Russia Fortifies Ukrainian Border in Preparation for Counterattack
Russian Military Preparations
In preparation for the Ukrainian counterattack, the Russian military has been preparing for several months along a distance of about 1,500 km, stretching from the Crimea peninsula in the south to Belarus in northeastern Ukraine, to repel any intrusion.
A video clip published by the French newspaper “Le Monde” showed Russian soldiers digging anti-tank trenches, placing anti-tank barriers and planting anti-personnel mines, in a dense and complex defensivework aimed at repelling any Ukrainian attack.
Defensive Network Along the Front Line
In some places, like the area south of Zaporizhia, these defenses stretch for thirty kilometers, as Le Monde’s video investigation cell has analyzed dozens of such fortified sites, visible from space thanks to satellite images.
Ukraine’s readiness to counterattack in recent months has allowed Russia to strengthen its positions along the front line.
Trenches and barriers in cement
Satellite images in May revealed a layered Russianwork of anti-tank trenches, mazes of trenches, concrete barriers, steel obstacles, rollers of barbed wire and minefields.
In preparation for the counterattack, Russia has spent months fortifying the nearly 1,500-kilometre front line, with the area heavily fortified front line in the southern province of Zaporizhia, according to an earlier Financial Times report.
Russia has paid special attention to the Berdyansk airport near the Sea of Azov, mainly because the airport is a center for Russian military aircraft.
Russia has built layers of defenses dubbed “dragon’s teeth”, trenches and other obstacles in a large swath of territory near the eastern cities of Severodontsk, Lysychansk and Popasna, after capturing them in May and June 2022.
Russia has also built a strong defensive line along the border of the eastern Luhansk province to the north, as Ukrainian forces are believed to want to prate somewhere around the city of Kobyansk.
Fortification of Northern Crimea
The northern border of Crimea, which Russia has controlled since 2014, has also been fortified with a mix of trenches and tank traps.
The defenses extend from Jishansk in the north to Dzhankoy in the northwest, both of which are important transportation hubs and gateways to the peninsula.
The cities of Tokmak, Buluhi, Belmak and Okrytovit, which were located in important road junctions, they were completely surrounded by defenses.
As Ukraine’s counter-offensive heats up, Russian forces continue to build new defences in occupied territory.
This updated map shows many of Russia’s new fortifications and links each to satellite imagery. (1/5) photo.twitter.com/Y6vFGahfJC
– Brady Africk (@bradyafr) June 22, 2023
Ongoing Fortification Efforts
Interestingly, Russia began mining “in earnest” in November 2022, and as its forces conquered new lands, it quickly worked to establish itself, as Russian forces have recently stepped up work on their fortifications.
Military analysts stated earlier that these fortifications would not be sufficient to impede the advance of Ukrainian forces, but would probably slow down the offensive.