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Ukraine has broken enter the meat grinder

It's estimated that over 400,000 Ukrainian combatants have been killed already. That number is about to go up as advancing Ukrainians enter an elaborate array of booby traps and fortifications that have been laid for them months ago.

The idea that the Western nations refuse to support a negotiated cease-fire or put a stop to this turkey shoot is unfathomable. Ukraine is being reduced to a burnt cinder and will eventually get tossed overboard by NATO/US just like Afghanistan.

Russia’s Vast Fortifications in Ukraine, Visualized

By Anastasiia Malenko

Sept. 2, 2023 6:09 am ET

When Ukrainian forces launched a counteroffensive in early June, they soon became bogged down in an elaborate defense network of obstacles that Russia spent months building. On Thursday, Ukrainian troops penetrated the main Russian defensive line, raising hopes of a breakthrough in its effort to cut south and slice occupation forces in two.

But the path southward remains heavily fortified. Maps compiled by open-source intelligence analysts help show why Ukraine’s counteroffensive has been so slow-moving, and the obstacles ahead, including another thick defensive line, which the Russians are expanding.

The Journal combined its reporting with analysis by the Black Bird Group, a Finnish-run volunteer group that analyzes satellite imagery and social-media content, to capture the extent of the Russian defense networks. The group’s analysts, Pasi Paroinen and Emil Kastehelmi, have served in the Finnish military.

In the last three months, Kyiv’s main axis of attack has been the area south of Orikhiv, a Ukrainian-held city in the Zaporizhzhia region. It offers the shortest path to the coast of the Sea of Azov, Ukraine’s ultimate target for the counteroffensive. But the Russians had prepared for the attack.

Paroinen and his colleagues began to track the development of Russian defenses in that sector, where he says they are at their strongest.

In August, Ukrainians pushed toward the main defensive belt through a zone with fewer fortifications, where Russia stationed artillery and reserves during the initial fighting. Ukrainian forces here are vulnerable to Russian positions on dominant heights.

The main defensive belt with multilayered trench lines, anti-tank ditches, dragon’s teeth, and likely extensive minefields presents the densest layer of Russian defense. Ukrainian forces want to breach the line to allow armored vehicles to push through.

Behind the main line lies a secondary Russian defensive line consisting of a set of supporting trenches, anti-tank ditches, and fall-back positions that the Russians continue to expand.

The occupied city of Tokmak, a key Russian logistics hub, is surrounded by a ring of defenses. For now, Russian forces consider the location safe enough to assemble reinforcements, said Paroinen.

Rows of dragon’s teeth will be a formidable obstacle for Ukrainian tanks. These 4-foot concrete pyramids could require combat engineers to breach.

As Ukrainian forces advance, Russian troops will likely adjust to match the battlefield developments. But overcoming Russia’s defenses will allow Kyiv to capture more territory, target more of Russia’s critical supply lines and undermine Russia’s ability to wage war across a much wider region.

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