Listen to this article Russia Builds 800km Of Defensive Fortifications To Prevent Ukrainian Counter-Attack
Russia built an 800-kilometer long defensive line to prevent a counter-attack from Ukraine. This marks the first time such a massive barrier has been seen in Europe since 1945. The line consists of trenches, anti-tank ditches, dragon’s teeth (reinforced concrete obstacles to hinder armored vehicles), concrete machine-gun nests, and bunkers.
Description of Defensive Line
The defensive line spans across the occupied territories of Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Luhansk provinces in Ukraine, following the course of the Dnipro River as it passes through the city of Kherson and ends at the gateway to the Crimean Peninsula. Russia has also fortified municipalities to turn them into strongholds behind the lines, which Ukrainian forces will have to take one by one to avoid leaving enemy units in their own rearguard.
Comparison to Historical Examples
History books or tourist trips to the legendary Siegfried Line or the Gothic Line in Italy offer the closest comparison to the defensive line that Russia has built. Nevertheless, the modern design and deployment of the Russian defensive line make it unique.
Comparison to Previous Counter-Offensives
Ukrainian forces face a challenging task in reconquering the territory gained by Russia since the start of the invasion in February 2022. Last summer and autumn, Kyiv launched successful counteroffensives in the provinces of Kharkiv and Kherson, but the Russian army was retreating and had not had time to dig in along solid defensive lines. Ukrainian forces used small infantry units supported by light armored vehicles and hit-and-run tactics to break through Russian positions. However, the current situation is considerably more complicated, with formidable defensive barriers erected throughout the occupied territories.
Details of Defensive Measures
Russia is deploying defensive obstacles that are similar to those used 80 years ago, although they are easier to overcome. For instance, they are placing dragon’s teeth on the surface rather than digging them into the ground. This makes them easy to remove with an excavator. Similarly, the bunkers are designed with no subterranean foundations or fortified walls. They are prefabricated and mainly placed along roads to provide cover for snipers.
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