Reporting from Ukraine
Day 559: Sep 05
Today, there are a lot of updates from the Tokmak direction.
First of all, more information became available about the recent Ukrainian penetration of the defense line south of Robotyne. As mentioned previously, Russian forces exploited the local geography by creating a formidable strong point on a hill, which Ukrainians struggled to take for a long time. Recently, the fighters from the 15th Brigade released combat footage showing how they assaulted Russian trenches and fortifications. Russian sources reported that the reason why Ukrainians suddenly managed to take all of the fortifications in one attack lies in the fact that Ukrainians waited until Russians conducted rotation and attacked precisely at that moment.
Nonetheless, even the most prominent Russian analysts continued to assume that Russians are still present on the southern outskirts of Robotyne and do not allow Ukrainians to enter the village. Soon, all doubts about the success of the Ukrainian offensive actions were dispelled because Ukrainian fighters released a video of how they were walking on the streets of the village. The final confirmation of the Ukrainian advancement came from the Russian side when Russian forces released a video showing how they conducted a drone strike on Ukrainians in the trenches south of Robotyne.
Russian sources also started raising the alarm that Ukrainians are preparing to capitalize on these gains by conducting a powerful attack on Novoprokopivka because Ukrainians were seen sending reinforcements toward Robotyne. And this is not surprising because now Ukrainians can exploit precisely the same tactical advantages as Russians had. If we look at the topographic map, we can see that this position is located on a hill, allowing Ukrainians to establish fire control over an entire area. That is why Russians immediately gathered forces and started launching one counterattack after another.
At first, Russians tried to ambush Ukrainians at night. For that, they conducted intense artillery preparation during the day to undermine defense and sent several assault units at night. Unfortunately for Russians, they were in direct view, so Ukrainians noticed them well in advance. Ukrainians decided to let Russians get as close as possible, while Ukrainians quickly prepared an ambush. A few moments later, Ukrainians opened fire simultaneously from all sides and completely eliminated the Russian assault unit.
However, the Russians did not stop. Recently released combat footage shows that Ukrainians suffered several more assaults during the day. It looks like Ukrainians had enough time to clear the area and prepare for defense because all Russian attacks were successfully rebuffed.
Russian commanders understood that attacking this fortification just from one side was not enough and developed a new plan. This time, Russians decided to attack Ukrainians from two sides: first from the west and then once again from the south. The main goal here was to cut off supplies and reinforcements to the fortification and, ideally, split Ukrainian forces into two groups.
At first, Russian forces managed to enter the village and create a threat of encirclement of the Ukrainian forces south of the village. Nonetheless, Russian war correspondents quickly made another update, saying that Ukrainians reinforced Robotyne. As it turned out, Ukrainians crushed the Russian flank attack by conducting a flank attack. After a fierce battle, Russian forces had to retreat.
Overall, Ukrainians repelled a series of comprehensive and powerful counterattacks and managed to retain control over crucial tactical positions, from where Ukrainians planned to develop their offensive operation toward Novoprokopivka. Russian analysts concluded that the attack is inevitable, and Ukrainians will try to leverage the breakthroughs east of the village to clear the second line of defense up until Novoprokopivka and set conditions for an even broader attack on the last Russian defense line on the way to Tokmak.