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UK intel: Ukraine ramps up defensive fortifications across front lines

British intelligence reports that Ukraine constructs extensive defensive lines that will hinder Russian advances and offensive operations, requiring high-casualty breaching attempts.
Ukrainian fortifications along the front line. Photo: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine via Facebook
UK intel: Ukraine ramps up defensive fortifications across front lines

Ukraine has “almost certainly” rapidly accelerated the construction of extensive defensive fortifications across multiple areas along the front lines, said UK Intelligence in its latest report.

These newly established positions include anti-tank obstacles known as dragon’s teeth and ditches, networks of trenches for infantry, minefields, and heavily fortified defensive emplacements.

The large-scale expansion of Ukraine’s defensive lines is highly likely to significantly “reduce Russia’s ability to advance or exploit tactical gains as part of its ongoing offensive operations.”

“The establishment of major defensive positions is indicative of the attritional character of the conflict and means that any attempt to conduct breaching operations will highly likely be accompanied with high losses,” the report says.

In December, the US-based think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said Russian forces seek to regain initiative in harsh conditions before Russia’s 2024 elections, while Ukraine bolsters defenses, preserving options for future offensives.

On 17 February, Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi said that the Defense Forces had withdrawn from Avdiivka.

On 26 February, Ukrainian troops had retreated from the village of Lastochkyne near Avdiivka and, a day later, from the villages of Stepove and Severne.

On 3 March, the Ukrainian military reported that it managed to stabilize the situation in frontline towns west of Avdiivka as troops withstood Russian ground assaults and weakened air strikes.

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