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Ukraine’s counteroffensive to continue despite possible weather challenges

Currently, the counteroffensive operation by the Armed Forces in the south and the east of Ukraine is ongoing and will continue later this year, during the autumn and winter period, despite possible deteriorating weather conditions.

Photo: Kostiantyn Liberov & Vlada Liberova

“Combat actions will continue in one way or another (…) In the cold, wet, and mud, it is more difficult to fight. Nevertheless, fighting will continue, and the counteroffensive will continue,” said Kyrylo Budanov, Chief of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, at the YES 2023 conference.

Budanov also added that the Ukrainian counteroffensive is currently happening in several directions. Among the key factors that had slowed Ukraine’s progress on the battlefield so far, he mentioned the huge concentration of Russian mines, as well as a large number of small enemy strike drones and loitering “Lantset” munitions.

Ukrainian military chaplain Ivan prays with infantry soldiers on the frontline
near Donetsk. September 9, 2023.
Photo: Pierre Crom / Getty Images Europe

As reported, the counteroffensive operation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the south and the east of Ukraine is currently ongoing. In particular, Ukrainian defenders keep advancing on the Klishchiivka and Andriivka axes in the Donetsk region and have been consolidating their positions.

At the same time, as Hanna Maliar, the Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine informed, Russian invaders have continued to carry out offensive actions on the Kupiansk, Lyman, Avdiivka, and Marinka axes in the east of Ukraine but failed. In addition, to restrain the advance of Ukrainian troops on the Bakhmut axis, Russian forces have made unsuccessful attempts to break through the Ukrainian defense in the areas of Zaliznianske, Orikhovo-Vasylivka, and Bohdanivka in the Donetsk region.

In total, over the past week, Ukrainian forces liberated about 2 square kilometers from Russian occupation on the Bakhmut axis. Particularly, the Ukrainian military captured part of the village of Opytne south of the eastern city of Avdiivka, and had partial success near the village of Novomaiorske in the eastern part of Donetsk.

Moreover, units of the Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate conducted a special raid, as a result of which Ukraine regained control of the so-called “Boiko Rigs” drilling gas and oil extraction platforms located off the coast of the temporarily occupied Crimea. Russia occupied these objects in 2015, and with the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, they used them for military purposes. In particular, as helipads and platforms for radars.

Servicemen of Ukraine’s 3rd Separate Assault Brigade conduct a reconnaissance mission
near Bakhmut. September 7, 2023.
Photo: Reuters

In the south, the Armed Forces of Ukraine keep advancing on the Melitopol axis. Ukrainian defenders have also had success in the direction south of Robotyne and west of Verbove. In total, during the week, about 4,8 square kilometers of territory on the Tavriia axis was liberated from Russian occupation. Since the beginning of the counteroffensive, Ukrainian soldiers from the “Tavriia” operational-strategic group of troops have already taken back about 256,5 square kilometers of territories.

On the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson axes, Russian forces are currently in a defensive position. However, the enemy keep shelling populated areas in the Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, and Mykolaiv regions, particularly with loitering “Lantset” munitions.

Over the last week, the Armed Forces of Ukraine carried out 79 strikes on locations with Russian troops, as well as destroyed 15 enemy command posts and 30 ammunition depots in the south and east of Ukraine.