Home News Russian military advance could reverse some of Ukraine’s hard-won gains

Russian military advance could reverse some of Ukraine’s hard-won gains

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Russian troops have been advancing along the Ukrainian front in recent weeks.

In some cases, they are seizing land that Ukrainians had recaptured in hard-fought battles last year. In a surprise offensive, Moscow has made its biggest territorial gains since late 2022.

It’s a worrying situation for Ukraine that could damage the morale of its soldiers and dampen public sentiment. Analysts say Russia is likely to increase its gains in the coming months, while Ukraine Waiting for US military aid Arrived at the battlefield.

Let’s take a closer look at some of Russia’s recent progress.

Russian Ministry of Defense Received last week Its troops have captured Robotyne, a small village in the Zaporizhia region of southeastern Ukraine. Recaptured by Ukrainian soldiers in AugustIt was a much-celebrated, albeit rare, success in Kiev’s disappointing summer comeback.

Ukraine denies the claims but map A battlefield picture compiled by independent analysts based on satellite imagery and videos of the battle showed that Russian troops advancing from the south had reached the northernmost part of the village.

“Robotina should be considered a gray zone controlled by Russia,” said Emil Kasthelmy, an analyst with the Blackbird Group. He said Ukrainian “main forces have been withdrawn from there,” but they continue to attack Russian forces from the north of the village, mostly using attack drones, and prevent them from establishing a permanent presence there for now.

The village consists of a few streets, had a pre-war population of only a few hundred people, lacked strategic importance to Russia, and is now little more than ruins. But its defeat would be a symbolic blow to Ukraine, which fought tooth and nail to retake it last year.

The army of southern Ukraine released aerial footage of Robotyne in mid-April. Piles of rubble lay on a dirt road, surrounded by gaunt trees. The surrounding green fields were dotted with craters, some several yards across.

“This is what Robotyne looks like now,” The Ukrainian military said.

Further east, Russian troops had entered Klishchiivka, a settlement that In one of its most significant developments, Ukraine regained lost territory in September. then.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that its troops had captured the village. But pro-Kremlin Russian military bloggers disputed that claim, and an independent group mapping the battlefield said Russia currently controls only about half of the village. Ukraine has not yet commented on the claim.

Klishchiivka is located south of Bakhmut. Russian troops captured After months of fighting about a year ago.

Russian control of Klishichivka could relieve pressure on their forces in Bakhmut and aid their campaign to capture the Ukrainian stronghold of Chasiv Yar, a hilltop town east of Bakhmut that is one of Moscow’s main objectives.

Capturing Chasiv Yar will allow Russian troops to Control the high ground The Russian army in the area will increase the power of artillery fire, exposing Ukraine’s cities used as military logistics hubs in the eastern region of Donetsk to more artillery attacks. Russian troops have entered the eastern edge of Chasiv Yar but have not yet crossed a canal that separates the suburb from the rest of the town.

Moscow illegally annexed the Donetsk region in 2022 but does not fully control it. Analysts say seizing the part still controlled by Ukraine is one of Russia’s top goals.

Russia’s biggest advance so far this year has occurred in northeastern Ukraine, near the city of Kharkiv, where Moscow Opened a new front About two weeks ago, the United States occupied settlements liberated by Ukraine in the fall of 2022.

Analysts say the goal of the new offensive is twofold: to expand Ukraine’s already outnumbered and outgunned forces, allowing Russia to more easily penetrate Ukrainian defenses elsewhere; and to push Ukrainian troops back from the border, preventing them from targeting Russian towns with their artillery.

Russia has stepped up attacks on villages outside Kharkov and stepped up air strikes on the city of Kharkov itself. Thursday, Oleg SinihubovThe head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration said that Russian missiles attacked a printing factory, killing at least seven people and injuring 16 others.

The Ukrainian army quickly sent in elite troops and appeared to have temporarily stopped the Russian advance in the Kharkiv region. However, Russian troops now control more than 70 square miles of Ukrainian land in the region, including about 10 settlements.

The offensive put thousands of residents through the same ordeal they had already endured: fleeing advancing Russian troops and seeing their villages destroyed by bombing. Mr. Syniehubov It said nearly 11,000 people have been evacuated from the area in about the past two weeks.

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