Ukrainian officials formally acknowledged that Ukrainian forces had liberated Robotyne amid continued Ukrainian advances in western Zaporizhia Oblast and near Bakhmut. Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar reported on August 28 that Ukrainian forces have liberated Robotyne, achieved unspecified successes southeast of Robotyne (10km south of Orikhiv) and south of Mala Tokmachka (7km southeast of Orikhiv), and are advancing in the directions of Novodanylivka (4km south of Orikhiv), Novopokropivka (15km south of Orikhiv), Mala Tokmachka, and Ocheretuvate (25km southwest of Orikhiv). Heat anomalies from NASA FIRMS/VIIRS sensors and Russian claims of Ukrainian advances likely indicate that Ukrainian forces advanced near Verbove. Malyar also stated that Ukrainian forces pushed Russian forces out of positions east of Klishchiivka (7km southwest of Bakhmut) and in the center of the settlement and have made unspecified progress near Orikhovo-Vasylivka (11km northwest of Bakhmut).
Russian forces conducted a missile strike on the rear areas of Ukraine on August 28. Ukrainian officials reported that Russian forces launched four Kalibr cruise missiles from the Black Sea and two Kh-59 cruise missiles from the airspace above occupied Kherson Oblast in the direction of Kryvyi Rih on the night of August 28 and that Ukrainian air defenses intercepted all but two Kalibr missiles. The Ukrainian Air Force reported that the Russian missiles struck a civilian industrial facility in Poltava Oblast.
A Ukrainian intelligence official indicated that Russian forces may have marginally replenished their stocks of high-precision missiles through conservation in the summer of 2023. Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Spokesperson Vadym Skibitskyi stated on August 28 that Russian forces have a total of 585 missiles left in their stocks that have a range of more than 500km. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov last provided official Ukrainian figures on Russian missile stocks in early January 2023 in the closing months of the Russian strike campaign that targeted critical infrastructure from roughly October 2022 to March 2023. Skibitskyi offered new figures for Russian missile stocks, compared with Reznikov’s January 2023 figures as follows:
- 270 Iskander ballistic and cruise missiles (+126 from January)
- 140 sea-based Kalibr cruise missiles (+81 from January)
- Roughly 100 Kh-101/Kh-55/Kh-555 cruise missiles (-18 from January)
- Roughly 75 Kinzhal ballistic missiles (+22 from January)
- 150 Kh-22/32 missiles (-12 from January).
It is unclear if these figures are estimates or exact amounts, but they nevertheless suggest that Ukrainian intelligence assesses that Russian forces have been able to marginally replenish their stocks of high precision missiles since the end of the larger Russian air campaign in the fall and winter of 2022. Russian forces launched a new air campaign in May 2023 focused on maintaining a more regular pace of strikes against Ukraine with fewer missiles, and Skibitskyi suggested that this allowed Russian forces to replenish their stocks. Ukrainian officials have previously reported that Russia is able to produce roughly a hundred missiles across various types per month, and this has likely allowed Russian forces to either maintain or marginally replenish their stocks during the summer air campaign. Skibitskyi stated that Russian defense enterprises are struggling to produce several dozens of specific types of missiles a month due to foreign component shortages.
Ukrainian officials stated that Russian forces may intend to resume a wider campaign against Ukrainian critical infrastructure in the fall of 2023, but assessed Russia likely has not replenished its missile stocks to sustain a campaign on the scale of the winter 2022-2023 strikes. Skibitskyi stated that Russian forces are conducting reconnaissance on Ukrainian infrastructure facilities and may begin a massive strike series with missiles and drones at the end of September or in October. Russian forces conducted strikes with up to 100 missiles in a single strike series during the air campaign in the fall and winter of 2022, and the marginal replenishment of their missile stocks will likely prevent them from conducting an air campaign at anywhere near that scale. Ukrainian Air Force Spokesperson Colonel Yuriy Ihnat stated that Russia is increasing its missile production but not enough to maintain the same intensity of strikes as the fall and winter of 2022.
- Ukrainian officials formally acknowledged that Ukrainian forces liberated Robotyne amid continued Ukrainian advances in western Zaporizhia Oblast and near Bakhmut.
- The Russian military command continues to expend relatively elite Russian airborne forces by deploying these troops to defend vulnerable positions against Ukrainian counteroffensives.
- A Ukrainian intelligence official indicated that Russian forces may have marginally replenished their stocks of high-precision missiles through conservation in the summer of 2023.
- Ukrainian officials stated that Russian forces may intend to resume a wider campaign against Ukrainian critical infrastructure in the fall of 2023, but assessed Russia likely has not replenished its missile stocks to sustain a campaign on the scale of the winter 2022-2023 strikes.
- Ukrainian officials assessed that any upcoming Russian strike campaign may employ new tactics that use fewer missiles and more drones.
- Russian milbloggers continued to criticize the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) for ignoring ultranationalists’ complaints over the mistreatment of a Southern Military District (SMD) brigade operating in the Kherson direction.
- Russian forces conducted offensive operations on the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line, and in western Donetsk, and did not make any confirmed advances.
- Russian lawmakers and the Russian information space expressed varied opinions about a proposed Russian State Duma bill that would deprive individuals of their acquired Russian citizenship for evading military registration and mobilization.
- The Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported on August 28 that partisans created an explosion at the barracks of a Chechen “Akhmat-1” Rosgvardia riot police (OMON) unit in Enerhodar in occupied Zaporizhia Oblast.