Ukraine ‘breakthrough’ underway as Kyiv smashes through Russian lines

Ukraine: Armoured vehicles assault west of Verbove

Ukrainian armoured vehicles have smashed through a gap in Russian defences on the Zaporizhzhia front, it has been reported.

Eight-wheeled Stryker and tracked Marder Infantry Fighting Vehicles were seen behind Russian tank traps and dragon’s teeth near Verbove – suggesting a potential Ukrainian tactical breakthrough in the area.

Russia analyst for The Institute for the Study of War, George Barros, said the news could mean Kyiv was preparing for another big push.

In an update on X, formerly Twitter, he said: “Ukrainian forces have brought heavy equipment (Strykers and Marders) beyond the anti-vehicle ditch and the dragon’s teeth for the first time.

“Ukrainian forces have been widening their breach of the lines for the past several weeks and may be preparing for a new push.”

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Earlier this month, Ukraine captured the village of Robotyne and breached Russia’s first – and main – line of defence on the southern front. For months, Ukrainian progress had slowed in the face of Russian tank traps, minefields and so-called dragon’s teeth – large, triangular concrete blocs meant to impede armoured vehicles.

Kyiv has now been attempting to widen that breach, attacking south towards Novoprokopivka and southwest towards Verbove.

Barros added: “The Ukrainians in this video likely drove down a country road that creates a hole in the ditch and teeth lines…It indicates that Ukrainian forces have likely defeated local Russian’s defence in this section of the line.”

The news of a fresh assault on the southern front comes amid good news for Kyiv in the east where Ukraine’s forces have seized the towns of Klishchiivka and Andriivka near Bakhmut.

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Ukrainian sources have claimed that three of Putin’s best brigades were virtually destroyed during the assault on Andriivka.

The 72nd Motor Rifle Brigade as well as the elite 31st and 83rd Air Assault Brigades were operating in the area and ISW has suggested the Airborne (VDV) brigades likely suffered heavy losses.

In addition, reports from Russian soldiers fighting in the region suggest an under-equipped force sent in only to be savaged by Ukraine artillery, including cluster bombs.

Russian commanders are said to be desperately throwing Russian troops to retake the key towns in the east which sit on higher ground than Bakhmut.

The ISW reported: “Russian servicemen and mil bloggers revealed that the Russian military command orders Russian troops to carry out “ill-conceived and unsupported” counterattacks on Bakhmut’s southern flank to urgently regain lost ground.”

Previously there were reports that Moscow had moved forces from the eastern front to shore up its embattled defences in the south.

It’s possible those movements weakened Russia’s eastern flank and allowed Ukrainian forces to exploit that weakness.

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