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ISW: Ukrainian forces gain amid worsening weather

Despite weather conditions deteriorating, including decreased visibility, Ukraine made advances in its counteroffensive in the Bakhmut and Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
Credit: ISW
ISW: Ukrainian forces gain amid worsening weather

Ukraine has continued its counteroffensive operations and reportedly gained ground in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast and near Bakhmut despite increasingly poor weather conditions, ISW reported.

The Ukrainian General Staff and spokesperson for the Ukrainian army’s Tavria Group fighting on the southern front lines, Colonel Oleksandr Shtupun, reported that Ukrainian forces achieved achieved “partial success” west of Verbove (18km southeast of Orikhiv), Zaporizhzhia Oblast, and near Klishchiivka and Andriivka (5 km and 10km southwest of Bakhmut), Donetsk Oblast.

Despite the Ukrainian advances, a Russian milblogger claimed that “the rainfall has worsened visibility in southern Ukraine, hindering Russian and Ukrainian reconnaissance drone operations.”

The ISW report indicates that while rainfall has decreased visibility and hindered reconnaissance drone operations in southern Ukraine, exact conditions vary along the expansive frontline.

Ukrainian Eastern Group of Forces Spokesperson Captain Ilya Yevlash said that due to heavy rainfall, Russian forces rely less heavily on aviation and drone activity in the Kupiansk-Lyman direction, Kharkiv Oblast.

Other takeaways from the ISW report:

  • Russian forces reportedly launched localized offensive operations south of Hulyaipole, Zaporizhzhia Oblast. They may have reorganized the Southern Grouping of Forces, likely in an attempt to further defend against Ukrainian counteroffensive operations.
  • Imprisoned former Russian officer and ardent nationalist Igor Girkin reiterated his previous claims that the Russian military will continue to conduct a strategic defense to freeze the frontlines before the Russian presidential elections in March 2024.
  • The Russian government is moving toward revoking Russia’s ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.
  • The Kremlin remains focused on promoting the purported legality and legitimacy of Russian internal politics despite Kremlin officials’ admissions to the contrary.
  • Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations near Bakhmut, in western Donetsk Oblast and western Zaporizhzhia Oblast, and reportedly advanced in some areas.

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