north, east and south. Attacking forces may already be within 10 miles of Slovyansk and images emerged on April 26 of a collapsed road bridge southeast of the city. This could be a possible defensive move by Ukraine, as it conducts a tactical retreat.
Regardless of location, the Russian Army’s tactics seem to be the same: daily or even weekly, preparing for attacks with artillery, rockets and heavy air strikes; then the armored vehicles move slowly forward, to occupy the enemy’s defensive position.
However, according to the American Institute for the Study of War, Russia’s tactics appear to have improved: “The Russian army advanced along several near-parallel paths, at a distance supporting each other; allowing them to ensure greater combat effectiveness”.
In the area south of Izum, the Russian Army is advancing along three routes. The US analysis suggests that, one is because the Russian commanders have learned from the previous campaign to capture Kiev; when there were only a handful of Russian units, held north of the Ukrainian capital for several weeks.
The second is because in the north of the Donbas area, the Ukrainian army did not establish a fixed defensive position, to prevent the advance of the Russian Army. On the southern front, the Russian army also accelerated the pace of military operations.
In Donetsk and Luhansk on the eastern front, because the Ukrainian side has established fixed defensive positions along the “Demarcation Line” since 2014, the Russian Army has made progress, but the battle is very fierce.
According to the Ukrainian Army, the Russian Army is regrouping and conducting aerial reconnaissance, in order to improve their tactical advantage. The Russians are using the airfield at Melitopol airport, as a base for Su-25 attack aircraft, Ka-52 attack helicopters and Mi-8 transport and combat helicopters.
Fierce fighting broke out in a large area north of Nikolayev, a Ukrainian soldier commented in the video that he saw a large number of Russian tanks and armored vehicles fighting here.
The Ukrainian military admits that the Russians have made some progress in the Kherson area, as they try to advance towards the city of Nikolayev; “The enemy gained a firm foothold in the Tavraisk settlement,” and from there shelled nearby Ukrainian positions.
Ukraine’s claims about the movement and combat of the Russian Army, cannot be independently verified. However, the Russian Defense Ministry hinted in a recent statement that the Russian offensive was being accelerated with air support.
Western media believe that, in the short term, this military operation of the Russian Army will achieve some clear results, before the Victory Day parade on May 9.
And the Ukrainians are asking the West to provide more advanced weapons to counter the onslaught of Russia today. The next phase of the battle between the two sides is likely to be more intense.
On April 28, the Ukrainian side said that the Ukrainian Army, repelled many attacks by the Russian Army in the Donbas region that day; and fighting around the Azov steel plant in Mariupol continued.
On April 28, Arestovich, an adviser to the Office of the President of Ukraine, said that the current attack of the Russian Army is mainly concentrated in Izum, Mariupol, Kherson, Nikolayev and Krivoy Rog. On April 27, the Ukrainian Army repelled six Russian Army attacks in the Donbas region.