Russian military performance has been “mixed” in the last 48 hours of fighting, as there are an increasing number of reports of Russian casualties as they “withdraw through their own minefields,” according to UK intel.
In an intelligence update on Saturday, the UK’s Ministry of Defence outlined the progress that had been made on both sides of the conflict in Ukraine.
“In some areas, Ukrainian forces have likely made good progress and penetrated the first line of Russian defenses. In others, Ukrainian progress has been slower,” Britain’s MoD said in a statement.
“Russian performance has been mixed: some units are likely conducting credible maneuver defense operations while others have pulled back in some disorder, amid increased reports of Russian casualties as they withdraw through their own minefields,” the ministry added.
The Russian Airforce has also been “unusually active” over southern Ukraine, according to the intelligence, but it remains “unclear” whether tactical airstrikes in the area have been effective.
Russia has built a complex defense in southeastern Ukraine, Insider recently reported, comprised of razor wire, anti-tank obstacles, and deadly minefields.
Two US officials told CNN on Thursday that mines were also having a negative impact on Ukraine’s armored vehicles.
another dimension of the mine warfare are US-made artillery rounds that lay anti-tank mines in flight being used by the Ukraine forces.
The US has supplied Ukraine with more than 10,000 of these Remote Anti-Armor Mine Systems along with the 155 mm howitzers that can fire them nearly 11 miles.
The mine-laying artillery shell is designed to force desperate choices, wrote Insider’s Sam Fellman. Vehicles must run a gauntlet laid with mines to deliver fresh troops, ammunition, fuel, and food to front-line positions. It also can be used to set traps along escape routes for front-line forces.
Ukraine has confirmed its long-anticipated counteroffensive is underway, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Friday that the Ukrainian forces are fighting “very tough battles.”
The fog of war makes determining a main line of effort difficult, but one objective of the counteroffensive may be severing the so-called land bridge connecting Russia and Russian-controlled territories in the southeast in a push to Sea of Azov, wrote Insider’s Ryan Pickrell.
Source : INSIDER