Ukrainian forces have advanced on the southern and eastern fronts during the 79th week of the country’s war with Russia, reaching what experts believe is the rear of Russia’s first line of defence.
But they also faced a Russian advance to the northeast which created a dilemma as to where to deploy the available forces.
Ukrainian forces, which were heading towards occupied Melitopol, confirmed their capture of Robotyn, an important Russian stronghold in western Zaporizhia, which they entered on August 20.
Southern Forces spokesman Oleksandr Stobun He said On August 28, the forces were busy demining the area, securing their positions, and seizing more land southeast of the settlement. Geolocation screenshots It is located 5 kilometers (3.1 mi) southeast of Robotyn.
Robotyn is of great importance because it lies on the T0408 highway, a highway used to resupply the Russian garrison at Tokmak, a major town 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) to the south. Stopun believed that the Russian forces would attempt to recapture Ropotyn, fearing a rapid Ukrainian advance towards Tokmak.
Geolocation screenshots On August 27, elements of the Russian 76th Guards Air Assault Division (VDV) showed reinforcement of their positions in the area.
Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Hanna Malyar He said On August 28, Ukrainian forces were already advancing on Novoprokopyevka, the next settlement on T0408, 4 kilometers (2.4 mi) south of Ropotyn.
More troubling to some Russian military correspondents is Ukraine’s announced advance toward Verbov, 8 kilometers (5 miles) east of Robotyn. One Russian soldier Reporter He described the situation there as “extremely dangerous”.
Another Russian correspondent said that Ukrainian forces here were attacking the Russian rear defensive lines, suggesting that they may have nearly breached the first belt of Russian defences.
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) wrote: “The series of defensive positions through which Ukrainian forces are currently advancing consisted of dense layers of minefields and fortifications that Russian forces had committed a great deal of manpower, materiel, and effort to hold.” Washington, D.C.-based think tank.
U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley said Ukraine was preparing to advance through an array of anti-tank trenches, anti-tank concrete pyramids known as dragon’s teeth, anti-tank obstacles and additional minefields.
“There is a complex matrix of defensive preparations that the Ukrainians are now fighting to cross,” he added. Tell Kingdom of Jordan Channel.
But the Institute for the Study of War said the size of these minefields is unclear, and may be fewer than the minefields Ukraine has already crossed “to give Russian forces operating north of these positions the ability to retreat.”
said the Ukrainian commander who led the troops to two robots Reuters The news agency reported that the counterattack had breached the strongest Russian defenses and would now move faster.
“We passed the main roads, mined. We come to those lines where we can go [forward]. “I’m sure we’ll go faster from here,” said the commander, who had the call sign “Scala.”
Milley agreed, saying that Ukrainian forces had “crossed the first major line of defense.”
The World War II Institute warned that “there is an additional series of Russian defensive positions prepared south of the current Ukrainian advance.”
Stubbon He said on 27 August that a separate counterattack towards occupied Berdyansk also achieved unspecified successes near Staromayorsky, which was recaptured by Ukrainian soldiers on 27 July.
Commander of the Russian “Vostok” battalion, Alexander Khodakovsky He said He had an occasional shortage of manpower in the region.
“When there are not enough resources, we stretch across a long arc and have difficulties transferring reserves in a large circle,” he wrote on Telegram.
Ukrainian forces were also advancing in the east. Malear said that Ukrainian forces expelled Russian forces from Klychchevka while they were encircling the occupied city of Bakhmut to the south.
It said Ukrainian forces liberated a total of 44 square kilometers (17 square miles), which is one square kilometer more than the previous week.
Russia responded to this Ukrainian advance in the south and east by launching a new attack in the northeast, towards the city of Kubyansk.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksey Reznikov He acknowledged that Russian forces “appear to be making some progress there,” but that Ukraine would not be surprised to divert its forces from its counterattack.
“It is a logical step for the enemy to divert our attention by attacking there, so as to withdraw our units from the south and east. But General Sersky, commanding the Khortytsya forces, is at the same time controlling the defense on that front and launching a counterattack in the direction of Bakhmut.
Reznikov also said that the Russian move is risky, because if Ukrainian forces advance on Bakhmut, “they will be trapped there.”
But Khodakovsky said Ukrainian forces were torn between defense and counterattack, and lacked the mass to follow up on successful attacks, which helps explain their slow advance.
“Even if tactical success could be achieved in some places, there is no way to develop it, and the enemy is withdrawn out of fear for the environment,” he wrote.
The war is in the air
Both Russia and Ukraine have continued to target each other’s weapons and logistics using drones and missiles.
Ukrainian military intelligence spokesman Andriy Yusov said that a swarm of Ukrainian drones targeted the coastal defense brigade of the Russian Guards 126th (Black Sea Fleet) near Perevalnye in Crimea.
Russian Ministry of Defense He said All 42 drones were shot down, but Ukrainian residents throughout occupied Crimea said they heard many explosions, especially in Privalny.
Ukraine has used drones to target Russia’s rear before, but a squadron of 42 aircraft may be its largest attempt yet.
Ukraine may also have succeeded in striking a Russian airport on Russian territory.
RBK-Ukraine Ukraine’s military counterintelligence service used drones to attack an airfield near the city of Kursk on the night of August 27, damaging four Russian Su-30 fighter jets, a MiG-29 fighter jet, and radars of an S-300 missile system, the Ukrainian intelligence agency said. And two planes. Pantsir missile systems.
Retired Australian Army Major General Mick Ryan named The attacks are “evidence of the sophistication and ability to conduct Ukrainian air operations” and said “the Ukrainians are not only launching attacks on an expanding list of targets, but are doing so over a longer range.”
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