Kherson tiered defense

Three lines of trenches and bunkers on the east bank of the Dnipro river in Kherson Oblast. Image: Benjamin Pittet, twitter/ @COUPSURE  

Russo-Ukrainian war 2022

Russia is preparing a multi-layered defense on the east bank of the Dnipro river in the southern Kherson Oblast, analysis of satellite images and intelligence reports show.

OSINT-analyst Benjamin Pittet in collaboration with other Twitter analysts analyzed in detail the area of Ukraine’s south. Satellite images that he published reveal defense lines not only on the east bank near the crucial city of Kherson but also on the Black Sea and on the entire east bank of the Dnipro River.

These fortifications are similar to Nazi Germany’s “Atlantic Wall,” built to prevent a landing of the Allies during WWII; three lines of defense are being created, the defense portal Defense Express notes:

  1. along the east bank of the Dnipro River
  2. 5-10 km from the Dnipro
  3. 20-25 km from the Dnipro

This is all being done without any advertisement which accompanies the construction of the so-called “Wagner line,” a series of anti-tank fortifications made of concrete pyramids that extend into Russia’s Belgorod Oblast. The length of the defense lines is about 180-200 km, which requires quite significant efforts and costs for its creation.

If Russia is undertaking similar efforts to build defensive structures along the frontline in Zaporizhzhia Oblast leading to Donbas, this likely means that the Kremlin’s offensive potential is largely depleted and it is transitioning to controlling the already-occupied territories, with the goal of preserving its land bridge to Crimea, Defense Express suggests.

Map of the trenches that Benjamin Pittet revealed through analysis of satellite images on the east bank of the Dnipro river. Source: Twitter / @COUPSURE ~

Map of the trenches that Benjamin Pittet revealed through analysis of satellite images on the east bank of the Dnipro river. Source: Twitter / @COUPSURE

Some of them are classic strongholds, like the one in Kakhovka, where two rows of trenches and positions for equipment are visible. According to Benjamin Pittet, most of the positions on the right bank of the Dnipro are like this.

Russian defense rows near Kakhovka. Source: Twitter / @COUPSURE ~

Russian defense rows near Kakhovka. Source: Twitter / @COUPSURE

The Russians are also preparing what appears to be stationary positions for artillery units. On the satellite image below, showing territory near Hola Prystan, one row of trenches and 10 positions for artillery systems can be seen. “Similar defenses can be found on all three lines and along most of the length of the right bank of the Dnieper,” Mr. Pittet writes.

Defensive lines consisting of trenches with buried positions for armored fighting vehicles in Hola Prystan. Source: Twitter / @COUPSURE ~

Defensive lines consisting of trenches with buried positions for armored fighting vehicles in Hola Prystan. Source: Twitter / @COUPSURE

In some places, Russia prepares to resist Ukrainian landings by building trenches along the Black Sea coast.

Anti-landing defense trenches along the Black Sea coast. Source: Twitter / @COUPSURE ~

Anti-landing defense trenches along the Black Sea coast. Source: Twitter / @COUPSURE

Russia places concrete prefabricated “bunkers” in locations where it is difficult to dig trenches.

Reportedly, this photo of bunkers was taken in Kakhovka. Source: Twitter / @COUPSURE ~

Reportedly, this photo of bunkers was taken in Kakhovka. Source: Twitter / @COUPSURE

Earlier, these pillboxes were noticed being transported in the Kherson Oblast:

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1587580250317275138

Defensive positions were also noticed far away from the frontline. Benjamin Pittet brings the example of a defensive position built from three different defensive lines and a canal 18 km away from the frontline.

Russia is also building fortifications around the key seaside city of Mariupol. This was reported by Petro Andriushchenko, advisor to the Mayor of Mariupol, who said that two small concrete-producing plants were built in the city and are now working to supply the front. According to him, they are producing concrete anti-tank pyramids aka “Dragon’s Teeth,” some of which are being taken to Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.

“Others are being installed on the road connecting Mariupol and the town of Nikolske. [Russian forces] are also substantially reinforcing their positions between the northern part of the city and the village of Staryi Krym,” Andriushchenko wrote.

This report has been confirmed by the British Defense Intelligence, which notes that the defenses are “likely to forestall any rapid Ukrainian advances in the event of breakthroughs.”

Wagner PMC now builds anti-tank fortifications in Russia’s Belgorod Oblast

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