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Russia Reports Widespread Drone Attacks on Country: Ukraine Live Updates


In a photo from Russian state news media, a woman walks past a damaged building in the Russian-occupied city of Tokmak in January.Credit…Alexander Galperin/Sputnik, via The Associated Press

As Ukrainian forces advance in an attempt to secure the piece of land they captured in the south, a strategic target emerges: the city of Tokmak, a road and rail hub, the recapture of which will eventually lead to Kiev. It might help to go deep enough into the Russian-controlled territory to divide Moscow’s army and supply lines.

Ukraine’s military said Monday that its forces had breached Russia’s initial lines of defense in the region and recaptured a village called Robotyn, which connects to a highway 15 miles south of Tokmak. However the two are separated by even more layers. Strong Russian security.

Ukraine launched its long-awaited counteroffensive in June, and its successes have been measured in escalation. In a sign of the uphill task, it took months of fierce fighting to capture Robotyn, and Ukrainian officials have said in recent days that they are still securing their positions in the village as they demolish the area and push south. trying to move forward.

“We have had successes and are consolidating the positions achieved,” said Andrey Kovalev, spokesman for the army’s General Staff. said on Tuesday, saying that Ukrainian troops were advancing towards Verbov, a village about five miles southeast of Robotine. His claim could not be independently verified.

Controlling Robotyn and its surrounding area could allow Ukraine to use it as a base to prepare for and launch attacks on targets in the south. Oleksandr Shtupun, spokesman for Ukraine’s military in the southern Zaporizhia region. said this week Consolidating its hold on Robotyn would mean that the Ukrainian military could bring more troops into the area, providing more opportunities for maneuver.

Damage in Robotyn, Ukraine last week.Credit…Viacheslav Ratinsky/Reuters

Tokmak is a major target for the Ukrainian military as it is the crossing point for five main roads in the Zaporizhia region, two of which connect to the cities of Melitopol and Berdyansk near the Sea of ​​Azov. Access to the Sea of ​​Azov would allow Ukraine to break into the so-called land bridge between Russia and Russian-occupied Crimea, a link that is vital to Moscow’s supply routes.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in a speech to french diplomats After securing the shores of Robotine in Paris on Tuesday, “we are opening the way to Tokmak and eventually to Melitopol and the border with Crimea.”

But Mr. Shatupun, an army spokesman, acknowledged that the advance towards Tokmak would not be easy. “I think the Russians will not give up this settlement easily and the Ukrainian army will have to fight for it,” he said.

Satellite images show that to reach Tokmak, Ukrainian forces will have to break through two more formidable Russian defensive lines made up of trenches, dense minefields, earthworks and anti-tank barriers – part of a wider network of defences, known as Military analysts say the biggest. in Europe since World War II.

Securing Tokmak, a city that had a pre-war population of around 30,000 people, has its own challenges. Once through the anti-tank nets around the city, Ukrainian forces would have to fight through tall buildings and narrow side streets in close combat that would likely be fatal to both sides.

Kiev’s forces are still a long way from Tokmak, but Ukrainian officials claim that recent progress has raised concerns among Russian officials occupying there. On Tuesday, the exiled Ukrainian mayor of Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov, said that, according to local residents, some Russian officers were leaving the tokmak as the fighting drew to a close.

Ukrainians are “forcing the occupiers to leave Tokmak,” Mr. Fedorov wrote in a post Telegram messaging app. The claim could not be independently verified.



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