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Frontline report: Four Ukrainian soldiers repel outnumbered Russian attack near Robotyne

Four Ukrainian soldiers halted a sudden Russian nighttime offensive near Robotyne, maintaining their positions despite being outnumbered by three armored fighting vehicles and twenty-four soldiers.
Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.
Frontline report: Four Ukrainian soldiers repel outnumbered Russian attack near Robotyne

Today, there are many updates from the Orikhiv direction.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Russian forces decided to conduct a sudden offensive operation right after the recent capture of Avdiivka. According to the latest updates, the intensity of attacks here remains very high. The main idea behind the sudden offensive was to catch Ukrainian forces off guard, as they were expected to relocate a portion of their garrison from this direction to Avdiivka to stabilize the front line.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

The most intense clashes are taking place in and around Robotyne. Russian forces opened two vectors of attack and are assaulting Ukrainian positions on the outskirts of Robotyne from the south and the southwest.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

These are also the most fortified areas around the village because Ukrainians are in control of extensive trench networks. Even though these fortifications incurred notable damage during almost nine months of fighting in the area, they still serve as formidable obstacles.

Last time, we saw how these obstacles helped repel a series of major mechanized attacks, where Russians used up to 30 tanks and armored vehicles, and hundreds of soldiers. The destroyed units were scattered throughout the region, with the survivors even reaching the first houses in the village in an attempt to seek shelter.

This is important because even though the isolated remnants of the Russian forces, who were also virtually without ammo, were quickly captured by Ukrainians, Russian media sources presented it as a victory. Such premature declarations of victory guarantee that the Russian commanders will order to conduct another wave of attack as soon as possible to catch up with the narrative. Otherwise, if they fail to catch up with the narrative and the media sources have to roll back and say that Russians actually lost the newly captured positions, it will throw shade on the Russian commanders. That is why Russian forces launched a new wave of attacks.

The next major attack came from the south, and based on the geolocated combat footage, Russian forces used multiple armored fighting vehicles that were carrying several dozens of soldiers.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

The armored fighting vehicles were actively suppressing Ukrainian fire while trying to get as deep into the village as possible to deploy the infantry near more intact houses than on the outskirts.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

The analysts concluded that such a coordinated Russian attack took Ukrainians by surprise, which is why they did not manage to stop Russians as usual on the approaches and had to engage in urban fighting. Russian sources reported that Russian infantry assumed their positions in the local school and continued trying to develop their attack further.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Despite the heavy pressure from the Russian infantry, whose attacks were supported by constant artillery fire, Ukrainian forces managed to retain control over the northern half of the village and break the Russian momentum. Once the momentum was stopped, Ukrainians started conducting counterattacks to reestablish control over the southern part of the village. Even though Russian sources claimed that the attack was successful, referring to the footage of the initial breakthrough, Ukrainian sources claimed that the Russian attack failed and posted videos showing destroyed equipment and personnel and also lone survivors who were seeking shelter.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

The Ukrainians barely managed to retain control over their positions. The Russian commanders, who were observing the battle from drones, understood that this attack significantly undermined the Ukrainian defensive capabilities and started planning the night attack. As it turned out, after Ukrainians evacuated the wounded, there were only four fighters left on the positions. They anticipated receiving reinforcements within hours, however, the Russian attack came much sooner.

As the footage of the night battle reveals, these four Ukrainian fighters accepted the battle against three armored fighting vehicles and twenty-four soldiers.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

The Russian assault unit started incurring losses already on the approach, as one of their armored vehicles blew up on a mine. One of the four Ukrainian fighters immediately doubled the damage by hitting the second armored vehicle from an RPG. Only the third armored fighting vehicle managed to reach the planned destination and landed the infantry in front of the Ukrainian positions. The four Ukrainian soldiers immediately engaged the attackers and did not allow them to get close.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

The coordinated gunfire immobilized the Russians and made them an easy target for the Ukrainian artillery, mortar, and drone crews, who supported the four Ukrainian soldiers on the ground with vicious intensity. Despite suffering multiple injuries from gunfire and shrapnel from high-explosive shells, the four Ukrainian fighters continued to stand their ground until the attack was completely repelled. When the reinforcements arrived, the four soldiers withdrew to receive medical treatment while the fresh units went checking basements and taking captive those Russians who survived the night.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Overall, the latest battle in Robotyne clearly demonstrated why the Russian advancements in the region are so slow and unstable. The willingness of the Ukrainian fighters to stand their ground even in the face of prevailing forces ensures that Russians pay a significant price for each gained meter. That is why Russian forces have to resort to human wave attacks – because without overwhelming Ukrainian forces and putting them in a position where they are physically incapable of tracing all moving targets, there is virtually no prospect of securing new gains. Such a setting allows Ukrainians to impose a high kill-death ratio, making the imposed attrition warfare self-destructive even for Russians.

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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