- The President congratulates the troops on recapturing Klishchyivka
- Ukrainian efforts in Bakhmut have deterred the Russians from building up troops elsewhere
- The footage shows Ukrainian gains near Robotyne
- More drones are raining down on Crimea, and Russia says it has intercepted seven of them
- The head of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff says the counteroffensive did not fail
- Any North Korean aid will have minimal impact, the US general adds
- VIDEO: Russian troops try to flee Ukrainian drone instead of surrendering
Ukrainian forces recapture Klishchiivka after success in Andriivka
Ukrainian ground forces commander Oleksandr Syrsky said on social media on Sunday that the strategically important town of Klishchyivka had been “cleared by Russian forces.” AFP reported.
The battle for the frontline town on the southwestern outskirts of Bakhmut has been raging for many weeks, with the Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU) and Russian forces making advances and retreats. Ukrainian forces scored another major success on Friday by recapturing the town of Andriivka, AFU officials announced, a claim the Kremlin denies.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyj confirmed the victory in Klishchyivka and congratulated him in his evening speech on Sunday. “Well done!” he said.
In his speech, Zelensky emphasized that improved air defense of Kiev and the country as a whole is a “priority” for the future.
According to ISW, pressure in the Bakhmut area prevented the Russians from regrouping further south
According to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), the AFU’s constant pressure on the battlefields south of Bakhmut, which led to the recapture of Klishchyivka and other key positions, including Andriivka, put such a strain on Russian forces that they were unable to launch any offensives more were able to launch to their destinations further south.
“Elements of two of the four Russian airborne divisions (VDV) and three of the four Russian VDV individual brigades are currently defending the Bakhmut area. This significant Ukrainian achievement helped prevent Russia from building a large mobile WDV operational reserve that could have been used to stop the main Ukrainian counteroffensive in Zaporizhzhia [region]”,” wrote the ISW on Sunday.
ISW Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, September 17, 2023
Latest from the Institute for the Study of War.
The withdrawal of Wagner forces from the invasion earlier this year necessitated Russian reinforcements in the region, ISW added, contributing to the shortage of Russian forces needed elsewhere. In fact, the 45th Guards Spetsnaz Brigade, a unit directly controlled by the Kremlin, remains the only Russian airborne brigade that has not been dedicated to the fronts in the Bakhmut region in recent months.
Ukrainian drones target Crimea and Moscow
The Russian Defense Ministry announced on Telegram on Sunday that it had shot down seven drones over Russian territory and occupied Crimea.
One of the drones was intercepted at 1:45 a.m. Moscow time near the Russian capital in the Istrinsky district, with no injuries reported on the ground, the ministry said. Around the same time, two more drones were shot down on the western coast of Crimea, then four more on the eastern and northwest coasts of the peninsula.
Operations: Zaporizhzhia region
According to ISW, AFU troops made further important advances west of the newly liberated town of Robotyne (10 km south of Orikhiv). Also this weekend, Ukrainian forces broke through critical Russian defense lines west of Werbowe (18 km southeast of Orichiv).
The ISW emphasized that the presence of Ukrainian forces in these positions represents an important breakthrough in critical Russian defense layers.
Both Ukrainian advances were confirmed by geolocated footage:
Watch drones hunt down fleeing Russian soldiers
A soldier from Ukraine’s 3rd Assault Brigade captured this video from a drone hunting an intruder who allegedly refused to surrender to Ukrainian forces, as some of his comrades had done.
According to the soldier, many Russian troops, including officers, were recruited by the AFU after their surrender and were taken prisoner. This group of invaders had a different idea, and the Ukrainian anti-tank battalion showed that it was actually a bad decision.
During the fighting for Andriyivka, we managed to recruit not only ordinary Russian soldiers but also a number of their officers and commanders.
One of these episodes: a Katsap officer tries to escape from the positions, but the FPV drone of the Third Anti-Tank Battalion… pic.twitter.com/6VXVDNbY0g
— Egor Sugar (@SugarEgor) September 16, 2023
US General Milley says liberation is a “high bar”, NATO chairman praises Ukraine’s efforts
The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Sunday that Ukraine’s counteroffensive had “not failed” but that American aid was not “magic dust” that could be sprinkled on the battlefield to change the situation, AFP reported.
Milley is currently visiting Norway with other NATO leaders at a ski resort on the outskirts of Oslo. He will move on to the monthly meeting of the Ukrainian Defense Contact Group in Germany on Tuesday as President Zelensky continues to push for a new round of aid for long-range missiles and other military equipment.
“I know there are some comments that this offense has somehow failed. “It didn’t fail,” Milley said. “It will take a significant amount of time to militarily expel all 200,000 or more Russian troops from Russian-occupied Ukraine. That’s a very high bar. It’s going to take a long time to get it done.”
Adm. Rob Bauer of the Netherlands, chairman of the NATO Military Committee, said at the opening of the meeting over the weekend: “Ukraine has transformed modern warfare and it is making progress every day. “Every success is one step closer to victory,” Associated reported Press (AP). Admiral Bauer went on to say that Russia is “losing more and more ground and all of Russia is suffering from the effects of economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation.”
North Korean aid to Russia will have minimal impact on the counteroffensive, Milley added
Speaking to reporters traveling with him, Milley also assured that this was the case According to the AP, North Korea’s military support will have relatively little impact on Russia.
Milley said the most likely outcome of the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un would be a shipment of Soviet-era 152mm artillery shells to Moscow.
“Would it make a big difference? I’m skeptical of that,” Milley told reporters. “I doubt it would make a difference.”
Source : www.kyivpost.com