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Chasiv Yar battles: Why and how Russia wants to capture this town

Chasiv Yar battles: Why and how Russia wants to capture this town Russians approach Chasiv Yar, Ukrainian troops prepare for urban combat (GettyImages)

Russia is advancing towards Chasiv Yar, aiming to capture the city by May 9.

What's happening there and how threatening the situation is is detailed in RBC-Ukraine's report below.

Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi disclosed that the leadership of the occupying army has ordered its soldiers to seize Chasiv Yar in Donetsk region by May 9. This small town, located west of Bakhmut, was home to less than 20,000 people before the war escalated. Currently, the Russians have practically reached it from three directions.

Why Russia wants to capture Chasiv Yar

The significance of Chasiv Yar for the enemy lies in several factors. Firstly, it serves as a transportation hub, providing access to the city of Kostiantynivka - a part of the Sloviansk-Kramatorsk agglomeration. Thus, Chasiv Yar is merely a stepping stone for the enemy. Additionally, the route from Kostiantynivka leads to Pokrovsk, another potential target for the occupiers in their summer offensive.

Chasiv Yar battles: Why and how Russia wants to capture this town

DeepState map

The second factor is the peculiar geographical location of Chasiv Yar. It sits on hills, at a dominating height. This provides advantages for both attacking surrounding areas and poses a real obstacle for the advancing side. Moreover, the Siverskyi Donets - Donbas canal runs through the eastern part of the city from north to south, further hindering the enemy.

How the Russian troops are advancing

Another surge in Russian activity near Chasiv Yar began around April 4. The enemy is conducting offensive actions towards this city from the northeast - Bohdanivka and from the southeast - Ivanivske. At the same time, the Russians are attempting to regain positions in Klishchiivka and Andriivka to cover their southern flank.

Chasiv Yar battles: Why and how Russia wants to capture this town

DeepState map

Bohdanivka is currently either fully or almost entirely occupied. Military observers assert that Defense Forces have already retreated from there, although Ukrainian Ministry of Defense refuted this information on April 13. Ivanivske is also almost entirely seized by the enemy.

How risky the situation in Chasiv Yar is

Despite Chasiv Yar being a fairly fortified settlement, the situation there is perilous. The Russians' tactics resemble those of the Avdiivka operation: they are attempting to push into the city from the eastern, northern, and southern outskirts. Some military observers claim that battles are already underway directly in Chasiv Yar - in the Kanal neighborhood, although there's currently no official confirmation of this information.

There are doubts that the enemy will manage to occupy the entire city by May 9. However, considering the Ukrainian army's shortage of ammunition and air defense means, analysts from ISW believe that Russians may advance faster here than in Bakhmut or Avdiivka. Losing Chasiv Yar is unlikely to be a matter of three and a half weeks, but such a risk exists in the coming months if Ukrainian units continue to face shortages in weaponry.

Earlier, ISW reported that Ukrainian forces have constructed serious fortifications in the Chasiv Yar area, and it will likely be challenging for Russian forces to quickly breach this defense.