Battles of Voznesensk

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Battles of Voznesensk
Part of the southern Ukraine campaign of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
Date2–3 March 2022 (first battle)
9–13 March 2022 (second battle)
Result Ukrainian victory [1]
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine
Units involved

Banner of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (obverse).svg  Russian Armed Forces

Ensign of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.svg  Ukrainian Armed Forces

Irregular civilian volunteers (militia) [4]
Per Ukraine (first battle):
400 soldiers
43 vehicles [3]
600 soldiers
Casualties and losses
Per Ukraine (first battle):
100 soldiers killed
10 soldiers captured
30 vehicles captured or destroyed [5]
1 Mil Mi-24 destroyed [5] [3] [2]
43 [5]
Per Ukraine (first battle):
10 civilians killed [2]

The battles of Voznesensk were a series of military engagements between Russia and Ukraine that occurred as part of the southern Ukraine campaign during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine in early March 2022.


After capturing the city of Kherson, Russian forces advanced west towards the city of Mykolaiv. While Russian forces attacked Mykolaiv, a Russian column detached and pushed north, engaging Ukrainian forces twice at the small city of Voznesensk. The city was considered strategically significant to Russian forces due to having a bridge across the Southern Bug river and its proximity to the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant. [3] [2]

First battle

On 2 March 2022, elements of the 126th Coastal Defence Brigade of the Russian Black Sea Fleet advanced northwest towards the city of Voznesensk from Mykolaiv, attempting to find a crossing over the Southern Bug river. The Russian column was alleged to have consisted of 400 men and 43 vehicles. [3] [2]

In preparation, Yevgeniy Velychko, the mayor of the city and one of the Ukrainian commanders, stated that local businessmen helped Ukrainian forces create numerous roadblocks and destroyed a bridge over the Mertvovod River  [ uk ] in Voznesensk, as well as digging out the shoreline of the river so that Russian vehicles could not ford it. [2]

Russian forces initiated the battle by shelling the city, damaging several buildings. Russian paratroopers were dropped to the southwest of the city, while an armored column advanced from the southeast, staging in the neighboring village of Rakove  [ uk ]. Russian snipers created nests in several houses in the village, and Russian forces set up a base at a local petrol station. A Russian APC fired at the local Territorial Defense Forces base, killing several Ukrainian soldiers. Russian forces were unable to push into Voznesensk. Ukrainian artillery began shelling Russian positions, preventing Russian artillery from setting up their mortars. [2]

By nightfall, Russian tanks began firing into Voznesensk, but retreated after being met with counterfire. Concurrently, Ukrainian forces continued to shell Russian positions, destroying some Russian vehicles. Ukrainian soldiers advanced on foot, attacking Russian vehicles with American-supplied FGM-148 Javelin missiles, destroying at least three tanks. Ukrainian forces were also able to down a Russian Mil Mi-24 attack helicopter. Russian forces fully retreated on 3 March, abandoning equipment and vehicles. During their retreat, Russian artillery shelled Rakove, hitting a clinic. Russian forces also looted the village. The Russian column retreated 40 miles (64 km) to the southeast. [3] [2]

An entire Russian battalion tactical group (BTG) was destroyed in the battle. In total, 30 of the 43 Russian vehicles, including some tanks, were captured or destroyed. [5] Among them, Ukrainian forces were able to salvage 15 tanks. Local officials stated that around 100 Russian soldiers were killed and 10 were captured. [3] [2] Ukrainian forces casualties were 43, soldiers plus Territorial Defense Forces. [5] 12 civilians were killed during the battle. [3] [2]

Second battle

On 9 March, Russian forces conducted another attack on Voznesensk. [6] [7] Ukrainian forces set up a defense position near the destroyed bridge. [8] The following day, Russian forces captured the city. Ukrainian forces recaptured Voznesensk three days later on 13 March. [1] [9] By 18 March, Ukrainian counterattacks around the area had pushed the Russians 120 kilometres back from the city. [10] [ unreliable source ]

The local Ukrainian forces continued to fortify the city after the second assault, believing that Russian forces would continue their attacks. [1]

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  1. 1 2 3 Voznesensk resists Russian takeover: City occupied 3 days, now freed & preparing to defend, France 24. (Archive)
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Trofimov, Yaroslav (16 March 2022). "A Ukrainian Town Deals Russia One of the War's Most Decisive Routs". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 6 October 2022. Retrieved 16 March 2022.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Dasgupta, Sravasti (17 March 2022). "Ukrainian soldiers and volunteers defeated larger Russian force in strategically important town, report claims". Independent. Archived from the original on 29 September 2022. Retrieved 17 March 2022.
  4. "Ukraine's citizen warriors with hunting rifles beat 40 Russian tanks". Times. 27 March 2022. Archived from the original on 5 April 2022. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 Yaroslav Trofimov (2024). Our Enemies Will Vanish : The Russian invasion and Ukraine's war of independence. New York: Random House. pp. 131–135. ISBN   9780593655184.
  6. Video shows firefights between Ukrainian and Russian troops in streets of Ukrainian city of Voznesensk, CNN. (Archive)
  7. "Militares ucranianos y rusos combaten en calles de la ciudad de Voznesensk" [Ukrainian and Russian soldiers fight in the streets of the city of Voznesensk], Peru 21 (in Spanish), 9 March 2022, archived from the original on 28 March 2023.
  8. Ukraine: The small town which managed to block Russia's big plans , (Archive)
  9. "Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, March 10". Institute for the Study of War. 10 March 2022. Archived from the original on 17 March 2023. Retrieved 17 March 2022.
  10. "Ukraine update: Ukraine retakes 75 miles of Russian-held territory, pushes toward Kherson". Daily Kos. Archived from the original on 20 November 2022. Retrieved 18 March 2022.

Further reading