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Ukrainian Army seize spoil heap in Horlivka: Assessing significance and success level

Ukrainian Army seize spoil heap in Horlivka: Assessing significance and success level Experts explained what the Ukrainian Armed Forces' advance near Horlivka means (Getty Images)

Ukrainian troops have taken a spoil tip on the northwestern outskirts of Horlivka. Experts believe that this will not change the situation on the battlefield, but will expand tactical capabilities, according to the RBC-Ukraine article "Avdiivka and Maryinka situation, Ukrainian maneuvers near Horlivka: Frontline overview".

Horlivka is a major industrial center in the Donetsk region. This week it became known that our soldiers have advanced and taken control of the mine spoil heap named after Gagarin.

Ukrainian Army seize spoil heap in Horlivka: Assessing significance and success levelscreenshot by

Vladyslav Seleznov, a military expert and former spokesperson for the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, says that the Ukrainian Defense Forces were proactive, but he doubts that this will significantly affect the situation in this area.

"This should scare the Russians to some extent. They think they have everything under control and determine exactly where and when to attack our defenders... Will this (the positions on the spoil tip - ed.) change the situation on the battlefield radically? No, it won't. Most likely, the enemy will pull up resources and push our units back. But this will force him to move either reserves or forces from other parts of the front," he explains.

According to Oleksandr Musiienko, head of the Center for Military Legal Studies, the new height expands the tactical capabilities of Ukrainian troops. In general, the tactical success of Ukrainian forces shows two aspects: The Ukrainian Armed Forces counterattack whenever possible, and the occupiers cannot act equally along the entire front.

At the same time, experts believe that a military scenario for the liberation of Horlivka is impossible. However, in October, the American magazine TIME wrote about the alleged demand to conduct an operation to retake Horlivka.

According to Seleznov, fighting in urban areas is the most difficult type of operation.

Let's recall the heroic defense of Bakhmut. Then, during the 10 months of the assault, the Russians lost about 100,000 dead and wounded. This is too high a price to pay for a district center. Therefore, Ukraine is unlikely to realize the de-occupation of Horlivka in this way. What is happening now in the area of the spoil tip is a tactical episode. Its purpose is to divert the occupiers' resources and attention from other eastern directions," the expert says.

What preceded it

On December 12, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced the advance of the Armed Forces of Ukraine near Horlivka, Donetsk Oblast. Ukrainian soldiers recaptured one of the occupiers' spoil heaps. The Ukrainian soldiers also managed to capture Russian positions.

The advance was made by the soldiers of the 24th Separate Mechanized Royal Brigade named after King Danylo.

Horlivka, Donetsk region, has been under temporary occupation of Russia since 2014. The successes of Ukrainian troops in the area were reported online in the second half of November. The defenders have managed to gain a foothold only now.