On Friday, the majority of the action when it comes to a counteroffensive by Ukrainian forces is along the Oskil River. But while attention has lately been focused on the city of Lyman and Ukrainian forces maneuvering to encircle the Russian forces there, it’s far from the only location east of Oskil seeing action.
While it’s easy to understand the attention being devoted to the southern end of this map, both because of the intense conflict around Lyman and the rapid expansion of the Ukrainian-liberated area immediately east of the river, at least three other areas are seeing active conflict along the river on Friday,
At the northern end of the line, Ukrainian forces launching out from Dvorichna have reportedly cross the river, secured Hryanykivka, and are engaged in fighting at Tavilzhanka. Conflict in this area was first reported over 12 hours ago, so Ukrainian forces may have been turned back, or may have secured the town. There’s simply no new information.
Next down the line is the city of Kupyansk. This is the location from which Russia originally launched its “Izyum salient” to the west, so it only seems right that it now become a point from which Ukraine can work to the east. That seems to be happening on Friday. Though earlier reports had Russian forces trying to reclaim the part of the city east of the river, it now seems that Ukraine has secured that area, including a small suburb, and has moved toward Petropavlivka. There has been geolocated video of Ukrainian forces advancing in the area, and the destruction of a Russian tank, but like Tavilzhanka, it’s now been several hours since there was anything new from this area.
Next … Kivsharivka. It’s on the map with a yellow pin, not because either side has attacked it, but because the one thing that all the messages coming out of Kivsharivka seem to agree on is that no one is there. Well, not no one. Before the war, this was a substantial town of 20,000, and a good deal of that population still seems to be in place. It’s just that for something like five days running, there have been neither Russian nor Ukrainian forces present. The same may be true of Hlushkivka, which is that white dot just below Kivsharivka on the map. I just don’t have any information.
Senkove is the one place where Ukrainian forces have definitely reached the river on the west side, but don’t seem to have created a bridge to the east. It’s unclear why that may be.
Then it’s down to Horohovatka, across the river from Pidlyman and Borova. Pidlyman was apparently liberated five days ago, but conflict with Borova to the north has been sporadic. There have been some reports that Ukrainian forces are waiting for more troops to press south from Kupyansk before making a serious assault on Russian forces in this town.
And that finally gets us down to the south end of the reservoir near Lyman. What’s going on in this area? What isn’t?
On the west side, Ukraine has reportedly secured Rubtsi and Korovii Yar (which may be the location with the most alternate spellings on the entire map of Ukraine). From there, Ukrainian forces have proceeded into Lozove, which may or may not be fully liberated. But if it’s not, that hasn’t stopped Ukrainian forces from moving north of the town and reportedly reaching Pisky-Radkivski (which is fun to say).
Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces also seem to have made a thrust to the northwest. As in Lozove, there are some reports that Ukraine has liberated Karpivka, and there are reports of conflict both at Ridkodub and Nove. At end of daylight in Ukraine, there was reportedly a conflict going on in the fields midway between Ridkodub and Karpivka. Outcome unknown.
Swinging down to Drobysheve, there are reports that while the town is completely encircled by Ukrainian forces and under Ukrainian control, there remains within the town a group of Russian soldiers fortified in place. These are reportedly what remains of two Russian mercenary units identified as BARS-13 and BARS-16. In just the last half hour, Ukrainian sources have reported a Russian counter-counterattack on Drobysheve. It will be some time before we know if that effort was successful and whether the Russians trapped there were able to escape.
In Lyman itself, Russia still reportedly has artillery in the northern part of the city or in the area just to the city. There’s concern among Russian sources that Ukraine intends to drive from Drobysheve and Derylove to Stavky, then to come directly south at Lyman. That fear has led to some discussion of trying to get guns and armor out of the city now, while there is still a route of escape.
On the other hand, Lyman has been “about to be liberated” about twice an hour for the last five days. Except on those occasions when someone has declared that it was “already liberated.” So it’s hard to know how seriously to take any of the talk about Russian forces moving out.
If it seems like things are moving slowly around Lyman, here are a few dates from when Russia was coming the other way. Russia took Lozove on April 18, Serednje on May 8, and Lyman on May 27. It would be mid-June before they made their way down to Ozerne.
So give Ukraine a little more time. Things are going well.
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