Russia-Ukraine WarUkraine Seeks to Punch 2nd Hole in Russian Lines in South

Analysts said that securing territory in an offensive does not necessarily mean that casualties and equipment losses were high, and progress was made in small steps, with fierce resistance being encountered.

On their side, Ukrainian military officials abstained from making any broad assertions.

Troops outside Moscow may have reinforced its defenses with Robotyne, as suggested by military analysts. He said that pushing forward into Ukraine could complicate matters, as Russian forces near Verbove were now encountering trenches that the national television told were “strong.” Oleksandr Shtupun, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Army, said that minefields were also a concern.

Two months later in the southern region and then once more in the northeastern part of the nation, Ukrainian troops managed to expel Russian soldiers from extensive areas of territory they had captured. In the previous year, towards the end of March, Ukrainian forces pushed back Russian troops and maintained control over Kyiv, the capital, experiencing unexpected triumphs earlier in the conflict.

The remnants of a destroyed Russian armored column in the village of Dmytrivka, outside Kyiv, in April 2022.Credit…Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

Another matter that has been of concern is the counteroffensive, which began almost three months ago, that has rendered the vast landscape deadly with the laying of mines and the building of barriers, in anticipation of the Russian forces’ long-awaited attack.

Heading towards the city of Melitopol, the Ukrainian military has focused its primary efforts on reaching the Sea of Azov and establishing a foothold in the Russian-occupied territory. Their objective is to recapture territory in the southern and eastern regions of the country.

In an article written by Michael Kofman and Rob Lee, two military analysts, it was stated that the objective of their advance from Robotyne east to Verbove is to further weaken Russia’s defensive positions. Although they still have a considerable distance to cover, the recapture of Robotyne by Kyiv’s forces last week marked a significant milestone in Ukraine’s ongoing campaign to cut off Moscow’s supply routes to occupied Crimea.

In order to bolster their progress towards the south, a broader distance would additionally enable Ukrainian forces to transport additional machinery and personnel. “A limited progression may expose its forces to potential counterstrikes on the sides,” they expressed, emphasizing the significance of enlarging that breach.

To capture the Ukrainian city of Robotyne, forces would need to breach additional layers of defenses and break through the Verbove to fully reach their goal. This push seems to be targeting Tokmak, a city located approximately 15 miles south, which serves as a strategic hub for road and rail connections.

That suggests a slow and exhausting fight that could take several more months, with the likelihood of heavy casualties on both sides.

On Tuesday, Volodymyr Zelensky, the President of Ukraine, stated that he had once again visited the front lines in a series of trips aimed at bolstering the morale of troops waging a slow and bloody battle.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine and Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi, the commander of Ukrainian ground forces, meeting with commanders in the Bakhmut area on Wednesday, in a photo released by the president’s office.Credit…Ukrainian Presidential Press Service

Engaging in conflict near the devastated eastern city of Bakhmut, which was captured by Russian forces during a grueling year-long struggle, Mr. Zelensky mentioned that he had paid a visit to the combat brigades. Ukrainian fighters have managed to recapture certain territories surrounding it.

The Ukrainian leader and his office discussed the problematic issues and needs of the units, including the supply of artillery shells and air-defense missiles.

On that day, Mr. Zelensky stated that he had toured 11 brigades in the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions, emphasizing the significance of backing our soldiers and engaging in conversations with brigade and battalion leaders during his late evening video message on Monday.

According to the office of Mr. Zelensky, the topic of munitions also arose during his visits with soldiers in Donetsk on Monday. It stated that commanders had brought up the increasing necessity for unmanned aerial vehicles and “counter-drone weaponry, inadequate staffing of units, and a scarcity of specific categories of ordnance.”