“Today is decisive. Let’s fight for the “road of life” […] Trust in the Ukrainian Armed Forces! We have everything to defeat the ogres. As they crossed the river, so will they swim back.”
The Ukrainian army managed to realize such hopes almost literally: in the following days, Ukrainian defenders destroyed several such crossings, forcing the Russians to flee, even by swimming. At the same time, a huge amount of enemy equipment and personnel was destroyed, comparable to the staffing of one or two battalion tactical groups (BTG) of the Russian Federation.
Bilohorivka as a new Chornobaivka: what losses and how exactly the Armed Forces inflicted them on the Russians
According to journalist Yuriy Butusov, the most active phase of fighting in the Bilohorivka area took place on May 5-13, when units of the 58th Motorized Infantry, 80th Air Assault, 128th Mountain Assault, and 57th Motorized Brigades of the Armed Forces repulsed Russian troops.
With strong artillery support, the Ukrainian military managed not only to destroy the original crossing and enemy forces that were trying to form the first bridgehead but also to crush several other attempts by Russia to build pontoon bridges.
At the same time, a record number of invaders and their weapons were destroyed in a short time in the narrow areas of land where Russian equipment had accumulated.
According to the New York Times, Russian commanders sent about 550 servicemen of the 74th Motor Rifle Brigade of the 41st Army to ford the Siverskyi Donets near Bilohorivka.
At least 485 of them were liquidated by Ukrainian defenders, along with more than 80 units of Russian equipment, according to the Institute for the Study of War. These are the most conservative estimates: according to Butusov, Russia has lost even more near Bilohorivka — over 100 units of military equipment.
Similar assessments were made by analyst Pavel Voylov, who meticulously summarized all available photos and videos from Bilohorivka and published an extremely detailed database of the defeat of the invaders in their attempt to ford the Siverskyi Donets.
This database contains 110 objects (equipment and engineering constructions) in Bilohorivka and its vicinity. Among them are tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers, tugboats needed to construct the crossing, and other Russian military equipment, such as:
58 destroyed and sunken objects: they are marked in red on the map below (10 tanks, 31 infantry fighting vehicles, 3 airborne combat vehicles, 3 floating armored personnel carriers, 1 armored repair and evacuation vehicle, 1 landing armored personnel carrier, 2 tugboats, 1 pontoon park vehicle and 6 unknown objects);
31 possibly destroyed or damaged objects marked in khaki (2 tanks, 9 infantry fighting vehicles, 4 floating armored personnel carriers, 1 floating conveyor, 9 pontoon park vehicles, 3 pontoons on the shore and 3 unknown objects);
4 objects without any damage, displayed in white (2 tanks, 1 infantry fighting vehicle, and 1 unknown object).