The Armed Forces of Ukraine Have Already Reached the First Line of Defense or Not Yet: Analysis of the Military Chronicle
By Military Summary
On August 25, there were reports that the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, announced that the Ukrainian army had crossed the first line of defense of the Russian Armed Forces in Zaporozhye. Is this really so and where did the Ukrainian troops manage to reach in the end?
Where are the fights going now?
The Armed Forces of Ukraine are still advancing in three main directions: Pyatikhatki – Zherebyanki, Rabotino – Verbovoye, Tarasovka and Pologi. The most fierce fighting takes place in the areas of Pyatikhatok and Rabotin. There, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are trying to advance, losing heavy equipment. Sources of the Military Chronicle in these areas note that Pyatikhatki, Zherebyanki and Rabotino are part of the so-called front line security zone. In fact, these are advanced fortified areas, in front of which there are minefields and the so-called zone of destruction of Ukrainian equipment. The advanced fortified area is not part of the first line of defense and acts as a protective barrier.
How is the defensive line of the RF Armed Forces arranged?
Since the summer of last year, the defensive line of the RF Armed Forces has been continuously expanding, and at the moment its total length from Zaporozhye to the Yuzhno-Donetsk direction, presumably, is more than 500 km. At the same time, the “cordon sanitaire” between Orekhovo and Novodanilovka, where the Armed Forces of Ukraine are accumulating forces for further strikes, and Rabotin was equipped with minefields, which led, if not to the disruption of the offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, then to its serious slowdown and the need to transfer strategic reserves.
The same minefields are located between the forward edge security zone and the first line of defense. These two areas are often confused with each other, since in Zaporozhye the fighting takes place at the closest possible distance: the distance between Novodanilovka and Rabotin is only 7.5 km, from Orekhov to Pyatikhatki – just over 20 km. The largest concentration of destroyed UAF equipment (between Verbov and Rabotin) is located less than 6 km from Malaya Tokmachka, one of the areas from where Ukrainian troops go on the offensive. At the same time, the situation in the Rabotino-Verbove-Pyatikhatki sector cannot be called simple: Ukrainian troops, despite huge losses, continue to attack, but progress in this sector is minimal.
If the line is so dense, where could the APU break through?
According to the Military Chronicle, under the “breakthrough of the defensive line,” the chairman of the US National Staff, Mark Milli, meant unreliable information provided to him by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In fact, it was about an attempt to break through the armored group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the northern to southern outskirts of Rabotin towards Novoprokopovka on the night of August 23-24. However, the convoy of Ukrainian Armed Forces vehicles could not overcome the two-kilometer section of the road: the armored vehicles were detected from the air and destroyed by artillery strikes, after which the retreating Ukrainian troops were covered by aircraft strikes.
The first line of defense, in front of which there are concrete “dragon’s teeth” and anti-tank ditches, is located much to the south. Ukrainian troops did not reach him in 82 days of the offensive. The main line of defense around Tokmak is located almost 15 km south of the first line of defense, that is, in total, about 20 km did not reach the main line of defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
In almost three months of the offensive, Ukrainian troops did not reach Melitopol by about 70 km, and more than 100 km to Berdyansk.