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Military: Ukrainians reclaim territories near Zaporizhzhia’s Verbove, Donetsk’s Bakhmut

The Ukrainian military reports advancements in regions of Zaporizhzhia’s Verbove and Donetsk’s Bakhmut, while Russian attempts to move towards Kharkiv’s Kupiansk are met with robust resistance and setbacks.
Ukrainian self-propelled gun. Illustrative image: Facebook/General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
Military: Ukrainians reclaim territories near Zaporizhzhia’s Verbove, Donetsk’s Bakhmut

According to the Ukrainian military, the Defense Forces of Ukraine gain ground near Verbove (Zaporizhzhia Oblast) and Bakhmut (Donetsk Oblast), successfully resisting Russian advances. In contrast, Russian momentum near Kupiansk (Kharkiv Oblast) is stymied by fortified Ukrainian positions.

Verbove, Zaporizhzhia Oblast

The Defense Forces of Ukraine have had partial success in the area west of Verbove in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, where they have advanced nearly 1 km, Ukrinform reports referring to Colonel Oleksandr Shtupun, the spokesperson for the joint press center of the defense forces of Tavria direction.  

“The Ukrainian military prevented the loss of positions southwest of Novodanylivka and Robotyne in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, and they also continue to conduct an offensive operation in Melitopol direction. In particular, the defense forces have partial success in the area west of Verbove and have advanced to a distance of about a kilometer,” Shtupun said on the national telethon on 17 October.

Shtupun says Russians lost 355 people and 22 military equipment units, including two tanks, six armored fighting vehicles, seven vehicles, and three ammunition warehouses on 16 October. 

Frontline report: Ukrainians use bad weather to advantage in attacks near Verbove, Zaporizhzhia Oblast

Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast

Russian occupation forces are losing their positions south of Bakhmut and withdraw to the Bakhmut-Horlivka highway, as the Defense Forces of Ukraine gain a foothold in the area of the railway near Klishchiivka, Ukrinform reports referring to Illia Yevlash, head of the press service of the Eastern Group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

“We continue our offensive in the southern direction near Bakhmut. The occupiers in their Z-channels are already starting to get hysterical that they have to lose their positions south of Bakhmut, that the situation there is as difficult and uncomfortable as possible for them. They begin to withdraw to the Bakhmut-Horlivka highway and are going to gain a foothold there. However, they mined the territory, there are quite large mine-explosive fields, but now we have already gone behind the railway in some areas, gained a foothold and continue to inflict fire damage on the enemy,” he said on the neational telethon on 17 October, commenting on the situation in Bakhmut direction near Klishchiivka.

Yevlash noted that the Russians amassed a powerful array of artillery systems. For example, in the Bakhmut direction, the Russian troops have more than 100 tube artillery pieces and the same number of MLRS systems.

Shtupun says the Mariinka direction west of Donetsk City saw an increase in the number of Russian assaults, while the Russian forces did not stop trying to surround the Ukrainian-controlled city of Avdiivka, although Avdiivka sees a decline in activity as compared to previous days. 

ISW: Ukraine keeps pushing near Bakhmut and in south as Russia presses on Avdiivka

Kupiansk, Kharkiv Oblast

Russians reduced the intensity of offensive operations in the Lyman direction, where the Ukrainian troops eliminated more than 160 occupiers and destroyed 24 units of weapons and military equipment on 16 October, Ukrinform reports referring to Illia Yevlash’s remarks on Ukrainian TV.

The town of Lyman is located in the northwest of Donetsk Oblast near its administrative border with Kharkiv Oblast. The Lyman direction also includes the city of Kupiansk in Kharkiv Oblast. near which the Russian forces launched an assault days ago.

Commander: Russians start offensive op in Lyman-Kupiansk sector as Ukraine prepared to hold defense

“The enemy decided … to gain favorable positions before the onset of cold weather and to try to advance towards Kupiansk as far as possible. However, invaders will not be able to do it so easily because we have equipped engineering positions and made mine-explosive barriers there for a long time, the enemy is already exposed to them and feels the power of our fortified areas in this direction,” spokesman Yevlash said on the telethon.

According to the Yevlash, Ukraine’s defense forces eliminated 163 Russian troops in this direction on 16 October.

“Now the intensity of [Russian] military operations has somewhat decreased, since the rainy season is beginning and it is much more difficult for the enemy to conduct offensive operations. However, our main task is to make utmost efforts to wear down the enemy’s forces in this direction,” Yevlash said.

Over the past day, 24 pieces of Russian military hardware were destroyed, including five T-72 tanks, six armored fighting vehicles, four D-30 guns, and a Msta B howitzer, Yevlash added.

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