There are preliminary reports that Ukraine launched a limited offensive push in the direction of the town of Kreminna in the Luhansk region on Christmas Eve with enough success that the Russian military is said to have withdrawn its command staff from the town and evacuated to the East to the town of Rubizhny. The evacuation suggests the fear of being enveloped as Ukrainian forces tie down Russian troops to their front and then envelope the town and cut off retreat.
In a move reminiscent of Washington’s attack on Trenton New Jersey on Christmas night 1776. Crossing the Delaware River, Washington’s forces caught a regiment of Hessian mercenaries sleeping in after a night of drunken Christmas celebrations and routed them, killing and wounding more than 100 and leaving 800 more captured or missing. This was 2/3rds of the Hessian regiment.
Advancing eastward, Ukrainian forces are believed to have first captured the towns of Chervonopopivka and Dibrova, opening the road to Kerminna itself. The current temperature in the area is 35 degrees with snow on the ground and more on the way this week.
Russian Forces captured Kriminna in April 2022 and it occupies a strategic location in Luhansk Oblast along the North/South supply route of the P-66 highway. Ukraine’s recapture of this town threatens the supplies of Russian units stationed north of Kreminna and receiving supplies from the hub in Severodonetsk to the South East. It also gives Ukraine a ready route of advance to Severodonetsk as it continues limited offensive operations in the bitter cold and snow.
As we have reported earlier, winter offensives are notoriously difficult to sustain in terms of distance. Troops are slogging through snow and exposed to freezing temperatures, tanks are confined to main roads to reduce the risk of bogging down in deep snow drifts. The need to shelter your troops indoors if possible means offensive operations tend to be directed towards objectives that provide shelter to the army rather than just grabbing open terrain. In winter, the cold can produce more casualties than bombs and bullets. Unlike a gunshot wound or shrapnel injury, frostbite frequently involves the amputation of lower extremities. Recovery from such injuries takes far longer and the soldier is unable to return to the battlefield missing things like his feet or hands.
According to the Ukrainian news source Ukrinform.net, the Defence Ministry of Ukraine is not claiming to have occupied the Kriminna as of this moment saying in a statement by spokesman Serhil Haidai
“The reports that our military has already liberated Kreminna or at least advanced to its outskirts are not true, but the fighting is going on near the city and I can say that the command of a certain echelon that was stationed in Kreminna has now been moved to Rubizhne,”
This is a developing story that we will follow and update.