Ukraine reaches Russia’s last defence line in Zaporizhzhia Oblast − ISW

Alex Harsha
Alex HarshaSep 22, 2023, 1:41 PM
Ukraine reaches Russia's last defence line in Zaporizhzhia Oblast − ISW

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has reported that Ukrainian armoured vehicles are already operating beyond the last line of Russian defensive fortifications, which Ukrainian forces are currently breaking through in the west of Zaporizhzhia Oblast – although it is too early to claim that Ukraine’s Armed Forces have completely broken through this Russian defensive layer.

Source: the ISW

Quote from the ISW: “Geolocated footage posted on September 21 indicates that Ukrainian armoured vehicles advanced south of the Russian anti-tank ditches and dragon’s teeth obstacles that are part of a tri-layered defence and engaged in limited combat immediately west of Verbove (18km southeast of Orikhiv). It is unclear if Ukrainian forces retain these positions, however.”

Details: The ISW reported that they saw for the first time that Ukrainian forces are using armoured vehicles outside of Russia’s three-layer defence.

The ISW emphasises that the presence of Ukrainian armoured vehicles beyond the last line of the current Russian defence layer indicates that the Ukrainians have sufficiently breached the first two lines of this layer to move their vehicles forward.

“The Ukrainian ability to bring armoured vehicles to and through the most formidable Russian defences intended to stop them and to operate these vehicles near prepared Russian defensive positions are important signs of progress in the Ukrainian counteroffensive,” the ISW noted.


The ISW noted that additional geolocation footage published on 20 and 21 September indicate that Ukrainian forces have also advanced to the west and southwest of the settlement of Verbove.

Thus, the Russian troops, currently defending in the western part of Zaporizhzhia Oblast, didn’t have an ability to prevent the Ukrainian troops from advancing gradually but confidently since mid-August.

The ISW wrote that it constantly observes the slow but regular advance of Ukrainian troops in this area, despite the fact that the Russian military is transferring parts of relatively elite units here to strengthen its defensive operations.

Additionally, the ISW noted that Ukrainian troops conducted several drone and missile strikes on the Russian airfield near occupied Saky in Crimea and possibly damaged Russian aircrafts.

In addition, satellite images confirmed that Ukrainian forces also struck the 744th Communications Centre of the Black Sea Fleet command in occupied Crimea on 20 September. Images show that Ukrainian strikes destroyed a large part of the command post near Verkhniosadove, 16 km northeast of Sevastopol.

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    Alex Harsha
    Alex Harsha

    Alex Harsha is a full-time writer.Before becoming a full-time writer, Alex was a public school teacher. He teaches writing workshops to children and adults. Lives in Connecticut & Works on next novel.

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