Compare the areas of Ukraine under Russian control for 18 March on the map above, with those illustrated on the map below, for 14 March.
Ukrainian forces launched a counterattack from the Voznessensk Region, forcing a Russian armored battalion to retreat through Nova Odessa, leaving behind many KIA and WIA, as well as damaged and destroyed vehicles; the Russian retreat continued for a distance of about 40 miles.
Russian successes elsewhere in Ukraine more than made up for the setback at Voznessensk: to the north, advancing west-southwest on the Shostka-Mena axis, the Russians swept the area of Ukrainian resistance, while pushing about 20 miles further west-southwest from Mena; the Russian Army also invested the city of Chernihiv from all sides, while other formations maintained a close hold on the capital of Kyiv.
In the south, the Russians widened and deepened their bridgehead in the Kherson region, on the right bank of the Dnipro River, suggesting that their next objective might be the city of Krivoy Rih. These formations may be part of the Russian 58th Combined Arms Army. Russian advance parties are moving east from the Melitopol region, presumably to make contact with Russian Army and Donetsk Peoples Republic militia advancing toward the west.
In the Donbass, Russian Army and militia from the Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples Republics are threatening Ukrainian Army formations with encirclement, particularly in the areas of Lysyshansk and Severodonetsk. About 70% of the Luhansk Peoples Republic has been taken by LPR forces, while only about 50% of Donetsk Peoples Republic has been taken under DPR control.
News carried by the Russian newspaper Izvestiya, reports the following:
During a special operation in Ukraine, the Russian military advanced to a depth of up to six kilometers in a day and reached the Novoukrainka-Shakhterskoye line, Major General Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, said at a briefing.
The Russian Armed Forces destroyed Ukrainian combat aircraft in Lviv, the Defense Ministry said. “On the morning of March 18, high-precision long-range weapons struck at the military infrastructure of Ukraine. As a result of the strike, a parking lot with Ukrainian combat aircraft at an aircraft repair plant in the city of Lviv was destroyed, as well as ammunition depots and Ukrainian military equipment in the suburbs of Nikolaev and Voznesensk,” said Major General Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry.
Militias interacting with the Russian Armed Forces took the village of Tsirkuny, adjacent to Kharkov.
The head of the Lugansk Peoples Republic, Leonid Pasechnik, allowed men from the liberated regions to travel outside the republic, which was prohibited due to mobilization in Ukraine.
Mariupol airport came under the control of the forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic, RIA Novosti reports.
The People’s Militia of the LPR announced 70 Ukrainian soldiers were KIA on March 17.
Blog Editor Patrick Cloutier is the author of Mussolini’s War in the East 1941-1943.