Fight on the Russian defensive line
Ukrainian Officer: Counteroffensive will gain pace
08/26/2023, 2:19 p.m
In the south, Kiev’s forces appear to have reached the first line of defense of Russian troops. A Ukrainian commander believes that the counteroffensive will now gain momentum. The aim is the Sea of Azov, according to the officer.
According to a commander, the Ukrainian armed forces assume that they have broken through the most difficult Russian defense line in the south of the country. Therefore, they could now advance faster, said the commander of the volunteer battalion Skala fighting in the south, codenamed Kombat, to the Reuters news agency.
“We passed the main roads that were mined. We’re coming to the lines where we can advance. I’m sure we’ll advance faster from here,” Kombat said. Ukraine launched a counteroffensive in June, but so far progress has been slow.
On Wednesday, Ukrainian forces said they had raised the national flag in the settlement of Robotyne in the southern Zaporizhia region, about 10 kilometers south of the frontline town of Orikhiv. “We don’t stop here,” said the commander. The next target is the port city of Berdyansk. “I immediately made it clear to my fighters: Our target is not Robotyne, our target is the Sea of Azov.” Robotyne is approximately 100 kilometers from Berdyansk and 85 kilometers from the strategically important city of Melitopol. Both are controlled by Russian troops.
US Chief of Staff Mark Milley also spoke about Ukraine’s progress in the south in an interview with Jordanian broadcaster al-Mamlaka on Friday. “Indications are mounting that Ukrainian forces have penetrated the first line of Russian defenses along part of the southern front lines in the Zaporizhia region and are expanding a wedge towards the strategic city of Tokmak,” Milley said. He called the Ukrainian advances “very bloody, slow, protracted and difficult”. However, steady progress can be seen.