Day 572: Ukrainian troops recapture village of Klishchiyivka near Bakhmut

Ukrainian troops recapture the village of Klishchiyivka near Bakhmut, and liberate 5.2 square km in the south. The International Court of Justice resumes hearings on genocide charges in a case Ukraine brought against Russia.

Ukrainian troops recapture village of Klishchiyivka near Bakhmut

Reports emerged on September 17 that Ukrainian troops had liberated the village of Klishchiyivka, in Donetsk region. Ukraine’s 5th Separate Assault Brigade, 80th Separate Air Assault Brigade, 95th Separate Air Assault Brigade, and “Lyut” Assault Brigade of the National Police had their role in the operation.  

In the past week, Ukrainian troops liberated the villages of Andriyivka and Klishchiyivka on the Bakhmut axis. They also recaptured 5.2 square kilometers in the south.

“[Ukrainian troops] continue with tasks on the Bakhmut direction, and the army continues to move forward,” commander of Ukraine’s ground forces, Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, said. He commended Ukrainian forces for “a wonderful job” after they recaptured Andriyivka. Combat footage was posted to his Telegram channel. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi said the achievements were “important results that Ukraine needed so much in the Bakhmut sector.”

Andriyivka and Klishiyivka lie south of Bakhmut, and are key to the plan to encircle the city. “After regaining control of Andriyivka and other villages around Bakhmut, [Ukrainian troops] will complete the operations to encircle Bakhmut and eject the enemy,” spokesperson for the Eastern Group of Forces, Colonel Serhiy Cherevatyi said in June 2023.  

According to the Ukrainian military command, Russia has massed 52,000 troops on the Bakhmut axis, and around a total of 150,000 soldiers in the eastern direction.

Ukrainian troops recapture 5.2 sq km in south, pile pressure on Russian forces in Tokmak

In the past week, Ukraine’s defense forces recaptured 5.2 square kilometers in the south that brings the total liberated area since the counteroffensive began to 261.7 square kilometers, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said. Heavy fighting continues along the Robotyne – Verbove line, nearing Novoprokopivka, south of Robotyne. On September 16, Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said Ukrainian troops had achieved partial success near Verbove and Novoprokopivka. On September 18, she said Ukrainian forces succeeded “south and east of Robotyne”. “Our troops are consolidating their positions there,” Malyar added on Monday.  

Many analysts recognize that efficiency of Ukraine’s counteroffensive cannot be measured only by the kilometers recaptured.

“It is also misleading to judge Ukraine’s counteroffensive purely in terms of territory liberated from Russian occupation. At this stage in the campaign, a more relevant measure would be to assess the quantity of Russian troops and equipment destroyed. This approach results in a significantly more promising picture from a Ukrainian perspective,” Dennis Soltys, Canadian professor of comparative politics and a specialist on the Eurasian region wrote in a piece for the Atlantic Council.

Ukrainian troops continue to pile pressure on Russia’s defensive efforts in the south, and, particularly, push toward Tokmak. The town is just 20 kilometers from the current front line.

Fighting rages near Novoprokopivka that sits on a road linking the village to Tokmak. Tokmak is connected by railway to southern Ukraine and Volnovakha. In turn, Volnovakha is linked to the Donetsk agglomeration and Russian territory, military analyst Denys Popovych said, explaining the urge to cut the Russian supply lines there.

International Court of Justice resumes hearings on genocide charges in case Ukraine brought against Russia

On September 18, the court hearing “Ukraine v. Russian Federation” began in The Hague. Ukraine accuses Russia of falsely using the Genocide Convention to justify its invasion. Ukraine quoted a number of statements by Russian officials, including those by Russian President Putin, Deputy Head of the Security Council Medvedev, Foreign Minister Lavrov, and Russia’s ambassadors to the UN and EU.  

After ignoring previous hearings, Russia sent a group of lawyers to The Hague. Russia’s Foreign Ministry, “Monastyrsky, Zyuba, Stepanov & Partners” company and “international lawyers” defend Russia’s interests at the International Court of Justice.  

Russia’s interests are represented by legal scholars from Iran, China and Peru, and French-licensed lawyer Jean-Charles Tchikaya, a non-academician, who has a record of representing notorious African dictators.  

Russia’s agent Gennady Kuzmin said Russia began the war pursuant to Article 51 of the UN Charter on self-defense. This has nothing to do with the Genocide Convention, he added.

He also said Ukraine accused Russia of using the word “genocide” to describe what the Ukrainian authorities did. “But statements cannot be violation,” he said.

In his opening speech, Kuzmin echoed Russian claims about what he called “neo-Nazis” in Ukraine. He continued to make false claims of acts of genocide in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions of eastern Ukraine.

The Future of Global Politics: Containment or Prevention? Ukraine in Flames #508

History reminds us that some factors, like credibility, are crucial to the success of countries’ efforts to prevent undesirable behavior by others. But studying the limits of these efforts is equally important for identifying a strategy that works. We live in a world where geopolitical stability relies largely on containment. But how can we prove that containment works? Watch Ukraine in flames #508 to find out about policy of containment vs policy of prevention, the strengths and weaknesses of each approach, their historical context, and their relevance in today’s complex world. 


  • Valeriy Chaly, Chairman of the UCMC Board, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine
  • Danylo Lubkivsky, Director of the Kyiv Security Forum, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine in 2014