November 29, 2023

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Ukrainian armored personnel carriers break through Russia’s main defense line for the first time

Ukrainian armored personnel carriers break through Russia’s main defense line for the first time

Ukrainian units were able to penetrate the heavily secured main Russian defense line for the first time using armored personnel carriers. The advances occurred in recent days on the southern front in the Zaporizhya region. It is unclear whether this represents a final breakthrough.

Stephen Ramdary

This is evidenced by verified videos of violent fighting. Also the American think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW). The Wall Street JournalHe, who spoke to Ukrainian soldiers, confirmed the progress.

It is unprecedented since the start of the Ukrainian offensive in June that the units have advanced so far. The Battle of Zaporizhia is of great importance to Kiev because the army hopes to advance south towards Melitopol and the Sea of ​​Azov. If this succeeds, the invading Russian army could be cut off from Crimea and split in two.

According to ISW, the Ukrainians bypassed the Russians’ last line of defense west of the village of Verbov. The so-called Surovikin Line, which the Russians have been working on for months, consists of three layers and is full of minefields, anti-tank ditches and dragon’s teeth. The Surovikin Line is the main line of defense for the Russians, but behind it there are more lines of defence.

Offensive advance

So far, Ukrainian soldiers on the Southern Front have only managed to break through the first part of the Surovikin Line, also captured in two robots. But these were mainly light infantry. At Verbove, after weeks of attacks by small groups of infantrymen, they had now advanced so far that they could now advance further with armored equipment.

These vehicles include the American Stryker vehicles and the German Marder heavily armored infantry fighting vehicle. Troops can be brought in with these armored vehicles. The World War Institute, which closely monitors the war, concluded that “the Ukrainian ability to bring armored vehicles into and through the formidable Russian defenses designed to stop them is an important sign of progress in the counteroffensive.”

In the coming days, it will become clear whether the Ukrainians can advance further towards Verbov or whether their advance will stop. Russian videos captured by drones show soldiers from the Ukrainian 82nd Airborne Brigade advancing in their armored vehicles, but coming under heavy fire from Russian artillery. Artillery shells bombard their surroundings everywhere.

Huge losses

According to some reports, the Ukrainians lost several Western vehicles. The Russians deployed airborne forces to stop the advance. Ukrainian officer… The Wall Street Journal She admits that her units suffered heavy losses, but says: “We are moving forward.” We destroy them. But the price…”

It is unclear how many soldiers the Ukrainian army is deploying at this point on the front. If Kiev can expand on this small breakthrough at Verbov, this gap in Russian defenses could be used to bring in more troops and equipment. According to the Institute for the Study of War, the Ukrainian army has had slow but steady success in western Zaporizhia since mid-August.

This breakthrough comes at a time when the Russians are also under increasing military pressure in Crimea. On Friday, Ukraine managed to strike the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol. Maybe a Russian person was killed. The fleet communications center, about 15 kilometers from Sevastopol, was also bombed. This building was severely damaged.

On Thursday, Ukraine also bombed the large air base near Saki with drones and cruise missiles. 12 fighter bombers were stationed at this base, about 60 kilometers north of Sevastopol. It is still unclear how extensive the damage is.

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