Latest news on Russia’s war in Ukraine



Ukrainian servicemen ride atop a tank near the village of Robotyne, Ukraine, on August 25.
Ukrainian servicemen ride atop a tank near the village of Robotyne, Ukraine, on August 25. Viacheslav Ratynskyi/Reuters

Ukrainian officials are cautiously optimistic that the next line of Russia’s defensive fortifications on the southern front may be easier to penetrate than the first, which were shrouded by dense minefields.

Geolocated video over recent days indicates that Ukrainian units have made limited progress beyond the village of Robotyne, as they seek to expand a pocket of territory reclaimed in the last few weeks.

Oleksandr Shtupun, spokesman for Ukrainian forces in the south, told Ukrainian television on Monday that in breaching the second line of Russian defenses, Ukrainian units “will benefit from the fact that the network of trenches, dugouts, and overlaps there is not as strong as on the first line.”

However, Shtupun urged caution, stressing that the second line of defenses “is quite powerful.”

“The density of minefields there is lower, but their number is also quite large. The only thing that can play into our hands is that the trenches, dugouts and overlaps are not as strong.”

The Ukrainian military reported Wednesday that Russian units had tried to counterattack near the village of Robotyne, which fell to Ukrainian forces late in August, but had been repelled.

Ukrainian forces said that units had been successful in consolidating their positions, inflicting artillery fire on enemy targets and conducting counter-battery operations. 

Independent analysts assess that Ukrainian forces continue to make progress in a square-shaped pocket of territory south and east of Robotyne, toward the town of Tokmak. But both sides have reported intense artillery fire and widespread destruction of settlements in the area, which has reduced the village of Robotyne to ruins.


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