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Juggling priorities Ukraine is counterattacking near Kharkiv, but insufficient manpower leaves other regions vulnerable to Russia’s ongoing offensive

Source: Meduza

Like our earlier reports on the combat situation in Ukraine, this article takes stock of the recent developments on the battlefield based on open-source information. Meduza has condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine from the very start, and our detailed military analyses are part of our commitment to objective reporting on a war we firmly oppose.

Our map is based exclusively on open-source photos and videos, most of them posted by eyewitnesses on social media. We collect available evidence and determine its geolocation markers, adding only the photos and videos that clear this process. Meduza doesn’t try to track the conflict in real time; the data reflected on the map are typically at least 48 hours old.

Key updates as of June 20, 2024

The Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU) are attempting to counterattack against Russian troops near Kharkiv and Vovchansk in northeastern Ukraine. However, these efforts have done little to stop Russia’s offensive in other sectors. Russian forces, advancing from Avdiivka, have reached within seven kilometers (about four miles) of the highway that supplies the garrison in Chasiv Yar (near Bakhmut) and the Toretsk urban area further south. It’s likely that the Russian command’s main objective for the summer is to encircle and then capture this area.

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Kharkiv and Vovchansk

Ukrainian forces are continuing their counterattacks north of Kharkiv. The Russian advance was halted on the outskirts of Lyptsi, a satellite town north of Kharkiv. To the northwest, Ukrainian units struck the flank of the Russian group advancing on Kharkiv, liberating part of the previously lost village of Hlyboke. However, the counteroffensive is facing significant challenges: Ukrainian troops, like the Russians before them, are struggling to advance just hundreds of yards under artillery fire and kamikaze drone strikes.

In Vovchansk, northeast of Lyptsi, Russian troops captured another central neighborhood: the industrial zone around the Vovchansk Aggregate Plant. According to Ukrainian sources, the AFU later counterattacked and encircled the area. This hasn’t been independently verified, however, and Russian troops managed to occupy several more of the plant’s buildings. The AFU are using all available weapons against the Russian assault groups entrenched in the industrial zone, including glide bombs. If they can’t drive the enemy out of this area, Ukrainian troops will likely have to retreat south across the Vovcha River.

The Kupyansk front

Russian forces are continuing their offensive in the eastern part of Ukraine’s Kharkiv region, advancing toward the Oskil River. The AFU’s main issue in this sector is a lack of manpower. The Ukrainian command has redeployed the experienced 3rd Assault Brigade here, but it’s difficult to assess its combat readiness after the heavy losses it suffered in previous battles near Bakhmut and Avdiivka. In any case, these limited reserves aren’t enough to withstand a major Russian offensive.

Russian troops have reached the village of Pishchane and are now a mere 10 kilometers (about six miles) from the Oskil River. Russian aviation is also regularly bombing river crossings, which are crucial for supplying troops on the eastern bank, posing further difficulties for the Ukrainian defense.

Chasiv Yar

Predictably, the Russian offensive on Chasiv Yar has stalled. Despite constant bombardment, Russian troops have been unable to break through to the city center. This is due not only to the defenders’ determination but also to the geography: Chasiv Yar sits on a hill behind the Siverskyi Donets–Donbas Canal. So far, the Russian paratroopers who reached the city’s outskirts have not been able to fully secure even the microdistrict on the eastern bank of the canal.

The offensive’s target is likely the urban area around the city of Toretsk, situated to the south of Chasiv Yar. Ukrainian sources report that after several months of relative calm, Russian forces have begun launching attacks on Toretsk and the nearby town of Niu-York from Horlivka in the south. Troops advancing north from Avdiivka are attempting to take Toretsk from the southwest.

The Avdiivka front

Russian forces have partially taken control of several more villages west of Avdiivka: Sokil, Yasnobrodivka, Novopokrovske, and Novooleksandrivka. The Pokrovsk–Kostiantynivka road, the most vital for the AFU, is only seven kilometers (about four miles) from Novooleksandrivka. If and when the Russian army cuts off this road, it could immediately worsen the situation for the AFU in Chasiv Yar and Toretsk (although there would still be supply lines along other roads — from Kramatorsk and Sloviansk).


South of Avdiivka, Russian forces are continuing their offensive on the city of Kurakhove. After several months of fighting, they’ve captured the village of Heorhiivka, west of Marinka, and reached the outskirts of Maksymilyanivka. Beyond this village lies Kurakhove, a logistical hub for the entire AFU front in the southern Donetsk region.

Not far away, northwest of Marinka, Russian troops have become bogged down in battles in Krasnohorivka’s city center. The fight for a neighborhood of high-rise buildings in the northeast of the city has been ongoing for several weeks. Krasnohorivka may suffer the same fate as nearby Marinka, which was completely destroyed after a year of fighting before being finally captured by Russian forces last winter.

The red dots show recent events, and the gray dots show earlier events. Black indicates the approximate contact line as of the last update; the red and blue areas mark places occupied (since early September) by Russian and Ukrainian forces. Clicking on them will provide additional information. Air strikes are marked with a special icon, ground operations with dots. Click on the point on the map to pull up source links.
Meduza is careful in working with data, but mistakes are still possible, and perhaps even inevitable. If you spot one, please let us know by sending an email to [email protected]. Thank you!
Read our previous combat map

A slow crawl Russia is pressing forward with its offensive, but at the current pace, it could take over a year to reach any of its goals

Read our previous combat map

A slow crawl Russia is pressing forward with its offensive, but at the current pace, it could take over a year to reach any of its goals

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