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UK Defense Ministry: Russia intensifying attacks near Robotyne in Zaporizhzhia Oblast

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 21, 2024 11:56 AM 2 min read
Ukrainian soldiers take shelter from Russian shelling in a trench in the direction of Bakhmut on March 22, 2023. (Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Russia’s Ground Forces have "highly likely" increased their attacks on the Robotyne axis in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, the U.K. Defense Ministry reported in its Feb. 21 intelligence update.

Following the capture of Avdiivka, Russia has intensified its offensive efforts across several sectors of Ukraine’s front line over the past week, likely in order to stretch Ukrainian forces, the ministry wrote.

Ukrainian forces withdrew from the small industrial city of Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast on Feb. 17 amid ammunition shortages after months of repelling Russia’s renewed offensive.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) warned that Russia could replicate its successful tactics in Avdiivka on a larger scale if the West continues to delay military assistance.

Opinion: As an American in Avdiivka, what is Congress doing?
I am an American military veteran, callsign “Jackie,” and I am writing from Donbas in Ukraine. I am originally from Orange County, California. I served in the U.S. military for eight years, stationed in Colorado, South Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait. I also worked as a contractor at the

The village of Robotyne was liberated by Ukraine during its counteroffensive in the summer of 2023 and has been on the front line since then.

Robotyne sits by the main road toward Russian-occupied Tokmak and further to occupied Melitopol, one of the key logistic hubs for Russian forces in southern Ukraine.

"The Russian 58th Combined Arms army and Russian Airborne Forces (VDV) operating in the area sustained heavy casualties during the Ukrainian counteroffensive. However, the lower operational tempo since and continued Russian recruitment efforts have likely enabled Russian forces on the axis to reconstitute," reads the U.K. intelligence update.

As of Feb. 20, there were no confirmed changes to the front line in the Robotyne area, the ISW wrote in its latest assessment.

Russia takes Avdiivka at steep price, as Ukraine forced to face shortcomings
The capture of Avdiivka is Russia’s first major achievement in nine months, but it doesn’t leave any side looking good. For Russia, it was a Pyrrhic victory that consumed an army’s worth of equipment and killed or mangled estimated tens of thousands of Russian men to capture
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