Russian Forces Claim to Have Captured Bilohorivka, Luhansk, Again

Russia Claims to Have Seized Village, Ukraine Mute

In the daily summary of Russian military operations from the Ministry of Defense, Moscow claimed that its forces had seized the village of Bilohorivka, Luhansk Oblast. This report matches claims from the Ukrainian General Staff of the Armed Forces which said that over the last twenty-four hours, its forces were engaged at Bilohorivka, Verkhnokamyanske, Rozdolivka and Ivano-Daryivka.

The Ukrainian government has not confirmed these reports of the seizure.

Bilohorivka, Small Village in a Large Front

Bilohorivka is a rural settlement in Sievierodonetsk Raion, Luhansk Oblast, eastern Ukraine. It is located in Lysychansk urban hromada. It is located approximately 55 miles northwest of Luhansk and 16 mi west-south-west from Sievierodonetsk.

Before the war the village had a population of about 900 people. However, in the opening stages of the conflict, this village was a focal point of the Battle of the Siverskyi Donets in May 2022.

Flash Point in the Opening Stages of the War

On May 7th, 2022, Russian aviation forces conducted an airstrike on the only school in the village and reportedly killed 60 civilians who were sheltering there. Russian sources have claimed that only two civilians were killed. Ukrainian President Zelensky claimed that the majority of the remaining population of the village was sheltering there and was thus destroyed.

Bilohorivka School after bombing in May 2022. Credit: State Emergency Service of Ukraine.

This bombing was a precursor to Russian ground forces attempting a river crossing on May 12th, 2022, by a single Battalion Tactical Group (BTG). The pontoon bridges and beachhead across the Severskiy Donets River were destroyed by Ukrainian indirect fires and the Russians retreated with heavy casualties. By the time Lysychansk fell in July 2022, Russian forces had incorrectly claimed that its forces had taken the village.

The village has been largely destroyed. Photo taken by the National Guard of Ukraine on May 24th, 2023.

The primary Russian unit operating in and around the village during the initial phases of the war was the BARS-13 (Russian Combat Reserve) which was the last to withdraw after the Ukrainian counter-offensive which regained much of the territories in Luhansk Oblast last year.

United States Military Academy and American Military University Alumni. Victor covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.


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