Ukraine breakthrough underway as Zelensky’s men smash through Russian lines

Ukraine: Armoured vehicles assault west of Verbove

Ukrainian forces have broken through Russian lines on the southern front in Verbove, according to a top general.

The news comes just days after Daily Express US reported Ukrainian infantry fighting vehicles – Stryker and Marder IFVs – behind Russian lines of defense in the area.

Top Ukrainian General Oleksandr Tarnavsky told CNN yesterday: “On the left flank [near Verbove] we have a breakthrough and we continue to advance further.”

He added: “Not as fast as it was expected, not like in the movies about the Second World War.”

At the beginning of the month, Ukrainian forces took the nearby settlement of Robotyne following heavy fighting there and pushed east towards the village of Novoprokopivka.

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Soldiers expected battles south and east of Robotyne at another layer of Russian defenses positioned on higher ground. Verbove is approximately five miles east of Robotyne.

Tarnavsky told the outlet that entrenched “small harmful enemy defense groups” had positioned themselves well but that Ukraine’s forces were rolling them back.

He cited “tree lines and minefields between the tree lines” as something slowing the Ukrainian advance.

The Washington-based think-tank the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) also determined that Kyiv’s forces had broken through Russian lines in Verbove.

It said in an update: “ISW is now prepared to assess that Ukrainian forces have broken through Russian field fortifications west of Verbove in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast.

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NEW: ISW is now prepared to assess that Ukrainian forces have broken through Russian field fortifications west of #Verbove in western #Zaporizhia Oblast.

“These fortifications are not the final defensive line in Russia’s defense in depth in western Zaporizhzhia, but rather a specific series of the best-prepared field fortifications arrayed as part of a near-contiguous belt about 1.7-3.5km west of Verbove.”

It warned that Ukraine’s “rate of advance” remained unclear and added that Russian units likely control “tactical high ground” in the south between Robotyne and Verbove.

Still, it appears Ukraine has the momentum on the southern front where its “minimum goal” is to take the strategic hub of Tokmak, according to General Tarnavsky.

That would be a large step in the southern counteroffensive’s ultimate goal of reaching the Black Sea and cutting Russian forces in Ukraine in half.

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