On 20-21 August, Ukrainian forces achieved tactically significant gains both to the east and within Robotyne, located in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Concurrently, Ukrainians sustained their counteroffensive operations on the administrative border between Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts, as well as in eastern Ukraine, the Institute for the Study of War said in its daily report.
Geolocated footage published on both 20 August and 21 August indicates that Ukrainian forces reached the central part of Robotyne (located 10km south of Orikhiv) and successfully breached Russian defenses to the south of Mala Tokmachka (positioned 9km southeast of Orikhiv), ISW said.
“Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar reported that Ukrainian forces succeeded in the direction southeast of Robotyne and south of Mala Tokmachka, and that Russian forces unsuccessfully counterattacked east of Robotyne. Maliar and Russian sources stated that fighting is ongoing in Robotyne.”
A Kremlin-affiliated milblogger stated that Ukrainian forces captured positions within a segment of the Russian forward defensive lines after escalating attacks on the Robotyne-Verbove line (positioned 21km southeast of Orikhiv), the Institute reported.
ISW previously assessed that Ukrainian attacks on Robotyne were of tactical significance because advances in the area could potentially allow Ukrainian forces to operate outside of the densest Russian minefields. Continued Ukrainian troop advances across the fields in the region support this assessment.
According to ISW, the ongoing Ukrainian advances in the Robotyne area are also likely intended to weaken Russian forces, who have invested significant effort, resources, and personnel to maintain their positions around Robotyne.
During the previous week, Ukrainian forces have also reportedly made advancements in the directions of Bakhmut and Kreminna. Ukrainian counteroffensive operations persist to the south and southeast of Velyka Novosilka in the western Donetsk and eastern Zaporizhzhia oblasts.
According to Maliar, it has been confirmed that Ukrainian forces managed to reclaim a total of three square kilometers around Bakhmut within the past week alone, accumulating a total of 43 square kilometers since the capture of Bakhmut by Wagner Group forces in May 2023.
Furthermore, Andriy Vlasenko, the Head of the Ukrainian Sievierodonetsk City Administration, conveyed that Ukrainian forces have achieved unspecified successes south of Kreminna while effectively implementing active mobile defenses within the region, the Institute for the Study of War wrote.