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Russia has been building up rear defensive lines in southern Ukraine over the past weeks, particularly on the approaches to occupied Crimea, the U.K. Defense Ministry wrote on June 21.
According to the report, this includes a nine-kilometers-long defense zone on the narrow land bridge between Crimea and Kherson Oblast, 3.5 kilometers north of the city of Armiansk on the occupied peninsula.
"These elaborate defenses highlight the Russian command's assessment that Ukrainian forces are capable of directly assaulting Crimea," the U.K. intelligence said.
London pointed out Russian concerns about defending Crimea already in May. Local proxies are reportedly building up paramilitary forces, worried that Russian regulars may not be sufficient for a successful defense.
Ukraine has set itself the goal of total liberation of the occupied territories, including Crimea.
Amid the ongoing counteroffensive, Ukraine's forces report successful offensive operations on the southern front line with advances up to seven kilometers. At the same time, Russian troops are redeploying to the embattled Zaporizhzhia Oblast to halt Ukrainian advances.