In their latest intelligence update on the war in Ukraine, published on Wednesday, the British analysts said that “Ukraine has pressed its offensive operations in the north-east of the country over the last few days.”
Ukraine advances east of Oskil, Siverskyy Donets
The UK Ministry of Defence added: “Units are making slow advances on at least two axes east from the line of the Oskil and Siverskyy Donets rivers, where forces had consolidated following their previous advance earlier in the month.”
This comes as Russia "is mounting a more substantive defence than previously, likely because the Ukrainian advance now threatens parts of Luhansk Oblast as voting in the referendum on accession to the Russian Federation closes,” according to the British officials.
At the same time, heavy fighting continued in the southern Kherson region "where the Russian force on the right bank of the Dnipro remains vulnerable,” the UK Ministry of Defence reported.
The British analysts also said that Russia "continues its grinding attempts to advance near Bakhmut in the Donbas even while it faces severe pressure on its northern and southern flanks.”
This is likely due to political pressure "as Russia is using forces that could otherwise reinforce the other flanks,” the UK Ministry of Defence stated.
Annexation ‘referenda’ completed
Meanwhile, the US-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported that Russian authorities in occupied parts of Ukraine’s Kherson, Zaporizhia, Donetsk and Luhansk regions “completed their falsified annexation ‘referenda’ on September 27 and implausibly claimed that each sham referendum received between 87 and 99% approval from Ukrainian residents."
In its latest analysis of the war in Ukraine, published on Tuesday night, the US think tank said that “Russian officials pre-ordained and falsified the approval ratings and alleged voter participation rates for the sham referenda while coercing Ukrainian civilians in occupied territories to performatively vote for Russian annexation.”
The ISW added that "the completion of the performative referenda marks the last prerequisite for Russian President Vladimir Putin to declare the Russian annexation of occupied Ukrainian territory.”
The US experts noted that, according to the UK defence ministry, “Putin will likely make the declaration before or during an address to both houses of Russia's parliament on Friday, September 30.”
Russia loses 400 troops in a day
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s General Staff reported on Wednesday that Russia had lost 400 soldiers over the past 24 hours, bringing the Kremlin’s total troop losses in Ukraine to 58,150, the Ukrainska Pravda website reported.
Russia also lost six tanks, three artillery systems and eight armoured combat vehicles in the course of Tuesday, Ukraine’s military command said.
Wednesday is day 217 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Source: UK Ministry of Defence, understandingwar.org, pravda.com.ua