What Russian defense looks like in southern Ukraine: Infographic by Texty
Journalists from Texty.org.ua have reconstructed the Russian defense line in southern Ukraine using satellite images from June-September 2023
What do Russian defense lines consist of?
The Russian defense in southern Ukraine consists of hundreds of kilometers of continuous trenches, dugouts, long-term defensive points, wood and earth defensive points, and individual strongholds. These defenses are the size of a medieval fort, which can defend itself for several days. The invading Russian forces have been building this system of fortifications since last fall. The Russians have also already established logistics, a system of small munitions depots, rear bases for radio reconnaissance, unmanned aerial vehicle operators and artillerymen.
How are the events in the south unfolding and what is the disposition of the parties?
The key point in the south after the liberation of Robotyne is the town of Tokmak, with a pre-war population of just over 30,000. The battle for Tokmak could theoretically become the final act of the active military campaign of 2023.
Russian defense lines in southern Ukraine, September 2023
Russian fortifications in this area consist of three main lines of defense:
- support line - forward strongholds and minefields;
- the main line - in the media it is called the second line;
- reserve line - the third line.
For a detailed look at the interactive map of Russian defenses, visit Texty.org.ua.
The strategic goal of the Ukrainian army is to reach the coast of the Azov Sea. This will make it possible to sever communications and supply chains between occupied eastern Ukraine and occupied Crimea. The liberation of Melitopol is another step towards this goal.
The Russian troops have now pulled all possible reserves to Tokmak. Approximately, the Russian army may have more than 100,000 personnel in this area (out of the total number of the occupation contingent of more than 400,000 people).
Ukraine is now actively advancing in the Tokmak direction. The front line has already moved south to the main line of Russian defense.
Espreso provides information support to the special project Texty.org.ua.