Russia shifts forces to Kherson, withdraws units from eastern Ukraine — British Intelligence
The Russian occupying troops have concentrated their forces to advance in the Kherson direction, while they have begun to withdraw their units from the southern and eastern fronts
The UK Ministry of Defense shared the information in its report.
It noted that during the first half of September 2023, fierce fighting continued around the islands in the lower Dnipro River in the Kherson region, which are now the front line. Both sides have carried out raids with teams on small boats against the islands and opposite river banks.
According to British intelligence, there is a realistic possibility that Russian operations in the area have intensified as the sector has come under the responsibility of the newly formed 40th Army Corps.
"The number of forces involved are relatively small compared to other fronts; however, both sides see the area as strategically important. It also provides the opportunity to draw their adversary’s units away from the intense combat in Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions," the British intelligence added.
Frontline situation: the latest updates
On September 14, Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said that the Ukrainian military had liberated the village of Andriivka near Bakhmut, Donetsk region. However, the 3rd Separate Mechanized Brigade denied the statement and called it false.
On September 14, the Ukrainian Defense Forces successfully advanced in the area of Klishchiivka, Donetsk region. According to the Ukrainian General Staff, as of the morning of September 15, it became known that the Ukrainian Armed Forces had liberated Andriivka.
On September 16, the American Institute for the Study of War noted that after the Ukrainian military liberated Andriivka, they continued offensive operations near Bakhmut and in the western Zaporizhzhia region. At the same time, the tactical situation south of Bakhmut worsened for the Russian army.
On September 17, the Ukrainian Defense Forces completely liberated Klishchiivka, south of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, but the enemy continued to try to capture the town.
On September 18, the AFU General Staff reported that the Ukrainian military repelled Russian attacks near Bila Hora in the Bakhmut direction, and in the area of Klishchiivka in the Donetsk region, they continue to conduct assault operations, inflict significant losses in manpower and equipment on the enemy, and consolidate the achieved positions.
Subsequently, the deputy commander of the 3rd separate assault brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Major Rodion Kudryashov, noted that after the successful advance of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the possibility of liberating Bakhmut opened up for Ukraine.
On September 18, the commander of the Ukrainian Army, Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, visited the positions of the brigades and battalions that liberated Klishchiivka and Andriivka in the Bakhmut direction.
The day before, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar reported that during another week of full-scale war, Ukrainian defenders liberated 2 square kilometers in the Bakhmut direction and 5.2 square kilometers of Ukrainian territory on the southern front.
As of September 18, the liberated area near Bakhmut amounts to 51 square kilometers, and on the southern front, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have already liberated 261.7 square kilometers since the beginning of the counteroffensive.
On September 19, the ISW stated that the recent advance of Ukrainian troops south of Bakhmut had degraded Russian defense units in the area, as the Ukrainian Armed Forces destroyed the combat capability of elite Russian units during the liberation of Andriivka and Klishchiivka.