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Ukraine announces the breakdown of Russian defense lines and the Pentagon detects serious losses in the Kremlin Army

The commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Army, General Oleksandr Sirski, announced via Telegram, just as the country’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, arrived in the United States, that the Russian defense line south of Bakhmut was broken by the push of its troops in the course of the battles to capture the towns of Andriivka and Klishiivka, last week. According to Sirski, “three Russian brigades were destroyed.”

The Ukrainian general considers the taking of Klishiivka accomplished despite the fact that the Ukrainian General Staff indicated this Monday that “assault operations” are still being carried out there and the Russian Ministry of Defense even assures that the attempts by the Ukrainian forces to take over with Klishiivka “they were repelled.”

In any case, Sirski emphasizes that “after the loss of the settlements of Andriivka and Klishiivka last week, the enemy is carrying out numerous counterattacks from different directions, trying without success to recover the lost positions. After all, these small settlements, at first glance, were important elements of the enemy’s defensive line, which stretched from Bakhmut to Gorlivka.

“As a result of the successful actions of our troops, the enemy’s defense line was broken, which tried to close again, launching all available reserves,” stressed the Ukrainian general. According to his account, “during the fighting around Bakhmut some of the best-trained enemy units were annihilated or completely lost their offensive capabilities: the 72nd Motorized Infantry Brigade, as well as the 31st and 83rd Airborne Brigades.”

In its September 18 report on the situation on the front, the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) concludes that the Russian forces defending the Bakhmut area “are largely exhausted” due to the Ukrainian counteroffensive and They refer to Sirski’s statements about the breakdown of the Russian defense line in the area. “At this time, the ISW cannot assess the strength and extent of Russian defensive fortifications in the Bakhmut area, although troops have probably strengthened them less intensively than in southern Ukraine,” the report states. part.

Its authors believe that “Ukraine’s capture of these two settlements, which protect key supply routes to Bakhmut, demonstrates that these troops will likely have difficulty regaining their combat effectiveness and resisting further Ukrainian advances.” However, they also warn that there is currently no evidence that “the liberation of Klishiivka and Andriivka will ensure a faster pace of the Ukrainian offensive south of Bakhmut (…) Russian defensive positions west of Route T0513 are likely to continue to pose a challenge.” challenges to the Ukrainian forces in that area.

The ISW also estimates that the Russian Army suffers a significant degree of exhaustion in the Zaporizhia oblast (region), where the main attack of the Ukrainian counteroffensive is currently concentrated. “Russian forces operating in Zaporizhzhia have not had any rotation for a long time and have probably suffered significant losses,” the report underlines. These experts draw attention to the fact that at the beginning of the counteroffensive, in the Robotino area (Zaporijia), the Ukrainians actively confronted two brigades of Russian special forces, the 22nd and the 45th, but in the later parts In recent years these units are no longer mentioned, which could indicate that they have been wiped out, retired, or lost their combat capability.

For its part, British Intelligence assures that Russia “has deployed thousands of paratroopers near Robotino to reinforce the Russian 58th Army Corps in the area. The UK MoD, citing intelligence data, states that “over the past two weeks, Russia is likely to have further strengthened the beleaguered 58 Corps with additional airborne units.”

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