NewsRussian forces reoccupy Ukrainian territories amid reports of war crimes: a cold winter of contention

Russian forces reoccupy Ukrainian territories amid reports of war crimes: a cold winter of contention

Russian forces reoccupy Ukrainian territories amid reports of war crimes: a cold winter of contention
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6:27 AM EST, December 28, 2023

Recordings with geolocation data, published on December 14 and 27, indicate that the Russian forces have advanced in areas west of Verbovye. These tactical successes recorded are around 5.6 miles from the village of Robotyne. The ISW asserts it is plausible that Ukrainian soldiers are maintaining more fortified battle positions near Robotyne for the winter season.

The think tank's analysts highlight that the fluid situation on the frontline in the Zaporizhia region confirms their prior assertions, stating "military operations in Ukraine are progressing". The transition of these operations into trench warfare observed in recent months may only be temporary.

"Decisions made by Western or Russian powers, especially the potential limiting of Ukraine's funding by Western countries, will directly influence the war's future course and thus the front line," the ISW's analysis added.

Ukrainian military officials dispute the assertion that the conflict is primarily positional. As noted, the analytical center quoted General Oleksandr Tarnavsky's observations from a BBC interview on Wednesday.

The commander of the Taurida operational, strategic group warned that the probable objective of the enemy, besides conquering Avdiivka in the Donetsk region, is the capture of the entire Donetsk and Luhansk region and regaining control of territories in the Zaporizhia region that were lost in the summer's Ukrainian counteroffensive.

War crimes by Russians: More Reports Emerge

The ISW also noted reports of Ukrainian prisoners of war being shot near Verbovye. On Wednesday, recordings were released showing the death of three soldiers who were captured and subsequently executed by the Russians.

The Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine, currently investigating this incident, confirmed that it occurred in December but did not specify an exact date.

"Things didn't go as planned"

"Things didn't go as planned" - the American newspaper "The Washington Post" evaluated in early December in an in-depth analysis of the Ukrainian counteroffensive against the Russian army, which began in June. It highlighted that in nearly six months, the Ukrainians managed to advance only about 11.8 miles and liberate a few towns.

In a discussion with the "WP", Ukrainian commanders they cited complex reasons for this result, with the density of Russian minefields likely being the most significant factor.

Other contributing factors include an underestimation of the use of combat drones on the front, inadequate combat experience among Ukrainian soldiers, unsuitable training methods, and discrepancies regarding operational priorities, which were soon apparent in the Ukrainian interactions with Americans.

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