Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations near Bakhmut and in western Zaporizhia Oblast on September 7 and made further gains on both sectors of the front.

  • US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Director of Analysis Trent Maul stated that there is a “realistic possibility” that Ukrainian forces will break through the entire Russian defense in southern Ukraine by the end of 2023, while a Ukrainian source suggested that upcoming Russian defensive positions are weaker than those Ukrainian forces have previously breached.

  • Ukrainian forces are making tactical gains and successfully attriting defending Russian forces and ISW continues to assess Ukraine’s counteroffensive may achieve operational successes in 2023, but subsequent series of Russian defensive positions still pose significant challenges for Ukrainian forces and may in sections be strongly held.

  • Russian forces conducted another large-scale Shahed-136/131 drone attack against Sumy and Odesa oblasts overnight on September 6-7.

  • Moscow Oblast authorities detained the commander of the 1st Special Purpose Air and Missile Defense Army on bribery and corruption charges amidst continued and escalating drone attacks on Moscow.

  • Russian forces continued offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, in the Bakhmut direction, along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line, and in the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border area but did not make any confirmed advances on September 7.

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

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