Ukrainian armored vehicles operate behind Russia's final defense line - ISW
Ukrainian armored vehicles are operating beyond the last line of the Russian defensive layer that Ukrainian forces in western Zaporizhia Oblast are currently penetrating
The Institute for the Study of War reports.
Geolocated footage released on September 21 show that Ukrainian armored vehicles advanced south of the Russian anti-tank ditches and dragon’s teeth obstacles that are part of a tri-layered defense and engaged in limited combat immediately west of Verbove.
It is noted that it is unclear whether Ukrainian forces will retain these positions. According to analysts, this is the first time that Ukrainian troops have used armored vehicles outside of Russia's three-tier defense.
"The presence of Ukrainian armored vehicles beyond the final line of the current Russian defensive layer indicates that the Ukrainians have secured their breach of the first two lines of this layer sufficiently to operate vehicles through the breach," the report said.
The defense forces likely suppressed Russian artillery and other anti-tank systems in the area enough to bring their vehicles forward. The Ukrainian ability to bring armored vehicles to and through the most formidable Russian defenses intended to stop them and to operate these vehicles near prepared Russian defensive positions are important signs of progress in the Ukrainian counteroffensive.
In the south, the Offensive Guard units have advanced deep into the Russian defense, and are now gaining ground and repelling attacks.
Russian elite troops currently operating in the western part of Zaporizhzhia have been unable to stop the gradual but steady advance of Ukrainian troops since mid-August.