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18 Aug. 2023

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What opportunities does the liberation of Urozhayne open up for Ukraine?

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What opportunities does the liberation of Urozhayne open up for Ukraine?

The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine has announced that the Ukrainian Armed Forces have liberated Urozhayne in Donetsk Oblast. Find out why the loss of the settlement is critical for russia and what opportunities are now open for Ukraine

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Recently, russian media and bloggers began to write that the russian army had lost control of Urozhayne, located east of Staromayorsk, and was forced to retreat under pressure from the Ukrainian army, but so far there has been no confirmation from the Ukrainian authorities.

On August 16, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine announced the liberation of the village of Urozhayne in Donetsk region. According to Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Hanna Malyar, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are consolidating their positions and continuing their offensive in three directions. 

So, why did russia have another "hysteria" about the loss of the settlement and what threats to russia and opportunities for Ukraine does the de-occupation of the settlement pose - we will analyze further in the article.


Where is the liberated Urozhayne?


The village of Urozhayne is one of the settlements that is part of the Vremiyivka salient, an area on the border of Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions that was formed as a result of the russian offensive and wedging into the Ukrainian Armed Forces' defense. Until now, it has been a problematic flank for Ukraine, but today this ledge no longer exists. The Ukrainian army completely cut it off during the summer counteroffensive operations.


The Vremiyivka ledge used to prevent the Ukrainian army from moving from near Vuhledar toward Volnovakha and Mariupol, but the Ukrainian army not only removed the obstacle but almost reached the second russian defense line in this area. The next important settlement for russia is the village of Staromlynivka, which is a stronghold located 2 km south of Urozhayne.




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Why is Urozhayne so important for the further advance of the Ukrainian armed forces?


Experts agree that Urozhayne opens up many avenues for a breakthrough in russian defense. In addition, a fairly large foothold has already been created from which to launch a large-scale advance to the sea, and attacks can take place in several directions at once. 


Thus, according to military expert Serhiy Grabsky, the Armed Forces are approaching a new stage of the offensive, but the enemy understands the threat posed by the loss of Urozhayne, and therefore the transition phase will be quite difficult, as russia is hastily throwing all available reserves in this direction. At the same time, this creates prerequisites for the fragility of russian defense, as the deployed reserves do not have the appropriate training.


At the same time, Oleksandr Kovalenko, a military and political expert of the Information Resistance group, emphasizes that russian troops have waited for their hour X, because the liberation of Staromlynivka is only a matter of time, and from there the Ukrainian army will be able to move directly towards Berdiansk and Mariupol and keep all enemy manpower and equipment movements under fire control. Kovalenko also notes that russia has significant problems with its reserve forces.


"I can say that today the russian army has already used its strategic reserve to stop our counteroffensive. The russians are exhausted, so our advance in the south will be much faster. This was clear back in June, when they moved their reserves from the second line of defense to strengthen the first line, which is nonsense in general, but not for them, because they really wanted to stop us at the beginning of the counteroffensive. That is why russia is now unable to maintain a full second line of defense because of such steps earlier. Having used up all their strategic reserves, they will be able to replenish them only in 2-3 months, which is the minimum time for training mobilized people, whose level of readiness will be quite low. During this time, we may already be in Melitopol," concludes Oleksandr Kovalenko.


Where will the Ukrainian Armed Forces advance after Urozhayne?


Military experts and analysts talk about several main directions that Ukrainian forces can use to advance further. In fact, the Ukrainian Armed Forces can move either in the direction of Mariupol, Melitopol or Berdiansk. Any of these options is critical for russia, because firstly, Ukraine will cut the russian forces in half, and secondly, some of the russian military groups will be under siege and will be forced to flee, and it will not be so easy to do, because the Ukrainian army will keep all the "exits and entrances" under fire control.


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Photo: AP Photo / Bernat Armangue




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