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Official: Ukrainian forces break through Russian first line of defense in south

by Dinara Khalilova August 4, 2023 10:52 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian soldiers firing artillery in the direction of Bakhmut as Russia-Ukraine war continues in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on August 1, 2023. 
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"In some places" on the southern front line, the Ukrainian military has broken through the Russian first line of defense, moving to the "intermediate one," Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar reported on Aug. 4.

"And there they are faced with concrete engineering fortifications on the dominant heights created by the enemy. This, of course, complicates the movement of our troops and the combat actions," Maliar said on national television.

According to the official, Ukraine is prioritizing its counteroffensive operations in the country's south, while for Russia, the main direction for assaults is the east.

The majority of Russian resources are currently concentrated near Kupiansk, Kharkiv Oblast, as Moscow seeks to retake the territories liberated by Ukrainian forces last fall, said Maliar. "It is important for them both from a moral and a military point of view."

Meanwhile, around Bakhmut, Ukrainian troops are "slowly but persistently" moving forward on the southern flank, she told journalists. Russia is attacking the city's northern flank, trying to regain positions previously retaken by the Ukrainian army.

"Fierce battles" also continue near Avdiivka and Marinka, Donetsk Oblast, according to Maliar.

Russia reportedly transfers its reserves, mainly professional soldiers, both to the eastern and southern front lines, where Ukraine's long-awaited counteroffensive is ongoing.

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8:28 PM

FT: Russia may be gearing up for large-scale offensive against Ukraine.

Russian forces may be preparing for a large-scale offensive in late spring or summer, aiming to capture more land in Ukraine's partially-occupied Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, the Financial Times reported on April 13, citing unnamed Ukrainian and Western officials.
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