Ukraine has said its troops have successfully broken through the first line of Russian defenses in some areas only to come up against a second line of solidly-built concrete fortifications.
Speaking on Friday evening, Ukrainian Defense Deputy Minister Hanna Malyar said that “despite the enemy’s very strong resistance,” Kyiv’s forces have managed in parts of the south of the country to successfully negotiate heavy artillery fire and dense minefields.
“Our troops in the south have already broken through the first line of defense in some places and moved to the so-called intermediate line,” she said, but added this second Russian line presents an entirely different problem.
“Here we have found the Russians have constructed concrete fortifications and this undoubtedly complicates the advance of our troops and combat itself,” she said.
Malyar also said Russia “keeps bringing in additional resources” including troops, adding: “They have more people, as you know it’s a huge country.”
Ukraine’s summer offensive has been far slower than Kyiv had hoped and what was supposed to be a spring offensive, was delayed as the country waited for weapons from its western partners.
This gave Russian forces time to prepare formidable defensive lines including minefelds sometimes as much as 5 or more kilometers deep.
Ukraine’s armed forces lack sufficient mine clearing equipment to clear such huge areas.
Although Ukraine itself does not produce metal titanium or its finished products, the country exports titanium concentrates which are then processed and used in various countries.
During an interview with a Ukrainian Leopard tank crew by the German news channel “Welt nachtrichtensend,” the journalist asked why they didn’t just drive around the minefield.
The Ukrainian officer said that during their training in Germany, instructors plotted minefields 100 by 200 meters in size on their maps, “and we have hectares of these minefields, do you understand?”
It now appears that in the areas Ukraine has manged to overcome this particular obstacle, they now face the task of clearing Russian forces from solidly built concrete defensive positions.
Elsewhere, Ukraine’s Defense Forces said it was continuing the offensive operation in the Melitopol and Berdiansk directions, gaining a foothold within the re-captured frontiers, and carrying out counterbattery measures.
Meanwhile Russia on Saturday said it captured a settlement in northeastern Ukraine, where Kyiv has reported increased attacks.
“In the area of Kupiansk, as a result of the competent and professional actions of the military units of the Western command, the settlement of Novoselivske was liberated,” the Russian defence ministry said on Telegram.
It added “offensive operations on a broad front… improved the situation” of Russian forces.
On Friday the Ukrainian army said it was confronted with a growing number of attacks in the east.
“The number of enemy attacks has increased. Heavy fighting is taking place,” army spokeswoman Hanna Malyar said on Telegram.
Malyar said Russian troops were aiming to draw Ukrainian resources to that area, as Ukraine is pursuing its counteroffensive in the south.
“In the Kupiansk sector, the enemy has set itself the goal of regaining the territories lost last fall,” Malyar said.
Late summer and autumn 2022, Ukraine retook swathes of territory around southern Kherson and northeastern Kharkiv in rapid counteroffensives.
Ukraine began another push in June but is now contending with well-entrenched Russian defensive positions built over several months.
Late July, Russia said it seized the village of Sergiivka in the eastern Donetsk region.
Source : KyivPost