The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Russia aims to defeat counteroffensive with mines, artillery and aviation

By Mary Ilyushina

18 Jun 2023 · 6 min read

informed Summary

  1. Russian forces have built a massive network of defenses along the 900-mile-long front line, which is slowing offensive operations and creating bottlenecks for the Ukrainian army.

RIGA, Latvia - As Ukraine readied its counteroffensive by gathering Western weapons and sending its troops for NATO training, Russia spent at least seven months preparing for this potentially definitive stage of the war - by readying reserves, artillery and aviation support, stockpiling ammunition and fuel, and procuring more drones.

Russian forces also burrowed into the territory they occupy in southeast Ukraine, digging lines of trenches and erecting fortifications along the entire 900-mile-long front line, from Zaporizhzhia to Russia's Belgorod region.

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