Explosions and fierce battles reported across the southern front lines of Ukraine

A commander of Ukraine's 3rd Assault Brigade raises his country's flag in the frontline village of Andriivka, Ukraine, on September 16.
A commander of Ukraine's 3rd Assault Brigade raises his country's flag in the frontline village of Andriivka, Ukraine, on September 16. Alex Babenko/AP

Neither Russia nor Ukraine have indicated meaningful gains or losses over the past few days, with much of the front line — from Kharkiv in the north to Zaporizhzhia in the south — at a virtual stalemate, and gains measured in hundreds of meters rather than kilometers.

Here are some of the latest developments on the battlefield:

Melitopol: There are reports of explosions in the Russian-occupied city in southern Ukraine. Ivan Fedorov, the Ukrainian mayor of the city, said that local residents reported more than five explosions. There's been no comment from Russian-appointed officials in the area, but the Russian military blogger Rybar said that four Storm Shadow/SCALP missiles were shot down by Russian air defense forces — one over the Henichesk district and three over Melitopol.

Molochansk: This southern town had also come under fire on Tuesday morning from Ukrainian missiles, said Vladimir Rogov, member of the Russian-installed Zaporizhzhia military-civilian administration. Several buildings had been damaged or destroyed, he said on Telegram.

Robotyne: Russian reconnaissance had uncovered the movement of Ukrainian units near this village on the southern front lines, and destroyed them, according to Yevgeniy Balitskiy, the Russian appointed acting governor of occupied parts of Zaporizhzhia. Russian blogger War Gonzo said there was fierce counter fighting on the western outskirts of Robotyne village, where Russian forces were trying to cut the flank of Ukrainian units, "while the AFU [Ukrainian army] is trying to expand the bridgehead for an offensive to the south."

Novoprokopivka and Verbove: A unit of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic said the Russian Army was holding back Ukrainian forces near these two villages that have been fought over for several weeks. Russian military blogger Voenkor Lisitsin said Ukraine "is trying to probe the Russian defense in small groups with the support of armored vehicles, but our fighters neutralize all attempts of the enemy to break through with the help of artillery."

Bakhmut: Russian bloggers said that the situation had stabilized after Ukrainian gains in the south of the city. "Most of Klishchiivka and Andriivka are in the gray zone," he claimed. The Ukrainians say they now are in control of both settlements.

CNN cannot independently verify the battlefield claims made by either side. However, the Institute for the Study of War noted Monday that "Ukraine’s liberation of Klishchiivka and Andriivka south of Bakhmut may have degraded the Russian defense in the area south of Bakhmut and could have rendered combat ineffective as many as three Russian brigades, according to Ukrainian military officials.

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