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Frontline report: Ukrainians gain ground south of Verbove, despite resistance

Ukrainian troops break through the Russian defenses south of Verbove, capturing new trenches, despite resistance. Following the failure in the south of the village, Russians are reinforcing their positions in the east.
Footage showing new trenches captured by Ukrainians south of Verbove. Credit: Screenshot from the video
Frontline report: Ukrainians gain ground south of Verbove, despite resistance

On 9 September, it was confirmed that Ukrainians had secured one of the most important supply roads in the bridgehead and initiated reinforcement of the region to escalate their offensive operation.

Screenshot from the video

The road leading to Robotyne closely approaches the contact line, with the northern section relatively secured by Ukrainians who have established a buffer zone consisting of fields and tree lines. However, the southern section runs right in front of Russian trenches and fortifications, giving the Russians complete fire control.

Screenshot from the video

Multiple Russian sources report that Ukrainians have been flying at least two transport helicopters at very low altitudes to deliver ammunition supplies to Robotyne. Recently released footage shows Russian shelling of the trenches and fortifications near the road, confirming that Ukrainians have managed to push Russians out of their positions west of Robotyne.

There is currently no evidence that the other two nearby trench networks are under Ukrainian control, although most sources suggest that the entire field is at least within the grey zone. The loss of critical fortifications around Robotyne has led to Russian retreat in various directions, reducing pressure on Ukrainian logistics and enabling them to intensify their attacks on Verbove, breaching one more defense line.

Screenshot from the video

The second line of defense comprises multiple lines of fortifications, with the first line designed to prevent mechanized breakthroughs, featuring an anti-tank ditch and dragon teeth, among other fortifications. The second line focuses on resisting infantry assaults, offering numerous firing positions and smaller units.

Screenshot from the video

Around a week ago, Ukrainians successfully breached the first part of the defense line, as seen in footage captured by Ukrainian fighters who passed dragon teeth on their way to the contact line. Following a tactical pause, Ukrainians prepared for a second powerful push, reinforced by elements from the 82nd Brigade.

Screenshot from the video

Analysts predicted that the primary attack vector would be south of Verbove, where Ukrainians aimed to make a deep penetration and cut off Russian supplies to the village. This choice of target aligns with the weakest tactical position of the Russian defense line in the lowlands, offering Ukrainians a strategic advantage.

Screenshot from the video

Ukrainians concentrated their artillery and drone fire on this section of the defense line and employed cluster munitions to undermine Russian defense within the tree lines. The 82nd Brigade’s drone operators played a crucial role in preparing for ground operations by targeting Russian forces effectively.

Screenshot from the video

After a series of powerful ground operations following the artillery and drone strikes, the Russian defense south of Verbove was breached, with Ukrainian fighters taking control of new trenches and preparing to storm the tree lines ahead. The clashes subsequently moved south of Verbove, as indicated by geolocated footage of Russian artillery strikes.

Footage showing new trenches captured by Ukrainians south of Verbove. Credit: Screenshot from the video

In response to Ukrainian advancement, Russians resorted to using aviation, dropping massive bombs on the fields to deter further penetration. Faced with staunch resistance, Ukrainians shifted their focus toward expanding control over the second line of defense.

Russian bombardment of Ukrainian positions with aerial bombs. Credit: Screenshot from the video

However, Russians recognized the critical situation around Verobove and initiated the construction of new defenses east of Verbove, adding dragon teeth behind their existing anti-vehicle ditch, as shown in satellite footage from Planet Labs.

Screenshot from the video

In summary, Ukrainians have successfully breached all lines of fortifications within the second line of defense, and their current objective is to expand the bridgehead. Analysts note that these gains are now operationally significant, and Russian counterattacks are less successful due to Ukrainians’ effective use of captured fortifications.

In our daily frontline report, we pair up with the military blogger Reporting from Ukraine to keep you informed about what is happening on the battlefield in the Russo-Ukrainian war.

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