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After months of inching through minefields, villages and open steppes in gruelling combat, Ukrainian forces are making somewhat bigger advances along two major lines of attack, according to analysts, Ukrainian officials and Russian military bloggers.

The amount of territory seized, 16km to 19km on both vectors of attack, while relatively small, is important in that it is compelling Russia to divert forces from other parts of the front line, military analysts say.

The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think-tank, called the advances “tactically significant,” saying Moscow’s redeployment “will likely further weaken Russian defensive lines in aggregate,” creating “opportunities for any Ukrainian breakthrough to be potentially decisive.”


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