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ISW: Ukrainian forces within striking distance of next layer of Russian defenses in Zaporizhzhia Oblast

by The Kyiv Independent news desk August 27, 2023 10:55 AM 2 min read
Ukrainian soldiers participate in a blank fire exercise, together with instructors from the Norwegian Home Guard 12th District Company "Hegra," part of Operation Gungne, where the Norwegian instructors conduct initial training with NATO-standard combat methods to enhance Ukrainian military capabilities, on Aug. 25, 2023, north of Trondheim, Norway. (Photo by Jonathan Nackstrand/ AFP via Getty Images)
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Ukrainian forces have made tactically significant gains in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast, attacking through some of the most challenging series of Russian fortifications, the Institute for the Study of War reported in its daily briefing on Aug. 26.

Earlier U.S. Joint Chiefs chairman Mark Milley said that the Ukrainians have managed to attack through Russia's main defensive belt.

CNN and Reuters reported that there are signs Ukrainian troops have broken through Russian defenses along the southern front and may be able to advance more quickly.

Russian sources claimed Ukrainians were attacking towards the rear defensive lines near Verbove.

Ukrainian forces now appear within striking distance of the next series of prepared Russian defensive positions, which may be weaker than the previous set of Russian defenses but still pose a significant challenge, according to the ISW.

Russia's defensive lines are the most layered and formidable in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, as the occupying force prepared to thwart expected Ukrainian drives towards Melitopol and Berdiansk.

After reportedly taking multiple casualties and losing numerous tanks and vehicles while attacking through dense Russian minefields over the past two months, Ukrainian forces secured at least part of the village of Robotyne and the area around it.

The recapture of Robotyne is an important step towards the counteroffensive in the direction of Melitopol.

Where does Russia expect Ukraine’s counterattack? Overview of defensive lines
As Ukraine gathers forces for the counteroffensive, Russia continues to build defensive lines on a massive scale. The lines are especially formidable in the southwestern part of Zaporizhzhia Oblast, where many observers expect the main Ukrainian assault to strike. But defenses have been prepared a…
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