On Sunday, Russia claimed to have captured the village of Synkivka, a scant 6 kilometers northeast of the strategically important town of Kupyansk in northern Ukraine. Other reports indicated that Ukraine has begun evacuating civilians from Kupyansk, and that a Russian attack on Kupyansk could come shortly. However, those claims now appear to be exaggerated. At the moment, Ukrainian authorities indicate that they have full control of Kupyansk and that Russia’s tactical gains, if any, are minor.
But even as Ukraine is dealing with the situation near the extreme northern end of the line, the whole region from Kupyansk down to the forests south of Kreminna continues to be a concern. As Forbes noted at the beginning of August, Russia has concentrated half its forces in the north. They’ve tried to advance around Kupyansk, west of Svatove, and both south and west of Kreminna. Fighting around Kreminna has been intense for weeks
Russia’s claims about a big advance at Kupyansk may be overblown, but the sheer number of men they’ve placed in the north means that Ukraine has to keep a significant force in place—a force that can’t be sent south or east to the lines where Ukraine is advancing.
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