A tense and very dynamic situation prevails in the current Ukrainian counteroffensive near Orikhiv in the western Zaporizhzhia Oblast. ISW points out that the tactical situation is likely to change quickly, which is why it is still premature to predict the success of an operational breakthrough by the Ukrainian Armed Forces in this area.
Russian divisions attack Ukrainian advance
Three Russian divisions offer fierce resistance to Ukrainian troops in the said area. It is reported that units of the Russian 42nd Motorized Rifle Division and the 76th Air Assault Division are actively fighting against the Ukrainian advance. Another unit, the 7th Air Assault Division, also carried out counterattacks.
Surrounding order not implemented
Interestingly, sources close to the Russian Air Force report the deployment of the 56th Air Assault Regiment in the region. A Russian information source states that two of the divisions, the 7th and 76th, may have received orders to surround the Ukrainian advance. However, this did not happen, possibly due to a successful Ukrainian attack on the headquarters of the 7th VDV Division in September.
ISW is not commenting on these reports of a possible encirclement order. Instead, ISW suggests that it may make sense for Russian forces to conduct limited counterattacks against the Ukrainian flank.