Ukraine has launched the third stage of the counter-offensive. According to field report, Russian fighters repelled the first attack of the reserve 82nd Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the settlement of Robotyne.
The 82nd Air Assault Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine struggle to capture Robotyne (the Zaporizhzhia direction). The brigade is last large reserve unit of the Marun tactical group, Forbes reports.
Other units of the group have been fighting for quite a while now. These are the 46th separate airmobile and 71st Jaeger brigades of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. According to Forbes, the 82nd Brigade, consisting of 2,000 paratroopers, is armed with Marder and Stryker IFVs, as well as Challenger 2 tanks.
The capture of the village opens the way for the Armed Forces of Ukraine to the city of Tokmak. Afterwrds, they intend to reach the border with the Crimea and the Sea of Azov. This is a strategic goal of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the summer campaign.
The Ukrainian army has been conducting assault operations near Robotyne since the beginning of June, although to no avail. The distance from the village to the main Russian defence line is about 19 kilometres.
The deployment of last combat-ready reserves is bad news for Kyiv, Forbes said.
"When the 46th and 82nd Brigades pull back for rest, reset and repairs, there might not be any equally powerful fresh brigades to fill in for them. The counteroffensive could lose momentum," the article in the magazine says.
The author of the article in the US-based publication alludes to the need to freeze the conflict and even divide Ukraine in exchange for peace.
Storm. Ossetia Telegram channel said that the Russian forces were keeping the situation in Robotyne under control as of August 17.
"The fighting continues, but there is nothing critical. There is no breakthrough of the defence line."
Other Russian Telegram channels report that the Russian forces drop high-explosive aerial bombs Ukrainian formations in the area.
The Russian troops are waiting for Ukraine to start using Challenger tanks. When it happens, the tanks will probably indicate the main direction of the attack of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, authors of Military Chronicles Telegram channel assume.
Ukraine does not have many of those tanks, there is no repair depot for them and their ammo can not be replaced with any other ammo at all.
This is the third stage of the Ukrainian counter-offensive in the strategically important area of the Zaporizhzhia region. The first one began on June 4, when the 9th Army Corps of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, armed with Leopards and Bradleys, came across strong Russian defences and minefields. The second stage started on August 4, when the Ukrainian Armed Forces deployed the reserve 10th Army Corps. They failed to capture Robotyne then too.
Ukrainian air defense systems are too far from the front line, and Russia can destroy them immediately upon redeployment.
Analysts predict that the counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will stop with the onset of the rainy season. Taking into account the general exhaustion of the Ukrainian troops, the Russian Armed Forces have an opportunity to go on the offensive in this sector and establish a bridgehead on the right bank of the Dnieper. This will renew the threat of an offensive towards the borders of Transnistria to cut off Ukraine from the Black Sea.
Russian President Vladimir Putin would never fall to the level of personal insults, Kremlin official spokesman Dmitry Peskov said