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War in Ukraine - Ukrainian Armed Forces nearing victory, major successes

War in Ukraine - Ukrainian Armed Forces nearing victory, major successes For a year and a half, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have been fighting for victory in the war against Russia (photo: Getty Images)

Since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, a year and a half has passed. During this time, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have been able to push back the occupiers and have already achieved significant successes. Despite suffering significant losses, the enemy still tries to hold on to the captured territories, but Ukrainian defenders are gaining the initiative on the battlefield.

Battle for the south

During the summer, Ukrainian defenders liberated 11 settlements in the south and continued to advance. There have been tactical successes in the direction of Melitopol and Berdyansk.

On August 23, the Ukrainian flag was raised over the town of Robotyne, where fierce battles had been raging recently. Regaining control of this settlement in the Zaporizhzhia region will open the way to Melitopol and Tokmak.

The rapid advance during the summer offensive has been complicated by minefields and fortified enemy defensive lines. Therefore, the Ukrainian Armed Forces employ a tactic of wearing down the enemy with artillery fire. Additionally, since May, there has been an increase in strikes on ammunition depots, air defense systems, and transportation routes in temporarily occupied territories.

Throughout the summer, the defending forces launched multiple attacks on the Chonhar Bridge, and the Genichesk Bridge was also damaged, disrupting the logistics of military equipment for occupiers from Crimea.

For example, on June 22, the Storm Shadow missiles damaged the automotive bridge over the Syvash, which accounted for 70% of military supplies. The supply route immediately increased by about threefold (150 km) due to the necessity of redirecting cargo through Armiansk.

The Crimean Bridge under attack

The first attack on the Crimean Bridge took place on October 8, 2022. At that time, three road sections collapsed, and the railway track was damaged. Recently, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) revealed some details of the special operation.

The truck that was traveling on the bridge was loaded with explosives. It was disguised as a civilian cargo vehicle, wrapped in rolls of packaging film. The vehicle managed to bypass Russian GPS jamming devices on the explosive devices, which allowed for a successful detonation.

Півтора року війни. Головні перемоги ЗСУ в битві за Україну

The explosive used to detonate the Crimean Bridge (photo received by RBC-Ukraine from sources in the SBU)

A new attack on the bridge occurred on July 17, 2023. Two road sections were destroyed. The Russians themselves stated that they would not be able to repair the damage until at least November.

Currently, the Crimean Bridge is operating in a limited mode and does not provide full logistics for Russian occupiers.

Only passenger cars are allowed to travel on the road lanes, but even their movement is often disrupted, supposedly due to the operation of air defense systems.

Sea Baby attacks. Ukraine's unique maritime drones

The July strike on the Crimean Bridge was carried out by the Ukrainian military using Sea Baby drones. This is an experimental development by the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine), produced in Ukraine at an underground factory. The surface drone kamikaze can carry explosives ranging from 450 kg to 850 kg and can cover several hundred kilometers.

The second successful use of the Sea Baby was an attack on the Russian Black Sea Fleet base in Novorossiysk on August 4th. As a result, a large landing ship, the "Olenegorsky Gornyak," suffered damage to its hull.

The following day, in the vicinity of the Kerch Strait, a drone attacked the oil tanker SIG, which was transporting fuel for Russian Military Forces.

Shooting down the Kinzhal - possible

Russia had long intimidated the world with its hypersonic missiles, the Kh-47 Kinzhal, claiming they were impossible to shoot down.

However, in the spring of 2023, Ukrainian air defense forces debunked this myth. On May 4, the Patriot air defense system successfully destroyed the first Kinzhal missile in the direction of Kyiv, and on May 16, another 6 Kh-47 missiles were shot down.

Exactly a month later, the air defense systems once again destroyed 6 Kinzhal missiles heading towards the capital. During an attack on August 11, one Kh-47 missile was successfully intercepted, but unfortunately, 3 missile hits were recorded in the Ivano-Frankivsk region.

Deoccupation of Kherson and Kharkiv regions

"The result of the Ukrainian Armed Forces' autumn counteroffensive in 2022 was the liberation of the Kharkiv, parts of Donetsk, and Kherson regions. Russia lost control of the only regional center in Ukraine that it had managed to capture since the start of the full-scale war.

After 8 months of occupation, on November 11, 2022, Ukrainian forces entered Kherson. In the months leading up to this, before the occupiers made another "goodwill gesture," the Ukrainian Armed Forces had been destroying the occupiers' military bases, attacking the Antonivskyi Bridge, and other transportation routes used by Russia to deliver equipment and ammunition to the right bank of Kherson.

Півтора року війни. Головні перемоги ЗСУ в битві за Україну

Deoccupied Kherson (photo: Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

In September, the Ukrainian Armed Forces liberated nearly the entire territory of the Kharkiv region. During a rapid operation, Ukrainian soldiers pushed the Russians across the Oskol River and regained control of over 500 settlements.

The occupiers fled their base in Izyum, leaving behind the important railway junction of Kupiansk. During the liberation of the Kharkiv region, approximately 200 units of Russian military equipment, valued at around $700 million, were destroyed and captured.

Півтора року війни. Головні перемоги ЗСУ в битві за Україну

Izium was liberated in September 2022 (Photo: Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

Return of Zmiinyi Island

On June 30, 2022, Ukrainian Forces expelled Russian occupiers from Zmiinyi Island in the Black Sea. This move blocked Russia's ability to advance into the Odesa region. After the island's liberation, navigation from Black Sea ports was restored, and the 'grain corridor' started functioning again.

According to the Chief of the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine (GUR), Kyrylo Budanov, planning for the liberation of Zmiinyi Island began in March 2022. The operation went through several stages, some of which were partially successful but forced the occupiers to act chaotically. As a result, the enemy was pushed off the island.

On August 12, a new Ukrainian border marker was installed on Zmiinyi Island. This action marked the restoration of "historical justice" by the State Border Guard Service with the support of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense.

Півтора року війни. Головні перемоги ЗСУ в битві за Україну

The installation of a new border marker on Zmiinyi Island (Photo:

"Moscow" has sunk

An important milestone in the liberation of Zmiinyi Island was the destruction of the flagship of the Russian fleet - the cruiser "Moscow," to which the legendary phrase of the Ukrainian defender about the "Russian warship" was addressed.

On April 13, 2022, it sank in the Black Sea after being attacked by two Ukrainian Neptune missiles.

Півтора року війни. Головні перемоги ЗСУ в битві за УкраїнуA postage stamp of "Ukrposhta" featuring the image of the cruiser "Moscow" (Photo:

The loss of the "Moscow" is considered a strategic defeat for the Russian army. Onboard, there were powerful air defense systems, without which the occupier's fleet was left without protection from aerial attacks. Russia lost control over the western part of the Black Sea waters.

The sinking of the cruiser is the most expensive loss for the aggressor country since the beginning of the war. Its value was estimated at 750 million dollars.

Defense of the capital

The occupiers made their first "goodwill gesture" while withdrawing from the northern regions and Kyiv.

Півтора року війни. Головні перемоги ЗСУ в битві за Україну

Irpin during the occupiers' advance into the Kyiv region in March 2022 (Photo: Getty Images)

Russian Forces had amassed massive columns of military equipment on the outskirts of the capital, but due to coordinated efforts of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, drone strikes, and artillery fire, the enemy found itself effectively trapped. Ukrainian military and territorial defense volunteers in the Sumy and Chernihiv regions were destroying reinforcements for the occupiers.

On April 2, 2022, the defense forces liberated the entire territory of the Kyiv and Chernihiv regions. The Russian army's plans to capture the capital of Ukraine within 72 hours had failed.