Ukraine pierces Russia’s first set of defences on southern front line
Ukraine pierces Russia’s first set of defences on southern front line

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Ukrainian troops have breached Russia’s first line of defense on a key part of the southern front, an early indication that Kiev’s counteroffensive may be picking up pace.

Undersecretary of Defense Hannah Mallial explain On Monday, Ukrainian troops had fully liberated the hotly contested village of Roboteny in the Zaporozhye region and were “moving in a southeast direction”. . . despite the stubborn resistance of the enemy.”

The Ukrainian military said last week that its troops had raised the flag at Lobotan but were still under fire from Russian forces, which had built a series of mine-ridden defensive lines along the southern front.

After Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Ukraine’s much-anticipated counteroffensive began nearly three months ago. The fighting has focused on trying to reach the southern coast and sever the land bridge connecting mainland Russia to Russian-occupied Crimea.

But progress has been extremely slow, straining relations between Ukraine and its Western allies.

U.S. officials have painted a bleak picture of the counteroffensive, expressing pessimism that Kiev will be able to recapture vital territory before wet autumn weather impedes the mobility of its forces or depletes its combat capabilities.

This makes the village of Roboteny important beyond its size, as capturing the settlement could open the way for Ukraine to break through Russian defenses and push south toward strategic towns such as the logistics hub Tokmok.

According to Ukrainian military and open-source intelligence reports, Ukrainian forces have breached Russia’s first line of defense beyond Robatan and are getting close to the next layer of defense.

Russia is redeploying elite troops from its 76th Air Assault Division to reinforce the area, they said. Ukraine also used special forces forces, including units from the 73rd Special Operations Center, in the fighting around Robotyne.

Oleksandr Shtupon, a spokesman for Ukraine’s local Defense Forces, said on Sunday that Ukraine “has made progress in the region…”. . . Around Lobutan”, Russian troops are deploying reinforcements from elsewhere to bolster the defence.

But any further advances in Ukraine will be difficult against the interconnected system of trenches and tunnels that allow Russian forces to move troops, weapons and ammunition around the front line. Anti-tank trenches and minefields added to the difficulties facing the Kiev army.

“Russian troops continue to bravely slow down Ukrainian troops on the southern outskirts of Robotyne,” Rybar, a Russian military blogger with nearly 2 million followers on Telegram, wrote on the social media app on Sunday. “Nevertheless, the enemy managed to advance,” Raibar said.

The Ukrainian military pursues a gradual attrition strategy aimed at destroying Russian logistical and artillery systems so Ukrainian forces can break through minefields without causing heavy casualties. But U.S. officials reportedly argued that Kiev needed to concentrate its forces to penetrate Russian defenses with a fatal blow.

However, General Mark Milley, the commander of the U.S. Armed Forces, recently offered a cautiously optimistic assessment of Ukraine’s chances.

“They’ve attacked from the first line . . . they’re getting over it,” Milley said in an interview that aired on Jordan TV Thursday. “They’re making steady progress.”

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