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Putin Problems: The Ukrainian Military Just Achieved a ‘Tactical Breach’ in Southern Ukraine

Terminator. Image Credit: Russian State Media.
Terminator. Image Credit: Russian State Media.

The Ukrainian military has achieved a tactical breach in southern Ukraine. 

After months of bitter fighting, the Ukrainian counteroffensive has managed to breach a portion of Russia’s main defensive line. The breach is in the southern part of the country — around Verbove village, in the western part of Zaporizhzhia Oblast. 

The situation remains fluid. The Russian military is throwing every available unit in the breach to seal the gap and prevent a Ukrainian operational breakthrough. 

A Tactical Breach in Ukraine  

Over the weekend, Ukrainian forces managed to increase their gains near Verbove, thus achieving the tactical breach. 

According to the Institute for the Study of War, evidence suggests that Ukrainian forces have entered Verbove and are trying to capture it. If the Ukrainian military manages to capture the village, they could quickly cover the considerable open ground to its southwest and create the conditions for an operational breakthrough. 

Although extensive and composed of numerous layers, Russia’s defensive lines are not constant. Verbove, for example, connects the first two lines of Russian defenses. There are gaps that the Ukrainians can exploit, and for the first time since their counteroffensive began in early June, the Ukrainian military has managed to take advantage. 

Fighting over the coming days will determine whether Ukrainian forces manage to achieve an operational breakthrough soon. 

Russian Casualties 

Meanwhile, on day 579 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Russian military and pro-Russian separatist forces continue to take serious casualties. 

Over the past 24 hours, Russian forces lost about 400 men killed, wounded, and captured, as well as dozens of heavy weapons systems. The rate of Russian losses has fallen despite the Ukrainian tactical gains in southern Ukraine. 

However, Russia continues to lose long-range fire systems at an extremely high rate. Over the last three days, Russian forces have lost almost 90 artillery guns and multiple launch rocket systems. In addition to their tactical gains on the ground, the Ukrainians continue to target and degrade Moscow’s artillery screen over the battlefield. 

Although that might not seem to bring immediate gains, the long-term benefits are invaluable. For example, now that the Ukrainians have achieved a tactical breach near Verbove, the Russians don’t have enough artillery to stop the Ukrainian advances. 

Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Monday, Ukrainian forces have killed and wounded approximately 276,270 Russian troops. They also claim they have destroyed 322 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets; 316 attack and transport helicopters; 4,667 tanks; 6,260 artillery pieces; 8,927 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles; 791 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems; 20 boats and cutters; 8,746 vehicles and fuel tanks; 533 anti-aircraft batteries; 4,895 tactical unmanned aerial systems; 918 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems; and 1,518 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.

About the Author 

A 19FortyFive Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations and a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ). He holds a BA from the Johns Hopkins University, an MA from the Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and is pursuing a J.D. at Boston College Law School. His work has been featured in Business InsiderSandboxx, and SOFREP.

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1945’s Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist with specialized expertise in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.