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Frontline report: Ukraine entered key settlements of Novoprokopivka and Verbove, Zaporizhzhia Oblast

Ukraine received US-made tanks Abrams, which would allow Ukrainian forces to strike Russian positions from a distance, softening defenses before infantry assaults.
Screenshot from the video
Frontline report: Ukraine entered key settlements of Novoprokopivka and Verbove, Zaporizhzhia Oblast

Day 579. 25 September

There are a lot of important updates from the Tokmak direction. Russian sources admitted that Ukrainian forces advanced toward Novoprokopivka, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, established control over the last fields before the settlement, and entered the settlement. However, it was not the only settlement that Ukrainians entered in this direction.

On 25 September, it was confirmed that Ukrainians also entered Verbove, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, and officially started the second big battle in this direction.

Recently released combat footage by the Russian side revealed how a Ukrainian armored fighting vehicle was exiting Verbove. The vehicle got on a mine, which is why Russians published the video, but based on the practice with Western armored fighting vehicles, the crew likely survived.

Screenshot from the video  

Since the vehicle was exiting the village, it successfully delivered additional assault units to the settlement, and Ukrainians got a foothold in the northern part of the settlement. Later, Ukrainian sources confirmed that Ukrainian forces managed to advance in this direction.

Screenshot from the video

Such an advancement was only possible because Ukrainians cleared almost all trenches and fortifications on the second line of defense around the village. As you can see, the supply road that Ukrainians used to deliver their assault units is located right between the two lines of fortifications.

Screenshot from the video

By establishing control over them, Ukrainians secured their flanks and gained some room for maneuver. But they also did not stop there and continued to widen the bridgehead.

On 25 September, Ukrainian fighters from the 71st Brigade released a video showing how they were repelling a Russian counterattack after successfully capturing and clearing one more Russian trench network. Ukrainians rebuffed the attack and retained control over the newly captured positions, continuing the gradual but steady movement forward.

Other Ukrainian fighters released a video where they tested a prototype of an anti-personnel mine-clearing drone. This drone would be useful for clearing the newly captured area from mines, especially the trails, to avoid losses when moving between positions.

Ukrainian drone operators published a video showing how they are conducting artillery preparation on the remaining section of the Russian defense line. The attacks imply that Ukrainians will continue conducting broad attacks to fix Russian troops along the front before penetrating the main direction.

On 25 September, Ukrainian drone operators spotted a platoon of Russian tanks on the Ukrainian flanks. At first glance, it seemed like Russians were preparing for a heavy counterattack. However, when the drone operator zoomed in, he revealed that these were inflatable balloons in the form of tanks.

As it turned out, Russian forces tried to create a semblance of readiness and possibly force Ukrainians to relocate additional forces to protect their flanks instead of pushing Russians out of Verbove.

Screenshot from the video

Some analysts claimed the goal was to make Ukrainians use their shells on false targets. Still, Russians did not put any effort into believably masking them in this case. They just put them in the open, so Ukrainian reconnaissance teams immediately notice them and raise a false alarm.

In the meantime, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, confirmed that Abrams tanks had arrived in Ukraine. He said the Defense Ministry had already received the tanks and prepared them for reinforcing brigades conducting the counteroffensive operation. The modern Western tanks make a huge difference on the front due to their advanced guns with a range of 4 km, allowing them to act like snipers.

If a Ukrainian assault team faces difficulties with a particular fortification, it takes the tank about 8 minutes at maximum speed to get to the firing position and unload dozens of high-explosive shells while still being multiple km away from the target, minimizing the chances of getting detected.

This tactic proved to work, as the defenses were gradually breached, while losses of these tanks were reduced almost to zero.

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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