LATEST: On Tuesday morning, the Ukrainian military published video showing soldiers from the 47th Mechanized Brigade rescuing civilians from Robotyne.
The highly regarded Institute for the Study of War said that “Ukrainian attacks on Robotyne are tactically significant because a Ukrainian advance in the area may allow Ukrainian forces to begin operating past the densest Russian minefields.”
“Persistent Ukrainian advances in the Robotyne area also likely aim to degrade Russian forces that have committed significant effort, resources, and personnel to hold positions around Robotyne,” ISW said.
Operational Aspects - Southern Front
ORIKHIV AXIS /1640 UTC 21 AUG/ UKR breaks up multi-pronged RU attack on Orikhiv salient. RU units reported to have committed reserves on T-04-08 HWY axis at Robotyne. pic.twitter.com/y41nktfKCV— Chuck Pfarrer | Indications & Warnings | (@ChuckPfarrer) August 21, 2023
geolocated footage published on August 20 and August 21 indicates that Ukrainian forces reached the central part of Robotyne (10 kilometers south of Orikhiv) and broke through some Russian defenses south of Mala Tokmachka (8 kilometers southeast of Orikhiv).
Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar reported that Ukrainian forces (AFU) succeeded in the direction southeast of Robotyne and south of Mala Tokmachka.
Pro-Russian milblogger and notorious propagandist War Gonzo said that “the Armed Forces of Ukraine, with the support of artillery, attacked between the villages of Robotyne and Verbove. There is a promotion. Part of the forward defense lines of the RF Armed Forces is now under the control of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.”
Ukrainian milblogger Deep State offered the following about Robotyne: “Heavy fighting continues near Robotyne and in the village itself. ‘Katsaps’ [derogatory term for Russian men with stereotyped goat-like beards – ed.] gradually leave the village and try to regroup outside the village. However, Robotyne still needs to be cleared and held because the enemy has reserves on the way.”
Operational Aspects - Northern Front
Russia is attacking near Kupyansk because it hopes that Ukraine will withdraw its forces from the south, Defense Minister Oleksi Reznikov told a media conference in Odesa.
“The only thing I can say is that [the Russians] are trying to attack there in order to reduce the capacity of the Ukrainian defense forces in our own chosen direction of counteroffensive. It is their hope that we will withdraw forces from the south and react accordingly. But at the same time, in the east, we continue to successfully move around Bakhmut. There is an operation to encircle Bakhmut...” Reznikov said.
Maliar reported that the situation in the Kupyansk sector is “difficult.”
Ukraine’s state rescue service (DSNS) posted: “Mandatory evacuation continues in the Kupyansk district. We want people to be safe... Police, local authorities and volunteers have already evacuated almost 600 people, including 153 children.”
Pro-Russian milblogger Rybar said: “Despite the premature victorious reports of individual media, most of the locality continues to be in the gray zone.”
According to Ilya Yevlash, the head of the press service of the Eastern Group of the AFU, Russia has more than 45,000 soldiers, more than half a thousand tanks, many armored combat vehicles, more than 30 artillery systems located in the northern theater.
However, ISW reported that Ukrainian forces have advanced near Kreminna.
Other Operational Aspects
Russia’s Ministry of Defense of Russia claimed it destroyed two Ukrainian drones near Moscow, two over the Black Sea, and that two drones were allegedly suppressed by electronic warfare devices in the Bryansk region. Air traffic at Moscow's Vnukovo, Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo airports was briefly halted.
Russian milbloggers also reported Ukrainian drones at Belgorod and Kaluga regions, including at an airfield.
"It was this bomber that attacked Ukraine with Kh-22 and Kh-32 missiles, which are difficult for our air defense system to cope with. The TU-22M3 is worth several tens of millions of dollars. Russia will no longer be able to recover this loss - the plane burned to the ground," Andriy Yusov said.
Russian attacks in the Kherson region killed at least two people and injured three others, its governor, Oleksandr Prokudin, said.
The 06:00 daily update of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that over the past 24 hours, Russian forces undertook two missile strikes, 43 air strikes, and 45 attacks from MLRS rocket systems. The Ukrainian Air Force undertook six airstrikes against Russian positions.
The General Staff reported that over the past 24 hours Russian forces shelled some 135 Ukrainian settlements with artillery and/or mortar fire. There was particularly heavy fire against communities to the rear of Ukrainian positions in the western Zaporizhzhia region.
Operational Aspects – Eastern Front
ISW reported that Ukrainian forces have advanced near Bakhmut.
Defense Minister Maliar said that Ukrainian forces recaptured three square kilometers around Bakhmut over the past week and 43 square kilometers in total since Wagner Group forces captured Bakhmut in May 2023, according to ISW.
Bulgaria will transfer its Soviet-style armored vehicles to Ukraine beginning this fall, said its Defense Minister at a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart. This will amount to around 100 units.
An agreement was reached with Swedish authorities to produce CV90 combat vehicles in Ukraine, President Zelensky announced.
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