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Ukraine says it liberates strategic southeastern settlement

Ukraine says it liberates strategic southeastern settlement © Reuters. Ukrainian soldiers of the Separate Assault Battalion ‘Skala’ enter the embattled village of Robotyne, Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, in this screengrab taken from a handout video released on August 25, 2023. Separate Assault Battalion ‘Skala’ of the Ukrai

KYIV (Reuters) -Ukraine said on Monday its troops had liberated the southeastern settlement of Robotyne and were trying to push further south in their counteroffensive against Russian forces.

The Ukrainian military said last week that its forces had raised the national flag in the strategic settlement, but were still carrying out mopping-up operations.

Ukrainian forces believe they have broken through the most difficult line of Russian defences in the south and that they will now start advancing more quickly, a commander who led troops into Robotyne told Reuters last week.

“Robotyne has been liberated,” Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar was quoted as saying by the military.

The settlement is 10 km (six miles) south of the frontline town of Orikhiv in the Zaporizhzhia region on an important road towards Tokmak, a Russian-occupied road and rail hub.

Tokmak’s capture would be a milestone as Ukrainian troops press southwards towards the Sea (NYSE:) of Azov in a military drive that is intended to split Russian forces following Moscow’s full-scale invasion in February 2022.

Ukraine’s defence ministry posted a video on social media platform X of soldiers describing the liberation and raising the flag in the settlement.

“Mr. President, commander-in-chief, the village of Robotyne in the Zaporizhzhia region has been liberated from the occupiers by the forces of the 47th Mechanised Brigade and adjacent units,” a Ukrainian soldier said in the video.

“The blue and yellow flag will be raised in every Ukrainian village,” the soldier said.

Russia has not confirmed the Ukrainian advance. In its statement, Russia’s defence ministry said Moscow’s troops had repelled attacks by Kyiv’s forces near Robotyne and Verbove.

A military spokesman told Ukrainian television Kyiv’s forces were continuing to fortify their positions in the settlement.

“Stabilisation measures, demining and preparations for further actions are underway,” Oleksandr Shtupun said.

Maliar told Ukrainian television earlier that Kyiv’s troops, who began their counteroffensive in early June, were now moving southeast of Robotyne and south of nearby Mala Tokmachka.

Ukraine’s success in retaking Robotyne follows media reports of a meeting this month of senior NATO military chiefs and Ukraine’s top general on resetting Ukraine’s military strategy.


Ukrainian forces are also fighting Russian troops in eastern Ukraine, and progress has been slower than had been widely expected in the counteroffensive because they have encountered vast Russian minefields and trenches.

Maliar described the battlefield situation in the east as “very hot” in the past week. She said Russian troops were gathering new forces there and regrouping, and Moscow was aiming to deploy its best troops there.

Ukrainian forces had continued to advance south of Bakhmut, she said, referring to the nearly devastated eastern city that was captured by Moscow’s troops in May after months of fierce fighting.

She added that in the past week Ukrainian forces had retaken 1 square km (0.4 square mile) around Bakhmut, and Russian troops had not made any advances.

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