Along Russia’s southern defensive line Ukrainian forces have made a “significant tactical breach” in their counteroffensive.
The counteroffensive has forced Vladimir Putin to redeploy their “elite troops” from Bakhmut as Ukraine makes progress in Zaporizhzhia.
According to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) Ukrainian forces are trying to encircle Russian troops in Zaporizhzhia.
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Since Ukraine’s successful “lightning-fast operation” in nearby Andriivka which lasted just “two days” the operation saw the “elimination” of the 72nd separate motorized rifle brigade of Russia in the village based in the Donetsk region.
This is now preventing Russia to withdraw their troops quickly to redeploy to other areas where Ukrainian forces are operating.
Analysts said, “ISW has previously assessed that Ukrainian counteroffensive operations along several lines of effort would force the Russian command to prioritise certain sectors of the front and conduct lateral redeployments that offer Ukraine opportunities for exploitation.”
In Robotyne and west of Verbove, Zaporizhzhia Ukrainian forces are widening their breach however, the lack of heavy equipment and vehicles in the area could suggest Russia has more defences ahead.
The ISW said that Russian forces have “likely suffered heavy losses.”
The ISW added, “Russian forces have thus far been unwilling to send these relatively elite formations to aid in the critical defensive effort in western Zaporizhzaia Oblast, and Ukrainian operations around Bakhmut appear to continue preventing the Russian command from doing so at scale.