Geolocated footage published on Sept. 26 and analyzed by the Institute for the Study of War indicates that Ukrainian forces advanced near the village of Orikhovo-Vasylivka, located 11 kilometers northwest of Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast.
Additional geolocated footage published on Sept. 26 indicates that Russian forces likely no longer control a roughly one-kilometer-long trench line west of Verbove (16 kilometers southeast of Orikhiv in Zaporizhzhia Oblast).
"The absence of Russian forces in this trench line could facilitate further Ukrainian advances in this area, as this trench line is no longer a significant obstacle for Ukrainian forces," the ISW said.
Verbove is mere 18 kilometers east from Robotyne which Ukrainian forces said they had taken as they continued pushing east toward the village of Novoprokopivka in Zaporizhzhia Oblast at the beginning of September. Ukrainian authorities said they expected battles for control of high ground to the south and east of the village as they approached the next layer of Russian defenses.
General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, the commander of Ukraine's military fighting in Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, recently said that “there will be good news” in the Zaporizhzhia operational direction and noted that Ukrainian forces are steadily advancing but did not provide additional information.