A Blog by Jonathan Low

 

Aug 20, 2023

Ukraine's Speedier Robotyne Advances Suggest Fewer Minefields Beyond First Line

As the pace of Ukraine's counteroffensive picks up, the speed of recent advances suggests Ukrainian troops have succeeded in punching past the areas most heavily by the Russians.

This implies both that the Russians are no longer able to lay more extensive minefields either because they lack the devices or that the Ukrainian attacks have made it too difficult to do so - or both. But it also suggests that Ukraine may be able to employ its western weaponry more openly as it pushes forward. JL 

Euromaidan Press reports:

Ukrainian forces continued offensives on at least three sectors of the front and advanced further near Robotyne. Recent Ukrainian advances in the Robotyne area were tactically significant. Ukrainian forces controlled northern Robotyne and conducted assaults south and southeast of the settlement after Russian forces “temporarily withdrew” from Robotyne. The relative speed of Ukrainian advances suggests that the areas north of the settlement may have been heavily more mined than areas into which Ukrainian soldiers are currently trying to advance.

Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations on at least three sectors of the front and reportedly advanced further near Robotyne in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast, said The Institute for the Study of War (ISW), an American nonprofit research group, in its latest report.

Geolocated footage published on August 18 also indicated that Ukrainian forces made marginal gains south of Urozhaine in the Donetsk-Zaporizhzhia Oblast border area, said the ISW.

In addition, the footage published on August 17 and 18 indicated that Ukrainian soldiers maintain positions in northeastern Robotyne (10km south of Orikhiv), from which Russian sources had previously claimed that Russian forces had expelled Ukrainian forces.

It confirmed that recent Ukrainian advances in the Robotyne area were likely tactically significant. According to the ISW’s previous assessments, such advances “are likely reflective of a significant degradation of the Russian forces defending the area.”

Russian military bloggers claimed that Ukrainian forces controlled northern Robotyne and conducted assaults in unspecified areas south and southeast of the settlement after Russian forces “temporarily withdrew” from Robotyne itself, suggesting that Ukrainian forces made further advances in the area.

The relative speed of these alleged Ukrainian advances suggests that the areas north of the settlement may have been heavily more mined than areas into which Ukrainian soldiers are currently trying to advance, the ISW concluded.

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