Day 331: January 20Today there is a lot of news from the Luhansk region. Over the last several days, the Ukrainians have conducted an extensive attack here, which resulted in a lot of changes to the front line.The changes to the status quo happened in the central part of the Luhansk region. Last time we covered this area, I told you that the Russians launched an unstoppable series of assaults on Novoselivke because, without it, they would not be able to maintain their positions in Kuzemivka. The main idea behind these attacks was that offense is the best defense. In we look at the topographic map, we can see that Kuzemivka is located in the lowlands, surrounded by Ukrainian positions a few hundred meters away from it. This means that there is simply no way to hold defense inside the village, so the Russians were constantly pushing and successfully preventing the Ukrainians from getting too close and endangering this group.The biggest problem with this tactic is that it is extremely costly, as attackers usually lose more men than the defenders, and in this case, where the Russians were attacking from a tactically disadvantageous position, the losses were even higher. The Ukrainians tried to burn Russian reserves with artillery strikes, but the situation only noticeably changed when the Russians started reinforcing Kreminna. This put a huge strain on Russian reserves in this particular region, and the Ukrainians took the initiative.Due to the constant attacks, the Ukrainians opted for an unusual solution. They abandoned Novoselivke but conducted combat reconnaissance very frequently. This way, they did not need to stay under artillery fire in this very small village, and they also did not allow the Russians to establish full control over it. But as the weakness of the Russian group became more evident, the Ukrainians prepared an attack fist to push the Russians from this region completely.One group consisting of up to 20 troops attacked the village from Berestove, similarly to how it was done previously. During the engagement, the Ukrainians exploited the fact that their attention was fixed on the first attack group and opened the second line of attack. The Ukrainians formed an attack fist in Stelmakhivka that consisted of around 100 people and several tanks and assaulted the southwestern outskirts. As a result, the Russians were rapidly pushed behind the railways and soon started retreating. The Ukrainians reinforced this group even more with around 150 troops and half a dozen armored vehicles and developed their offensive in the direction of Kuzemivka. As a result, the Russians left the Kuzemivka area completely. Nonetheless, the Russians continued to concentrate their artillery fire on these two settlements. Their goal was to inflict losses on this big attack group and also not allow it to clear the settlement. The latest news suggests that the Ukrainians did not clear Kuzemivka, so it is considered a grey zone, but they do maintain full control over Novoselivske, which is even more important than Kuzemivka.After losing control over Kuzemivka, the Russians basically have only three settlements standing in the way of the Ukrainians and preventing them from storming Svatove. What is interesting, over the last month, there were a lot of engagements around these settlements. For example, as noted in my previous report on this region, the Ukrainian General Staff, for the first time, started mentioning Kryvoshyivka and Pikuychansk, which indicates that the Ukrainians have been gradually improving their tactical position around these settlements. Also, a lot of heavy clashes happened between Stelmakhivka and Kolomyichikha because these are the main bases in the region.Even though the Ukrainians are still far away from attacking Svatove in a serious way, getting as close to it as possible can force the Russians to deploy their reserves in this city instead of Bakhmut and Kreminna, which can alleviate a lot of issues that the Ukrainians are experiencing right now. The Svatove area is mainly the area of responsibility of mobilized soldiers, which the Russian command does not trust a lot, and may be forced to relocate their professional troops from the south. And no wonder, as these units lack military discipline, which translates to very poor coordination on the battlefield. This poor coordination often results in defensive positions being abandoned prematurely, which to a degree, happened in Novoselivske because the Russians failed to request artillery support timely and quickly withdrew.