A Blog by Jonathan Low


Sep 13, 2023

Recent Ukrainian Progress Means Offensive "Can Last For Months"

Ukraine's decimation of Russian capabilities have led to advances in the south, towards Tokmak, the east around Bakhmut and Adviivka and have stopped any Russian hope of regaining ground in the northeast.

These tactical achievements now mean that Ukraine can continue its offensive at its own pace as it becomes increasingly apparent Russia can not replace its lost weapons or troops. JL 

Stavros Atlamazoglou reports in 19fortyfive:

Kyiv is making steady progress in southern Ukraine as well as in the Donbas.  (And) the Ukrainian military continues to maintain pressure on Russian positions around Bakhmut.  Russia has redeployed forces from other areas of the front to replace degraded units around Robotyne. These redeployments limit Russia’s ability to carry out operations along the front line.” Moscow’s limited effective mobile reserves haunt Russian leadership.

The Ukrainian counteroffensive continues to unfold along several axes of advance.

Kyiv is making slow but steady progress in southern Ukraine as well as in the Donbas. The stakes remain high, while it is increasingly looking like the Ukrainian counteroffensive will last for months.

A Multi-Pronged Counteroffensive in Ukraine

The Ukrainian forces continue to make steady progress in southern Ukraine.

“Elements of the Ukrainian Armed Forces have advanced into the multi-layered main Russian defensive line east of the town of Robotyne,” the British Military Intelligence assessed in a recent estimate of the conflict.

Learning from the initial weeks of the counteroffensive, where tanks and mechanized infantry got stuck in the extensive Russian fortifications and minefields, Kyiv continues to use light infantry to overcome Russian defenses.

But that isn’t the only axis of advance the Ukrainian forces are pursuing. Farther to the northeast, the Ukrainian military continues to maintain pressure on the Russian positions around Bakhmut. The Ukrainians have made steady gains to the south of the ruined town, threatening to unravel Moscow’s progress over the past year in the area.

“It is highly likely that Russia has redeployed forces from other areas of the frontline to replace degraded units around Robotyne. These redeployments are likely limiting Russia’s ability to carry out offensive operations of its own along other areas of the front line,” the British Military Intelligence added.

In the fluid operational environment on the ground, military commanders have to make decisions fraught with risk with limited information. Moscow’s limited effective mobile reserves are likely to come back and haunt the Russian leadership.


“The redeployments are also highly likely an indication of pressure on their defensive lines, particularly around Robotyne,” the British Military Intelligence stated. 

Russian Casualties in Ukraine

Meanwhile, on day 564 of the conflict, the Russian military and pro-Russian separatist forces continue to take serious casualties on the ground. 

After about a week in which the Russian forces took more than 600 casualties every day, their daily rate of losses fell below that number. But not for much. Over the past 24 hours, the Russian military and pro-Russian separatist forces took 580 losses—rounded up and reported by the Ukrainian military—as well as a little over 100 heavy weapon systems and vehicles.


Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Monday, Ukrainian forces have killed and wounded approximately 269,210 Russian troops, destroyed 322 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets, 316 attack and transport helicopters, 4,560 tanks, 5,839 artillery pieces, 8,767 armored personnel carriers, and infantry fighting vehicles, 760 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 18 boats and cutters, 8,370 vehicles, and fuel tanks, 512 anti-aircraft batteries, 4,628 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 877 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 1,455 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.

The high casualties for both sides continue apace with the heavy fighting on the ground. The war is really one of attrition, and whoever manages to have more and better troops with the necessary weapon systems will have the upper hand.


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