Ukraine’s military made small yet significant gains along the front line in southern Ukraine.
Its forces successfully penetrated beyond the town of Robotyne in the Zaporizhzhia sector of the front.
An assessment by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) concluded that Russian forces’ fighting abilities in the area have become seriously degraded.
Russian Forces Facing Degradation in Key Areas
“Elements of the Russian 22nd and 45th Separate Spetsnaz Brigades appeared to be responsible for counterattacking against significant Ukrainian advances in the Robotyne area during the earlier phases of the counteroffensive and likely suffered heavy losses in these operations,” ISW reported.
“Russian reporting and footage of the Robotyne area in recent weeks has largely omitted mention of these Spetsnaz brigades, suggesting that this degradation may have severely impacted their ability to continue counterattacking.
“Counterattacking requires significant morale and relatively high combat capabilities, and the Russian military appears to rely on relatively elite VDV units and formations for this undertaking, possibly at the expense of heavily degrading these forces.”
Retaking the village of Robotyne took Ukrainian forces at least three months, but it remains a No-Man’s Land for civilians.
“The local authorities carried out a complete evacuation of the population, since the security situation does not allow them to be there due to the constant threat to life and health,” Ruslan Movchan said.
Russian forces near Bakhmut may similarly be facing degradation, according to ISW’s assessment. Meanwhile, Ukrainsksa Pravda reported that Ukrainian forces repelled a Russian attack west of Yahidne, Donetsk Oblast. Another 10 attacks were repelled in the area of Marinka, Donetsk Oblast, and Robotyne, Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
Crimean Air Defense Damaged, Black Sea Fleet Degraded
An advanced Russian S-400 Triumf was destroyed by modified Neptune naval cruise missiles. ISW suggested that Russia might have “systemic technical failures” in its air defenses.
Russia’s Black Sea Fleet suffered serious losses when it was targeted by Ukrainian marine drones that damaged or destroyed two corvettes. A Russian missile ship was struck by an experimental Sea Baby attack drone controlled by Ukraine’s intelligence service, The Security Service of Ukraine.
Russia’s Ministry of Defense denied the attack.
The UK Ministry of Defense noted on Friday that the landing ship Minsk and the Kilo 636.3-class submarine Rostov-on-Don were seriously damaged while undergoing repairs in dry docks at the Sevmorzadov shipyard.
“The complex task of removing the wreckage from the dry docks will also place the facility out of use for many months,” the Defense Ministry said.
Russian forces fired Iskander ballistic missiles at homes in a Ukrainian village in the Donetsk Oblast.
John Rossomando is a defense and counterterrorism analyst and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting.