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Ivan Fedorov, the exiled mayor of Melitopol in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, reported on January 9 that Russian forces are constructing new fortifications and defense lines in southern Ukraine. Significant construction activities are underway in the temporarily occupied regions of Zaporizhzhia Oblast, particularly around the cities of Melitopol, Tokmak, Polohy, and Molochansk. Fedorov shared these observations on Ukrainian TV.
According to the mayor, the new structures were identified using satellite imagery from the European Space Agency.
“Just the other day, we could see satellite images that recorded the construction of new defenses. That is, the enemy does not stop at what it built [last] spring,” he noted.
Fedorov said that in late 2023, the Russians built extensive trenches and defensive structures, spanning tens of kilometers, across Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk Oblasts. He indicated that these fortifications around Zaporizhzhia’s Polohy and Melitopol aim to impede and complicate the Ukrainian military’s advance into the occupied parts of the region.
The mayor also noted that despite the “victorious” statements of Russian propaganda about alleged successes at the front, the Russian military continues to constantly fortify cities and “deep rear” routes.
“They are building both defense lines and a circular defenses of cities such as Polohy, Tokmak, Molochansk, and Melitopol. The enemy is doing this on a large scale…. They continue to build defenses from Melitopol towards Crimea,” Ivan Fedorov said.
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