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Ukraine’s offensive amid Wagner rebellion Despite Prigozhin’s claims of major Russian losses, the reality appears to be a modest Ukrainian advance. Meduza shares an updated combat map.
Since the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Meduza has adopted a consistent antiwar position, holding Russia responsible for its military aggression and atrocities. As part of this commitment, we regularly update an interactive map that documents combat operations in Ukraine and the damage inflicted by Russia’s invasion forces. Our map is based exclusively on previously published open-source photos and videos, most of them posted by eyewitnesses on social media. We collect reports already available publicly and determine their 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 6:00 p.m. GMT (11:00 a.m. EDT) on June 24, 2023
Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin justified his rebellion by saying that, among other issues, the Russian army was experiencing defeats in the battles for the Zaporizhzhia region and Bakhmut. Prigozhin said, according to his information, Russia had lost the following settlements:
- Piatykhatky (south of Zaporizhzhia)
- Part of the Robotyne village (south of Orikhiv)
- Urozhaine (in the Velyka Novosilka area, which is part of the Donetsk region that borders the Zaporizhzhia region)
Prior to his armed uprising, Prigozhin also stated that the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) had been able to get their forces to Hola Prystan, located to the east of the Dnipro River.
Prigozhin’s only claims that have been confirmed are that Ukrainian troops have liberated Piatykhatky, and that some AFU units have advanced toward Robotyne (they are still a few kilometers away). Otherwise, the Russian army’s situation is complicated — but not critical. So far, there are no signs that the AFU were able to take advantage of the turmoil in Russia.
After AFU’s first few attacks carried out by armored vehicles were unsuccessful, they decided to change their strategy. Now, the AFU employ artillery and drone strikes to try and undermine the Russian army’s rear. There are dozens of videos showing strikes on Russian howitzers, air defense systems, and electromagnetic installations located a few kilometers from the front in the Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions. Ukrainian units are also employing small groups of infantry to attack Russian bases. Armored vehicles are being used as a kind of taxi to bring infantry toward the Russian army’s positions. Judging by video footage, the AFU are experiencing fewer equipment losses (especially tanks), comparing to the first weeks of the offensive.
According to Ukrainian troops, the main risk they face as they advance is attack by Russian Ka-52 helicopters. They strike Ukrainian armored vehicles from a distance of up to eight kilometers (around five miles) and launch anti-tank missiles from low-altitudes. Since the start of the offensive, there have been around 70 video clips posted showing these kind of strikes.
Western Zaporizhzhia region
- In the first days of Ukraine’s offensive, the AFU were able to liberate Lobkove. In the past few days, they liberated the village of Piatykhatky, located one kilometer to the south of Lobkove.
- Particularly intense fighting occurred over Piatykhatky. While under artillery fire, the 128th Mountain Assault Brigade was able to enter Piatykhatky, drive out soldiers from the Ossetian battalion, and then repel several counter-attacks by the Russian army. Both sides lost several armored vehicles.
- The fighting continues, as the Russian army strikes Piatykhatky with artillery fire from their positions on the nearby hills in Zherebyanki.
- After a few unsuccessful attempts to cross minefields in armored vehicles, the AFU’s infantry was finally able to get through along the Orikhiv - Tokmak highway. Ukrainian troops are now positioned approximately two kilometers (1.2 miles) from Robotyne, where a Russian defense base is located.
- Since the start of the offensive, the AFU have advanced around three kilometers (1.9 miles). However, they are still far from breaking through this heavily fortified section of Russian defenses.
After liberating the villages to the south of Velyka Novosilka from the so-called “Vremivka wedge,” the AFU have faced tougher defenses in Urozhaine and Staromaiorske. In the past week, Ukrainian troops were able to take just a few forested areas to the north of these villages.
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