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Ukraine’s slow progress piles pressure on west to keep up supply of weapons

By Dan Sabbagh

05 Sep 2023 · 4 min read

informed Summary

  1. Ukraine's progress against Russia's defensive lines on the southern Zaporizhzhia front shows both potential and challenges, suggesting the war may continue into 2024, analyzes Dan Sabbagh.

Ukraine’s declaration that it has breached the first of Russia’s defensive lines, towards the village of Verbove, on the critical southern Zaporizhzhia front, might give rise to hopes that, after three months of counteroffensive slog, it will be possible for Kyiv’s forces to make faster progress in expelling the Russian invaders.

In reality, it would be unwise to be too optimistic – or too pessimistic. Steadily clearing through the mine belt ahead of the first Russian fortifications is a significant achievement: the defenders have laid up to four to five mines a square metre in some places, Ukraine’s military says, a mixture of anti-tank and anti-personnel mines, sometimes stacking anti-tank mines on top of each other to ensure the destruction of any mine sweeping equipment brought forward.

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