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Ukraine reclaiming control of tiny ruined village could be a huge turning point
September 16, 2023
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Ukrainian forces have captured the Andriivka, a small village which is pivotal in the war against Putin’s troops. Experts are hailing the military victory as “strategically important” for a number of reasons.
The capture of this village is believed to be a potential turning point in the ongoing conflict with Russia.
Professor Michael Clarke, a defence and security analyst and former director-general of the Royal United Services Institute told Sky News: “If they [Ukraine’s troops] can get south of Bakhmut, then they can get into open country into Russia’s reserve lines.”
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For months, the city of Bakhmut had been a key frontline battleground, marked by relentless fighting.
Professor Clarke said breaking through the defences of Bakhmut could open up new strategic possibilities for Ukrainian forces. “Andriivka doesn’t look like much, but it is strategically quite important,” he said.
“You can see it’s like a First World War battlefield. They’ve really struggled for it.”
The significance of securing Andriivka extends beyond Bakhmut.
Professor Clarke further added: “Getting south of the key frontline city means troops could maybe turn south into Donetsk and try to really get behind Donetsk itself.”
This manoeuvre could disrupt Russian forces’ positions and supply lines in the Donetsk region.
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In addition to the capture of Andriivka, Ukrainian forces claim to have dealt a significant blow to Russia’s military capabilities.
They report the destruction of the 72nd Motorised Brigade and the elimination of three battalion commanders. Professor Clarke said: “If that’s true – and there’s other supporting evidence that indicates it is probably true – this is a strategically small but significant victory for the Ukrainians.”
This development also raises questions about the Russian military’s shifting priorities. Professor Clarke added: “It also reflects the fact that the Russians have been taking forces away from the northern front.
“They’re under such pressure in Tokmak, down in the south, that they’re taking forces away from this front and, in a sense, leaving them to do the best they can.”