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Russian troops capture another key Donbass stronghold – MOD (VIDEO)

The village of Ocheretino has been described as a major logistics hub for Ukrainian troops in the area

Russian troops continue to make gains in Donbass, and have captured the strategically important village of Ocheretino to the north of Donetsk, the Defense Ministry has said.

In a statement on Sunday, the ministry said the Russian “Center” group of forces had “completely liberated” the settlement “as a result of active [battle] actions.” Ocheretino is located some 25km northwest of the town of Avdeevka, which was taken by Moscow’s troops in February.

Earlier reports suggested that Russian forces captured the southern part Ocheretino as they advanced along a local rail line. Due to its infrastructure and geographical position, it played a major role in Ukraine’s defense in the area, as it helped to provide supplies to Kiev troops. Western media have suggested that after capturing Ocheretino, Russia could try to envelop Ukrainian troops in the neighboring sectors of the front.

According to Deep State, a Ukrainian analytical Telegram channel, the collapse of the defense in the area was triggered by a rotation blunder. The outlet claimed that the Ukrainian 115th Mechanized Brigade failed to relieve the 47th Brigade in time, leaving a portion of the front wide open to Russian attacks. The leadership of the 115th Mechanized Brigade has denied the accusation.

Moscow’s gains in Ocheretino appeared to be confirmed last month by a video circulating on social media showing a Russian flag being raised over an administrative building in the village.

In an interview with the Economist at the start of May, the deputy head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, Vadim Skibitsky, said he expected Russia to continue its offensive in Donbass, noting that Kiev was struggling to fight back due to a lack of weapons. “They always knew April and May would be a difficult time for us,” he said, in an apparent reference to delays in Western assistance.

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He also suggested, as quoted by the outlet, that it is “probably a matter of time” before Chasov Yar, another Donbass high-ground stronghold, would fall just like Avdeevka. Chasov Yar is located not far from Artyomovsk (known as Bakhmut in Ukraine), a scene of bitter fighting last year.

The latest developments on the battlefield come after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Shoigu said in April that Moscow’s troops were firmly in control of the initiative in the conflict, and steadily pushing Ukraine’s forces back. Earlier this month, he estimated Ukrainian military losses at 111,000 this year alone.

May 05, 2024 at 03:50PM

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