As the war enters its second year, Russia is strengthening and expanding its defensive positions in occupied areas of Ukraine, according to Britain’s Defence Ministry.
According to the ministry’s daily intelligence assessment, Russian forces “had likely further bolstered defensive fortifications” on the southern front in the Zaporizhzhya region, in addition to deploying more personnel.
“ In spite of the current operational focus on central Donbas, Russia remains concerned about guarding the extremities of its extended front line,’’ the ministry wrote.
If Ukrainian forces had broken through the Zaporizhzhya front, Moscow’s land bridge between the Russian region of Rostov and the annexed Crimean Peninsula would have been seriously challenged.
On the other hand, a Ukrainian success in the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk would threaten Russia’s stated goal of liberating the Donbas, the collective for Luhansk and Donetsk.
“Deciding which of these threats to prioritise countering is likely one of the central dilemmas for Russian operational planners,’’ the ministry said.
The front line in Ukraine is about 1,200 kilometres long.
The British Ministry of Defence publishes daily updates on the war. In doing so, the British government aims to counter the Russian narrative.
Moscow accused London of a targeted disinformation campaign. (dpa/NAN)