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The biggest obstacle to Ukraine's counteroffensive? Minefields.

By Isabelle Khurshudyan and Kamila Hrabchuk

15 Jul 2023 · 6 min read

informed Summary

  1. Ukrainian forces are struggling to advance due to dense minefields laid by Russian forces, which have been successful in stalling the counteroffensive. The minefields are between 3 and 10 miles deep in front of the Russians' main strongholds.

ZAPORIZHZHIA REGION, Ukraine - In a painstakingly slow process that has come to define the speed of the Ukrainian counteroffensive, small groups of sappers on the front lines are crawling across minefields - sometimes literally on their stomachs - to detonate Russia's defenses and clear a path for troops to advance.

The long buildup to the counteroffensive, which began about a month ago across multiple segments of the battlefield in the country's east and south, gave the Russians time to prepare, soldiers said. Areas between 3 and 10 miles deep in front of the Russians' main strongholds have been densely mined with antitank and antipersonnel mines and trip wires. These defenses have been successful in stalling the Ukrainian advance, they said.

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