Ukraine has said its forces have made incremental advances on the front line as maps from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) think tank show the rate of Kyiv’s progress in its counteroffensive.
Over four months ago, Ukraine launched a counteroffensive with the aim of recapturing Russian-occupied territory, which Kyiv and its Western backers have said has been slower than anticipated.
The ISW noted on Friday that, the previous day, geolocated footage showed that Ukrainian troops had advanced towards a tree line in western Zaporizhzhia oblast, between Robotyne, which Ukraine captured in August, and Verbove, the settlement thought to be next in Kyiv’s sights.
One ISW map shows this advance toward Verbove and how, on October 4, Ukrainian troops had moved east of the settlement of Novoprokopivka.
The graphic also indicated how the situation in Zaporizhzhia had developed over the last few days. Geolocated footage showed how Kyiv’s troops had controlled the three trench systems south of Robotyne.
The ISW said that Ukrainian forces continued “successful” offensive actions near Andriivka, which is around 5 miles southeast of Bakhmut, the Donetsk city fiercely fought over for months. Another ISW map outlined how this fight continues, although it notes that Russian forces had advanced to the E-50 highway.
The U.S. independent think tank’s assessment comes as Illia Yevlash, spokesperson for the Eastern Grouping of Forces, said that his forces were preparing offensive operations throughout the autumn and winter period, even if rain and fog could complicate the use of drones and tactical and army aviation.
The ISW has previously said that the change in weather will not stop either side from conducting offensive operations throughout the winter if they were still well supplied. How Ukraine continues with its counteroffensive will also be determined by continued Western provisions of small arms and ammunition, the think tank added.
It comes amid a barrage of Russian shelling on Friday with a total of 51 explosions recorded throughout the day, the Sumy Oblast Military Administration reported on Telegram.
Overnight on Friday, Russian forces launched several Onyx supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles from Crimea targeting Odesa Oblast, Ukraine’s Southern Defense Forces reported on Telegram. The missiles hit a recreational facility and a grain storage unit in the port city with debris and a blast wave setting alight garages and damaging apartment blocks.
There was also a cluster bomb attack on in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, which killed a woman and wounded two people, regional governor Yuriy Malashko reported on Saturday.
It follows an international outcry at missile strikes at a village in the Kharkiv region on Thursday, which local officials said killed 52 people. Another missile strike the next day in the city of Kharkiv killed a 10-year-old and his grandmother, officials said.
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