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ISW: Ukrainian forces make tactically significant advances in Zaporizhzhia Oblast

The Ukrainian military’s advances near the strategic settlement of Robotyne are “significant” and redeployments to this area will likely stress Russia’s defenses the Institute for the Study of War says in its latest analysis,
ISW: Ukrainian forces make tactically significant advances in Zaporizhzhia Oblast

ISW: Ukrainian forces make tactically significant advances in Zaporizhzhia Oblast

Ukrainian forces have made important tactical gains in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast, even as fierce fighting continues across multiple fronts, according to an analysis by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

The ISW assessment indicates that Ukrainian troops have reached the northern outskirts of the village of Robotyne, just 10km from the strategic city of Orikhiv. “Geolocated footage published on August 11 confirms that Ukrainian forces reached the northern outskirts of Robotyne in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast,” the ISW states, though it notes the extent of these new positions remains unclear.

Map by ISW

Still, the ISW argues that Ukraine’s ability to advance on Robotyne is significant, as Russian forces have invested heavily in defending the settlement. 

Elsewhere along the Zaporizhzhia front, the ISW reports that Ukrainian forces pushed into the village of Urozhaine along the border between Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, citing Russian military bloggers. The Ukrainian General Staff also confirmed continued counteroffensive operations around Bakhmut, Berdiansk, and Melitopol.

Ukraine advances on Urozhaine. Credit: ISW

According to the ISW, these Ukrainian gains appear to be forcing Russia to shift reinforcements laterally across the Zaporizhzhia front, indicating the counteroffensive is degrading Russian defenses. The institute points to claims that units from Russia’s 7th Guards Airborne Division and Chechen battalions have newly arrived in the Robotyne area to reinforce the main 58th Combined Arms Army there.

“The arrival of the 7th VDV Division and the Akhmat elements represents the first explicit commitment of new Russian formations and units to the area,” the ISW states. However, it says the 42nd Motorized Rifle Division continues defending near Robotyne, suggesting the reinforcements are not rotating out the primary Russian forces but rather supplementing them in response to Ukrainian pressure.

Such lateral redeployments will likely further strain Russia’s defenses as it shifts units between sectors, the institute argues. Meanwhile, Ukraine maintains reserves allowing it to rotate troops, potentially giving it an advantage in sustaining intense operations across multiple fronts.

The ISW also notes that Russia appears focused on offensive actions around Kupiansk, likely seeking to divert Ukrainian forces. But it says visual confirmation is lacking for claimed Russian gains there.

In its latest report, the UK military intelligence supports the ISW assessment about the redeployment of Russian forces along the front, assessing that Russian airborne forces are redeployed from the Kherson Oblast to Orikhiv, in the Zaporizhzhia sector. 

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