Day 334: January 23Today there are a lot of updates from the Zaporizhzhia region. Here, after the Russians launched their offensive operation with the goal of capturing Orikhiv, they quickly realized that they underestimated the capability of the Ukrainians. Ukrainian artillery, which they thought was relocated to the east, opened devastating fire and forced the Russians to completely change their main lines of attack and especially how these attacks are conducted.As you remember, during the first day of the Russian offensive operation, the Russians established control over the grey zone areas to get as close to the Ukrainian defense line as possible, and during the second day, the Russians started storming every single settlement that is a part of the Orikhiv defense line, which did not work out very well. It seems like the Russians counted on two things.Firstly, the Russians likely assumed that by increasing the activity in this dormant direction rapidly, they could catch the Ukrainians off guard and exploit the element of surprise to the fullest. Secondly, the Russians likely assumed that the Ukrainians had decreased the concentration of their forces here in favor of other directions, such as Kreminna and Bakhmut, to the point where the Ukrainians were incapable of repelling a massive attack. That is why they opted for such a broad attack with a lot of troops – they didn’t think that the Ukrainians had enough troops to save the situation everywhere, and they also did not expect that the Ukrainians still have enough artillery in the region, as almost all artillery brigades were relocated to the east.As it turned out, they underestimated the Ukrainians with respect to both factors because it turned out that the Ukrainians were not caught by surprise, they had enough men to retain control over all settlements, and they managed to cause the biggest problems for the Russians with their artillery. Even though this is exactly what the Ukrainian General Staff reported and showed in the video where Ukrainian artillery is successfully preventing the Russians from crossing the fields, the same conclusions can be derived from Russian sources as well.The first wave of reports was overly optimistic and suggested that the Russians had taken control over all settlements in one day. The second wave of reports was less enthusiastic and claimed that the fights continued to take place. The fights did not continue to take place, but the Russians were definitely preparing to resume them very shortly. When they resumed their offensive actions, they significantly decreased the scope of their operation and focused just on the outskirts. The last wave of reports is more realistic, and almost all Russian sources confirm that the Russians did not enter any of the villages due to overwhelming arterially fire and distant mining.Right now, the Ukrainians are in full control of the villages from Scherbaky to Novodanylivka, and the Russians here are conducting a lot of small-scale attacks that are meant to identify Ukrainian fortifications, observation posts, and other positions, which they later target with their artillery. In order to alleviate the main problems of their infantry, the Russians also engaged in intense counterbattery combat.When it comes to the western part of the region, here the Russians continue storming Kamianske, and there are a lot of conflicting reports. The only thing that is clear is that the fights there are incredibly heavy.Overall, the fights are once again becoming positional. This is very good news for the Ukrainians because it means that their defense line is intact, and the Ukrainians retained tactically advantageous positions that make it much easier to protect the flanks of Orikhiv.