Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Ukrainian light infantry has advanced to positions beyond anti-tank ditches and dragon’s teeth anti-tank obstacles that comprise the current Russian defensive layer ahead of the Ukrainian advance in western Zaporizhia Oblast, and Ukrainian forces likely intend to hold those positions. ISW is not prepared to assess that Ukrainian forces have breached this Russian defensive layer in the absence of observed Ukrainian heavy equipment in these areas.

  • Russian forces reportedly attempted to expand minefields in southern Ukraine following the start of the Ukrainian counteroffensive in June.

  • Limitations on Russian artillery capabilities and Ukrainian advantages in counter-battery fire are forcing the Russians to deviate from their own doctrine, RUSI reported.

  • Russian forces conducted a drone strike on Dnipropetrovsk and Odesa oblasts on the night of September 3-4.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated Russia’s unwillingness to rejoin the Black Sea Grain Initiative until all of Russia’s extensive terms are met at a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

  • Head of the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine Erik Mose stated on September 4 that the commission has not yet concluded that Russia is committing genocide in Ukraine.

  • Russian forces conducted offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line, in the western Donetsk-eastern Zaporizhia Oblast border area, and in western Zaporizhia Oblast and advanced in some areas on September 4.

    ISW Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 23, 2024
    Other Topics of Interest

    ISW Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 23, 2024

    Latest from the Institute for the Study of War.
  • Ukrainian forces conducted offensive operations and advanced near Bakhmut and in western Zaporizhia Oblast on September 4.

  • Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced on September 4 that the Russian military will not be holding “Zapad-2023” joint strategic exercises scheduled for September.

  • Russian occupation officials continued the fifth day of early voting for Russian regional elections in occupied territories on September 4.



Authors: Riley Bailey, Christina Harward, Grace Mappes, Nicole Wolkov, and Frederick W. Kagan.

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