Snapshot

Potential “verge of breakthrough” near Robotyne; probing raids along Dnipro and on the western shores of occupied Crimea.

Analysis

Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) Valery Zaluzhny told American officials that Ukrainian forces are on the verge of a breakthrough, Wall Street Journal reported based on apparent access to US intelligence.

According to the WSJ:

Ukrainian commanders also say that time hasn’t yet run out on their counteroffensive, and Zaluzhny has told US officials his forces are on the cusp of a breakthrough. Yet deep divisions over the strategy linger.

The US for the past several weeks has urged the Ukrainians to mass their forces and concentrate in an area north of Tokmak in the south to push through the first line of Russian defenses, generally acknowledged as the toughest line to break.

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While there are differing views within the US government, one official said that Washington has conveyed “serious frustration” with Ukraine’s strategy, particularly President Volodymyr Zelensky’s focus on Bakhmut, which some Ukrainian officers see as useful to build morale and create a buffer zone in the east.

Operations – Southern Front

According to ISW, Ukrainian forces advanced closer to the Russian second line of defense in the Robotyne area in the western Zaporizhzhia region on Aug. 24, further widening their breach of Russian defensive lines in the area. Geolocated footage published on Aug. 24 shows that Ukrainian forces advanced further towards the Russian defensive lines west of Verbove (18 km southeast of Orikhiv) and into southern Robotyne (10 km south of Orikhiv).

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Ukrainian Southern Operational Command Spokesperson Nataliya Humenyuk reported that Russian forces are conducting additional lateral redeployments from the Kherson region to the frontline in the Zaporizhzhia region, suggesting that Ukrainian forces have further degraded Russian defensive lines in the area.

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Pro-Russian milblogger Rybar said “the difficult situation continues in the Robotyne area. The fighting has already moved to the southern outskirts of the settlement, from which only ruins remain. To the east, the enemy is trying to break through to Verbove.”

Pro-Ukrainian milblogger War Monitor posted that Ukrainian forces continue to be engaged in clashes and battles along the Dnipro River in Kherson region.

Other Operations

The Wagner Group will likely no longer exist as a quasi-independent parallel military structure following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s almost certain assassination of Wagner financier Yevgeny Prigozhin, Wagner founder Dmitry Utkin, and reported Wagner logistics and security head Valery Chekalov, ISW said.

Ukrainian forces conducted a limited raid on the western shore of occupied Crimea on Aug. 24. Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (HUR) posted footage and announced that Ukrainian forces landed on the shores near Olenivka and Mayak (both 116 km northwest of Sevastopol), according to ISW.

Explosions were recorded earlier this morning in the Odesa and Zaporizhzhia regions.

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