On Monday, Ukraine declared that its military had successfully liberated the strategic southeastern settlement of Robotyne and was actively working to advance further south as part of its counteroffensive against Russian forces.
Last week, the Ukrainian military had announced that its troops had raised the national flag in the vital settlement. Although the flag had been raised, ongoing clearing operations were still in progress.
A commanding officer leading the troops into Robotyne stated that Ukrainian forces believed they had breached the most challenging line of Russian defenses in the southern region. This breakthrough was anticipated to accelerate their forward movement.
Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar affirmed, “Robotyne has been liberated,” marking a significant achievement for Ukrainian forces.
Robotyne, situated 10 km (six miles) south of the frontline town of Orikhiv in the Zaporizhzhia region, holds strategic importance due to its location along a crucial road leading towards Tokmak, a significant road and rail hub under Russian control.
The prospective capture of Tokmak is a pivotal goal for Ukrainian troops as they continue their southward advance toward the Sea of Azov. This military maneuver aims to split Russian forces in the wake of Moscow’s full-scale invasion in February 2022.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence shared a video on the social media platform X, featuring soldiers describing the liberation and raising the Ukrainian flag in Robotyne. A soldier in the video emphasized, “The blue and yellow flag will be raised in every Ukrainian village.”
While Ukraine reports the liberation of Robotyne, Russia has yet to confirm the Ukrainian military’s advancement. Russia’s defence ministry stated that its troops had successfully repelled attacks by Kyiv’s forces near Robotyne and Verbove.
A military spokesperson mentioned that Kyiv’s forces were in the process of fortifying their positions in the settlement. Oleksandr Shtupun noted, “Stabilisation measures, demining, and preparations for further actions are underway.”
Hanna Maliar shared on Ukrainian television that their counteroffensive, initiated in early June, was now extending southeast of Robotyne and south of the nearby Mala Tokmachka.
However, Ukraine’s progress in retaking Robotyne is juxtaposed with a challenging battlefield situation in the east. Ukrainian forces are facing Russian minefields and trenches, slowing their progress. Maliar described the situation on the eastern front as “very hot,” with Russian troops regrouping and preparing to deploy their best forces.
Maliar noted that Ukrainian forces had continued their advancement south of Bakhmut, a city that had been captured by Moscow’s troops in May. She stated that Ukrainian forces had retaken 1 square km (0.4 square mile) around Bakhmut in the past week, with Russian forces not making any territorial gains.