Let’s talk about Ukraine’s very good week.
1. Ukraine liberated 32 square kilometers of territory around Robotyne
After Robotyne’s liberation over the last few days of August, things seemed to slow a bit. However, the lack of progress on the ground did not mean a stalled campaign. Ukraine used the following two weeks to consolidate its gains and soften the next set of Russian defensive lines. The result? Last week, Ukraine made significant gains in all directions.
Ukraine is systematically degrading Russian positions across the entire salient, preventing them from moving their reserves to plug any single hole.
We’ve all been looking at Ukrainian advances west of Verbove, and Ukrainian forces are at the edge of the settlement today (if not deeper into it, as some more outlandish and unsupported rumors currently claim). But look at how, having beached the Surovikin line in that direction, Ukraine is now sweeping down and around it, as I suggested they would three weeks ago. Remember, that main defensive line is on a ridge, requiring Ukraine to attack uphill. If Ukraine can execute a pincer maneuver and cut off that line from behind, it could precipitate a Russian withdrawal or surrender.
Still, I am most excited about that tiny sliver of liberated blue on…