It reflects broader degradation of Russian forces: ISW assessed AFU success near Robotyne and Urozhaine
Russian occupation forces have invested significant effort, resources and manpower to maintain settlements such as Robotyne and Urozhaine. Ukraine's recent success in these areas reflects a broader degradation of Russian defense forces.
Recent AFU offensives near such small settlements on the border of Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions and west of Zaporizhzhia are of tactic significance because of the structure of the enemy's defense lines. This was pointed out by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
Ukrainian military expert and reserve colonel Petro Chernyk said on August 15 that the occupiers in southern Ukraine have built a three-echelon defense line. The first is minefields for several kilometers; the second is a concentration of Russian Armed Forces artillery, equipment and personnel; and the third is a line of rear positions designed to preserve resources.
However, analysts are convinced that recent Ukrainian advances north and northeast of Robotyne (10 kilometers south of Orikhiv) in the western Zaporizhzhia region may allow the AFU to begin operating in areas along the densest minefields.
"If the areas around the second Russian defense line are less mined, they are likely to be more favorable for faster conquest by Ukraine. However, we have no information to assess the density or depth of Russian minefields," ISW emphasized.
At the same time, experts acknowledge that Russian forces have invested significant effort, resources and personnel to maintain Robotyne in Zaporizhzhia and Urozhaine in Donetsk, so recent Ukrainian gains in these areas likely reflect a broader degradation of the occupiers' defenses.
"Russian forces lack significant operational reserves and Russia's intensive efforts to hold these localities instead of withdrawing its forces mean that the AFU probably had to degrade Russian units completely before the offensive," the analysts suggested.
They recalled Russian troops redeploying units of the 7th Guards Airborne Division from the Kherson region and possibly from the border zone of Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions to the Robotyne area. This also indicates that the latest Ukrainian attacks have deteriorated the forces of the occupiers significantly, who have been holding the defense in the western part of Zaporizhzhia since the beginning of the counteroffensive without rotation.
"The lack of operational reserves means that Russian forces will have to reinforce some parts of the front at the expense of others, which will presumably weaken their defense lines cumulatively and give the Ukrainian Defense Forces opportunities to exploit them" ISW assured.
The analysts added that a recent complaint by one of the leaders of the "DPR" terrorist organization and traitor Alexander Khodakovsky about the Russian command's "failure to send reinforcements to protect" the depleted Russian forces that were "defending" Urozhaine may indicate that the Russian Federation is already making difficult choices about which sectors to prioritize when Ukrainian forces are moving forward.
"It seems that in the event of a Ukrainian breakthrough, Russian forces will have to withdraw to secondary prepared defense positions without the necessary support, and the further degradation of Russian forces creates the potential for any Ukrainian breakthrough to be potentially significant from an operational point of view," ISW concluded.
As reported by OBOZREVATEL,, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry officially confirmed the liberation of the village of Urozhaine in Donetsk by the AFU on August 16. Our defenders consolidated on the borders of the settlement and at the same time evacuated remaining civilians. After all, there was not a single intact building there because of the attacks of the Russian occupants.
The Ukrainian military shot down a Russian Ka-52 Alligator helicopter for the second time on the morning of August 17. It was landed near Robotyne in Zaporizhzhia by the soldiers of the 47th separate mechanized brigade.