Tuesday, September 5, 2023

UKRaine Breaks Through RUssia’s Strongest Defense Line in South; This Part of UKR’s Counteroffensive Is Pressing Forward, With Little Western Help; Danilov: Hitting Targets in RU’s Territory at 1,500 km Distance Not a Problem; Cardboard Drones May Have Destroyed at least 5 RU Fighter Jets, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

NY POST: Ukraine counteroffensive breaks through Russia’s strongest defense line in south:
Ukrainian forces reportedly broke through Russia’s first — and strongest — line of defense in the south and have taken aim at Moscow’s military units that provide cover for fleeing soldiers.
The breakthrough came after weeks of slow progress as Ukrainian forces cleared minefields in the Zaporizhzhia region amid the counter-push, a high-ranking military official said.
Brig. Gen. Oleksandr Tarnavskiy told The Guardian Moscow’s first line of defense was its strongest, because Russia devoted most of its resources to it since they did not expect Ukraine to get so far.
Tarnavskyi estimated that Russia spent about 60% of its time and resources building the initial line of defense, while committing about 20% each to its second and third lines.
“We are now between the first and second defensive lines,” he said.
“In the center of the offensive, we are now completing the destruction of enemy units that provide cover for the retreat of Russian troops behind their second defensive line,” he added.
In the weeks leading up to the breakthrough, Ukrainian infantry engineers meticulously cleared a route through a minefield while Russia troops “just stood and waited for the Ukrainian army” while they did so, using drones and artillery to pick off vehicles.
However, since the defensive line was broken, Moscow started shifting troops from Kherson in the west and Lyman in the north-east, as well as from inside Russia, to the southern region. --->READ MORE HERE
WSJ: This Part of Ukraine’s Counteroffensive Is Pressing Forward, With Little Western Help
Smoke rose over two villages down the river from here on a recent afternoon, and explosions echoed through the surrounding hills. The Russians were flattening the settlements—Ukraine’s latest gains in the southeastern Donetsk region—with artillery fire.
It is a pattern that has repeated over and over since Ukraine began its counteroffensive three months ago. Ukraine has steadily seized territory, but each time the Russians retreat—whether from a trench line or an entire village—they fall back to a preset position, then hammer the areas they vacated, making the advance slow going.
“While we’re fighting for one village, they’re preparing the next line,” said a 31-year-old artillery unit commander in the area, who goes by the call sign Yariy.
Ukraine has been prodding Russian defenses, searching for weak spots, along multiple parts of the southern front. While Ukraine has deployed more troops and Western-supplied tanks in the Zaporizhzhia region, established units armed with older equipment—such as the 35th Marine Brigade—have made some of the most tangible progress of the counteroffensive further east.
Western officials have called for Kyiv to concentrate its forces along one axis in the Zaporizhzhia region, where Ukrainian forces recently pierced Russia’s main defensive line, and accept heavier casualties to make progress. But other strategists have argued that Ukraine needs to keep multiple points of attack open to occupy Russian troops and prevent them from attacking elsewhere.
Ukrainian commanders here say they are having success, driving Russians out with relatively small numbers of forces and taking minimal casualties. They are now pushing south toward Staromlynivka and the main line of Russian defenses. If they can penetrate those, satellite images show far fewer barriers on the way to the Sea of Azov than on the axis further west.
Still, just reaching the outskirts of Urozhaine—a village of little strategic significance—took two months.
In the first days of the counteroffensive in June, Ukrainian forces blitzed south from the town of Velyka Novosilka, surprising the Russians, who were better prepared to defend the front in the Zaporizhzhia region. By mid-June, they had recaptured four villages. The road north from Makarivka is still lined with burned-out Russian armored vehicles and decaying bodies. Ukrainian forces have moved antitank mines off the road into a blast crater in the nearby dirt.
The Russians retreated toward Staromayorsk, a larger village across the river from Urozhaine. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to +++++relevant+++++ and related stories:

+++++Russia-Ukraine News LATEST UPDATES: (REUTERS) (AP) (NY POST) and (WSJ)+++++

+++++Danilov: Hitting targets in Russia’s territory at 1,500 km distance not a problem+++++

+++++Cardboard drones eyed in strikes on Russian airfields that destroyed at least 5 fighter jets +++++

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