Day 330: January 19Today a lot of things happened between Soledar and Siversk.After the Russians established control over Soledar, the setting has to a large extent changed, and the Ukrainians needed to adjust their defense line in order to be in a better position to protect the Siversk group. And keeping the Russians as far from Siversk as possible is extremely important because Siversk is mainly used for supply and support of the offensive group in the forest that is storming Kreminna. As I told you last time, the forest is where the Ukrainians got the closest to Kreminna, so if the safety of the roads and passages that lead to the forest through Siversk is undermined, the Ukrainians will have a lot of problems. Right now the Russians to the south are still at a safe distance from these crucial roads, and in order to keep it that way, the Ukrainians started improving their tactical position with respect to the possible axes of the Russian advance.The first possible axis of advance is from Berestove towards Spirne. The Russians already used Berestove to attack Spirne from the south, and the reason why this axis is so preferable for the Russians lies in the topography. If we look at the topographic map, we can see that the Ukrainians in Spirne have a lot of positions on the hills. It is, therefore, extremely difficult to attack it in front from Mykolaivka, which is located in the lowlands. The Russians can and do assault it from the oil refinery, which is almost at the same elevation, but a supporting attack from Berestove would improve their chances of success even more. The Ukrainians are countering it by doing two things.Firstly, they created many defensive positions around the settlement. This way, even if the enemy decides to attack from multiple directions at once, they will still be far enough from each other in order to focus just on the enemy that is in front of them and allow other units to deal with the enemy in the back. That is why for the last month, there were a lot of clashes for the substation that is located to the northeast of Spirne, which the Ukrainians successfully took.Secondly, today the Ukrainians assaulted Russian positions near Berestove in order to improve their tactical position even more. The attack was successful, and the Ukrainians reportedly established control over a powerful fortification to the southeast of Spirne. Now the Ukrainians have even greater control over the local heights, which allows rebuffing Russian attacks more easily.Moreover, this also made it much harder for the Russians to use the second axis of advance – from Berestove towards Vesele. As the Ukrainians established control over this triangle, the Ukrainians in Ivano-Darivka and Vyimka gained more freedom of movement and could maintain positions closer to the embankment, basically eliminating the possibility of a flank attack.Overall, the Ukrainians have significantly diminished the risk of a successful flank attack from Berestove. Now the Russians in Berestove can only engage in positional fights, which, apart from fixing troops, do not contribute to the offensive operation. The Ukrainians have also reinforced and continue to fortify the next defense line that goes along the local hills. Given the local geography, most of the fights should take place in the fields. This forces both parties to operate along the ravines, tree belt areas, roads, and highways, which sets conditions for head-on battles and artillery duels.