Ukrainian drone footage revealed another Russian execution of Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) near Robotyne in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast, the Institute for the Study of War reported in their daily assessment on Dec. 27.
The video, published on Dec. 27, reportedly shows Russian soldiers shooting three Ukrainian servicemen whom Russian forces captured east of Robotyne. Later in the footage, one Russian soldier shoots an already dead Ukrainian serviceman again at close range. Ukraine's Prosecutor General’s Office stated this incident occurred on an unspecified date in December 2023. The Office has launched an investigation into the killings.
The ISW also reported that Russian forces have advanced in western Zaporizhzhia and retaken positions that Ukraine captured during the summer 2023 counteroffensive, likely after Ukrainian forces withdrew to more defensible positions for the winter near Robotyne,
Geolocated footage suggests that Russian forces recently advanced east of Robotyne. Additionally, a Ukrainian military official stated in an interview with BBC published on Dec. 27, that Russia wants to retake Avdiivka but intends to capture all of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts and recapture parts of Zaporizhia Oblast lost during the Ukrainian counteroffensive.
The ISW assessed that that the current positional war in Ukraine is "not a stable stalemate because the current balance can be tipped in either direction by decisions made in the West or Russia, and limited Russian gains could become significant especially if the West cuts off military aid to Ukraine."
Finally, the report emphasizes that Russia is not interested in good faith negotiations with Ukraine despite reports that Western officials are becoming more receptive to the idea of a negotiated end to the war.
An unnamed White House official and a European diplomat told Politico on Dec. 27 that the Biden administration and European officials are beginning to shift focus from supporting total victory over Russia to improving Ukraine’s position in eventual negotiations with Russia to end the war. These negotiations could force Ukraine to cede territory to Russia.