Author Topic: Ukrainian forces have broken through in Verbove  (Read 85 times)


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Ukrainian forces have broken through in Verbove
« on: September 23, 2023, 03:16:18 PM »
The general leading Ukraine’s counteroffensive along the southern front line says his forces have broken through in Verbove – and predicts an even bigger breakthrough to come.

“On the left flank [near Verbove] we have a breakthrough and we continue to advance further,” Oleksandr Tarnavsky told CNN Senior International Correspondent Frederik Pleitgen during an interview on Friday, though he conceded his troops were moving slower than anticipated.

“Not as fast as it was expected, not like in the movies about the Second World War,” he said. “The main thing is not to lose this initiative (that we have). And, well, not to lose it in practice, with actions.”

The general’s claim is the latest indication by Ukrainian officials that inroads are being made on the southern front in the war with Russia.

Ukrainian forces claimed in recent weeks to have penetrated the “first line” of Russian strongholds in the Zaporizhzia region, in a sign that Kyiv was edging closer to Moscow’s sprawling network of fortified trenches along the southern front.

Russian-appointed officials in occupied Zaporizhzhia have given a different picture of the fighting. CNN is unable to verify the battlefield reports of either side. However, open-source analysis of available video suggests that some Ukrainian units have crossed through an important line of Russian defenses near the village of Verbove.
At the beginning of September Ukrainian forces said they had taken the village of Robotyne and were pushing east toward the village of Novoprokopivka. Soldiers said they expected battles for control of high ground to the south and east of the village as they approached the next layer of Russian defenses. Verbove is a few miles east from Robotyne.

However, Tarnavsky told CNN he believed the big breakthrough of the counteroffensive would be if Ukraine could take Tokmak, a strategic hub for Russia, which is its first major target in its fight in the south.

CNN reported earlier this week that the Ukrainian forces were still some 20 kilometers from Tokmak, struggling to break through the multiple layers of Russian defenses.

“I believe yes [there will be a big breakthrough],” Tarnavsky said. “I think it will happen after Tokmak. At the moment (the Russians) are relying on the depth of their defensive line there.”




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