Ukrainian forces have been moving more freely in the Zaporizhzhia region after breaching Russia’s strongest, most densely mined line of defences, according to reports.
Approximately 60% of Russian defences were located in the first line of defence and Ukrainian soldiers now face two weaker lines ahead, Suspilno reported.
There are “fewer minefields” but “one should not think that it will be easy to take them”, the United Press Center of the Defense Forces of the Tavria Region, Oleksandr Shtupun, told the broadcaster.
He confirmed reports by the Institute for the Study of War that Russia was redeploying elite airborne units to defend the area.
“This is their elite counts, so if they are already using their so-called elite in defensive battles, then something is wrong with them,” he said.
Brigadier General Oleksandr Tarnavskiy told The Guardian it took longer to de-mine the region at the start of the counteroffensive than was expected, but he was optimistic now that barrier has been breached.
“Sooner or later, the Russians will run out of all the best soldiers. This will give us an impetus to attack more and faster,” he said.