Ukrainian forces advance near Bakhmut and in western Zaporizhzhia region, situation in Verbove is uncertain - ISW
On September 27, the Ukrainian defense forces made little progress in their offensives near Bakhmut and in the western part of Zaporizhzhia region. At the same time, the situation in the village of Verbove remains unclear, as propagandists have become noticeably less inclined to cover Russia's actions on this front line in detail or to report news of the occupiers' failures.
This is stated in a report by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). They say that a discussion on the periphery of the Russian information space has arisen about problems in this area.
Advancement of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
The analysts refer to geolocation footage published on September 26, which shows that Ukrainian forces have advanced near Orikhovo-Vasylivka (10 km northwest of Bakhmut).
Additional footage suggests that the occupiers are likely no longer in control of a trench line approximately one kilometer west of Verbove in the Zaporizhzhia sector.
"The absence of Russian troops in this trench may facilitate further Ukrainian advance in the area, as it is no longer a significant obstacle for them," ISW believes.
The day before, Brigadier General Oleksandr Tarnavsky, commander of the Tauride group of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, said that Ukrainian troops were confidently advancing in the Zaporizhzhia sector and that "there will be good news" but did not provide any additional information.
The situation near Verbove
According to analysts, Russian propagandists, who a few days ago panicked about the Ukrainian army's breakthrough in the village of Verbove, Pohlohiv district, have become less vocal about the situation on this section of the front.
On September 26, the occupation "official" of Zaporizhzhia region, Volodymyr Rogov, said that at least four Ukrainian companies with a significant number of armored vehicles had broken into Russian positions on the Robotyne - Verbove line after a massive artillery attack.
The blogger, who strongly supports the commander of the Russian airborne troops, Colonel General Mikhail Teplinsky, criticizing the Russian Defense Ministry, rudely responded to the gauleiter. According to him, in fact, the Ukrainian Armed Forces had already passed minefields and anti-tank fortifications in the form of "dragon's teeth" on the Robotyno - Verbove line, and it was obvious that sooner or later Ukrainian forces would launch such attacks.
On September 26, another Russian pro-war blogger claimed that intense mutual exchanges of fire made ground operations near Verbove and Robotyne dangerous. And another, allegedly affiliated with the Russian VDP forces, responded to this claim by pointing out that a personal source from the Russian 108th Regiment (7th VDP Division) reported intense Ukrainian shelling in the area.
He added that the informant provided unclear information about whether the 108th Regiment was moving toward Verbove or withdrawing from the village. The propagandist also claimed that the Russian military command in Moscow had canceled plans to redeploy the Russian 106th Airborne Division to Robotyn to assist the 7th and 76th Divisions currently operating there, and complained that the motivation for this decision was not explained.
The ISW noted that this Russian channel demonstrates a tendency to make exaggerated statements and implausible claims that favor Teplinsky and are directed against Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Army General Valery Gerasimov. Elements of the 106th Division mentioned there have been previously observed in the Bakhmut area.
"Recently, the Russian information space has been mostly hesitant to discuss the operations of the Russian Armed Forces in the western part of Zaporizhzhia region, as the blogging community has reduced its criticism of Russia's warfare in this area of the front after the uprising of Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin on June 24. ISW will continue to adapt to this new information space," the analysts explained the reasons for the unclear situation in Verbove.
As OBOZREVATEL previously reported, back in August, ATES guerrillas told how the 177th Regiment of the Russian Marines fled from Verbove after several small attacks by the Ukrainian Defense Forces. At the time, the aggressor country even opened a criminal case over the occupiers' desertion.
According to military experts, the breakthrough in Verbove is tactical for the Ukrainian Armed Forces. This way, Ukrainian soldiers can destroy the resources of the Russian Armed Forces, as well as prevent the supply of reinforcements for the occupiers.