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Intense battles are taking place in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk Oblast, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address on June 8, amid reports that Ukraine's much-anticipated counteroffensive to regain territory is now underway.

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Satellite imagery shows new 70-kilometer Russian trench in Zaporizhzhia Oblast

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 8, 2023 3:31 PM 2 min read
An image from the Sentinel-2 satellite shows a Russian trench passing between the villiages of Mykolaivka and Hannivka in the occupied parts of Zaporizhzhia Oblast. (Sentinel-2 via Center for Journalistic Investigations)
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Russia has dug a 70 kilometer long unbroken trench as part of their defensive lines in the occupied parts of Zaporizhzhia Oblast, according to satellite imagery obtained by the Ukrainian outlet Center for Journalistic Investigations.

The trench, itself located about 70 kilometers behind the current front line, stretches for approximately third of the breadth of the entire region from east to west.

The images, captured by the Sentinel-2 satellite, show the trench stretching from a point nine kilometers from the occupied city of Melitopol to just outside Marynivka village in Prymorskyi District.

Russia, allegedly using a large labor force of immigrant workers from Central Asia started digging this fortification in September, according to an analysis of various photographic evidence.

Since Russia occupied large areas of Zaporizhzhia Oblast in the first phase of the full-scale war, the front line in this area has been the most static in Ukraine, in great part due to the vast, flat, open fields in the area that make large-scale offensives difficult.

Nonetheless, it is exactly here that many expect Ukraine to launch its much-anticipated counteroffensive in the late spring or early summer months, as a breakthrough in Southern Ukraine would have the greatest strategic significance, potentially cutting off Russia's land connection to Crimea and isolating its presence on the occupied peninsula.

Ukraine holds back on southern counteroffensive, soldiers say
Zaporizhzhia Oblast – In a split-second, two Ukrainian jets appear over the road, releasing chaff that sets off a couple of Russian anti-aircraft missiles. It allows one of the planes to hit a Russian position that billows with black smoke rising over the trees, leaving no doubt on how close the
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