A large ‘bulge’ was formed during early 1944 while USSR forces around the Pripet (Pinsk) Marshes have retreated to the north, south, and east. Axis forces promptly ‘filled it in’. Thus a bulge is formed around Dubno (to its south-west), Kiev (to its south-east), Homel/Homyel (to its north-east), Minsk (to its north), and Nowgrodek (to its northwest). By August 1944 the forces responsible to ‘close the gap’ have concentrated around Dubno and Kobryn (south-west of Nowgrodek).
Rough estimation of the forces trapped once the gap was closed in December 1944 is at around 110 divisions. 223 divisions in total were committed to wrapping around the bulge, closing the gap, and eventually to dispose of enemy forces trapped within, with operations starting in January 1945. Numerous attempts for relief have been repulsed. An operation to reclaim Bessarabia will commence at the same time as the ‘clean-up’ of the encircled enemy forces.