Help us serve you better. Take a survey now

Take survey
Skip to content
Edit post

WSJ: Slow progress on Ukraine's fortifications ahead of expected Russian offensive

by Martin Fornusek March 7, 2024 11:22 AM 2 min read
Ukrainian servicemen of the 42nd Mechanised Brigade dig trenches during a field military exercise in Donetsk Oblast on Dec. 6, 2023. (Genya Savilov/AFP via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.

Become a member Support us just once

Ukrainian troops are building fortifications in expectation of a Russian offensive in the spring, though some worry that the progress is not fast enough, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on March 7, citing Western officials and Ukrainian soldiers.

Since late 2023, multiple observers have noted lackluster progress in fortification efforts as Russia began taking the initiative in some parts of the front.

After Russia captured Avdiivka and several nearby villages in the past few weeks, Ukrainian officials expect a more formidable offensive in the coming months.

"What's happening right now is what Russia has spent a long time preparing for. It has gathered enough forces and resources to pressure various axes all at once," Maksym Zhorin, the deputy commander of the Third Assault Brigade, told the WSJ.

Bracing themselves for the coming assault, Ukrainian troops are building trenches and antitank ditches, hoping to replicate Russian defenses that stalled Ukraine's counteroffensive last year.

Ukrainian soldiers reportedly have to build trenches themselves, even under fire, the WSJ wrote.

"In the circumstances we're in, we have to dig, entrench, and build by ourselves," Zhorin said.

"The lack of layered defenses along the front line should be of some concern for Ukraine," defense analyst Franz-Stefan Gady told the WSJ.

"The situation will get quite critical for the Ukrainian forces."

Speaking at a press conference last December, President Volodymyr Zelensky stressed the importance of building up defenses, urging government authorities, businesses, and the military to join their efforts.

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said earlier this week that Ukraine has already earmarked more than Hr 30 billion (almost $790 million) for fortifications.

Ukrainian soldiers near Kupiansk prepare for potential Russian offensive
Editor’s note: The Kyiv Independent is not disclosing the full names of soldiers due to what they cited as security concerns and their unit’s protocol amid the war in Ukraine. KHARKIV OBLAST — As Russia rolls past now-occupied Avdiivka further west, other parts of the front have seen quieter days.…
Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.
Freedom can be costly. Both Ukraine and its journalists are paying a high price for their independence. Support independent journalism in its darkest hour. Support us for as little as $1, and it only takes a minute.
visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

3:57 AM

Israel's UN Envoy: Listen to President Zelensky and wake up.

Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, called on the international community to condemn the Iranian attack on Israel using the words of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the April 14 emergency U.N. Security Council meeting.
Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.