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The offensive of the Russian-led forces in the north of the Donetsk People’s Republic has slowed down due to the difficult terrain.
The city of Slavyansk is surrounded by hills on almost all sides. The Ukrainian steppes begin to the west of the city. This is why Slavyansk is of strategic importance in the war in Ukraine and was the site of fierce clashes in 2014.
Today, strategic positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have been established on the heights around the city. This makes it much more difficult for Russian forces to advance from the northern, north-eastern and eastern directions. Over the past month, there have been no advances by Russian forces in this region. Mop operations continue in dense forests around Mazanovka.
The Ukrainian command has reportedly deployed three US-made HIMARS to the south-east of the Kharkov region. Massive strikes on Russian positions in Balakleya and Izyum are expected.
Russian forces continue to hold their positions in the lowlands in the areas of the settlements of Yampol and Krasny Liman. The front line runs along the Seversky Donets River, the forcing of which is hampered by Ukrainian firing positions on the heights of the southern bank.
To the east of the city of Slavyansk, the front lines still run along the Seversk-Soledar-Bakhmut line.
Despite the withdrawal of some of the Ukrainian units from Seversk, the fighting is yet to begin in the city. The battle for the heights around the village of Verkhnekamenskoye continues.
The fighting continues for the control of Berestovo and Ivano-Dariivka. Russian troops attempted to storm the village of Berestovoye, but they failed to gain a foothold.
On the outskirts of Soledar, the fighting continues in the area of Pokrovsky, which is under the control of Ukrainian forces.
In the southern regions, the Ukrainian groups tried to counterattack Russian positions from the direction of Mykolaiv, but were destroyed by Russian return fire. Some of the Ukrainian servicemen were captured.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine are pulling reserves in the direction of Kherson. They are shelling Russian positions and rear bases. In turn, Russian units are reinforcing their air defense forces in the region. Another attack by Ukrainian artillery on the Antonovsky Bridge has been repelled on July 22.
Meanwhile, the UK is helping Kiev’s forces to strengthen their air defenses. After months of promises, Ukraine received 6 British Stormer HVM anti-aircraft missile systems. These are the first modern Western-made air defense systems to be transferred to Kiev. The Stormer systems are expected to be deployed either near Kiev, far from the front lines, or in the Kherson direction to secure the Ukrainian counteroffensive.