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UK intel: Ukraine pivots to defense, rapidly bolstering defenses

With troops moving to defensive posture in war, Ukraine intensively bolsters fortifications like anti-tank ditches on frontlines and border with Belarus to shore up defenses against Russia, as per UK intelligence.
Ukraine installing additional defensive structures in Chernihiv Oblast near the border with Russia. December 2023. Screenshot from a video by Telegram/Наєв

As forces pivot to a more defensive posture, Ukraine mobilizes intensive campaign to rapidly enhance fortifications with anti-tank ditches on frontlines and border with Belarus against Russia, the UK Defense Ministry says in its December 20 intelligence update.

The ministry tweeted:

  • In recent weeks, Ukraine has mobilised a concerted effort to improve field fortifications as its forces pivot to a more defensive posture along much of the front line.
  • This follows Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s calls, from late November 2023, for faster fortification in key sectors. In one part of the project, Ukraine has worked to improve defences along its border with Belarus with dragon’s teeth, razor wire, and anti-tank ditches as of mid-December 2023.
  • Russia continues local offensive options in several sectors, but individual attacks are rarely above platoon size. A major Russian breakthrough is unlikely and overall, the front is characterised by stasis.

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