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ISW: Ukraine regains ground as Russia’s exhausted troops struggle

Ukraine’s military is gaining ground in Staromayorske, Urozhaine and Bakhmut directions, inprobing Russia’s vulnerable defensive lines, which lack reinforcements to shore up breaches.
Assessed control of terrain in Bakhmut direction, Donetsk Oblast, as of 14 August
ISW: Ukraine regains ground as Russia’s exhausted troops struggle

Ukrainian forces made gains on multiple fronts, advancing in the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reports, citing Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar.

On 14 August, Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said Ukrainian troops achieved successes near Staromayorske and Urozhaine in Donetsk Oblast. Over the past week, Ukraine retook around 40 square kilometers of territory in the Bakhmut area.

The US-based think tank reported the Ukrainian military continues to press its counteroffensive near Melitopol and Berdiansk in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. ISW assesses that Russian defensive lines are “brittle” and lack reserves to reinforce or rotate troops.

Maliar noted unspecified Ukrainian gains south and southeast of Staromayorske (9km southeast of Velyka Novosilka) and near Urozhaine (9km south of Velyka Novosilka) in Donetsk Oblast.

Assessed control of terrain around Urozhaine, Donetsk Oblast, as of 14 August

As per the ISW report, some Russian sources acknowledged that Ukrainian forces control the northern part of the settlement.

A Russian battalion commander, Alexander Khodakovsky, complained they were defending Urozhaine with fatigued forces suffering casualties. ISW previously determined that the Russian troops lacked operational reserves for rotations or reinforcements.

Russian military bloggers also reported Ukrainian advances near Robotyne in Zaporizhzhia Oblast and Klishchiivka in Donetsk Oblast, though Russia has not officially confirmed any territorial losses.

Other takeaways from the ISW report: 

  • Ukrainian forces conducted counteroffensive operations on at least two sectors of the front on August 14 and reportedly advanced in the Donetsk-Zaporizhzhia Oblast border area.
  • Crimean occupation authorities are attempting to impose new federal penalties on individuals who publish content revealing the locations and operations of Russian military assets in occupied Crimea, likely in response to Ukraine’s ongoing interdiction campaign.
  • Russian forces conducted a series of missile and drone strikes targeting Odesa Oblast on the night of August 13 to 14.
  • The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) likely remains unable to fully take control of some Russian private military companies which are affiliated with or receive sponsorship from Russian officials and businessmen.
  • US officials announced a new $200 million security assistance package for Ukraine on August 14.
  • Ukrainian forces conducted offensive operations near Kupiansk, along the Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, in the Donetsk-Zaporizhzhia Oblast border area, and in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast and advanced near Bakhmut.
  • Russian forces conducted offensive operations near Kupiansk, along the Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line, in the Donetsk-Zaporizhzhia Oblast border area, and in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast and advanced near Kupiansk.
  • The Russian National Guard (Rosgvardia) continues to form new regiments and appoint prominent Russian ultranationalists to command its units, possibly in an effort to incentivize recruitment.
  • Russian authorities are removing local officials in occupied territories of Ukraine likely in order to fill openings with preferred candidates in the upcoming regional elections.

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