Ukraine said on Friday its troops had broken through Russia’s first line of defences in several places, though they have then encountered even more heavily-fortified Russian positions.
Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar said Kyiv’s troops, in a much-vaunted counteroffensive against Russian forces, were advancing in the Zaporizhzhia region.
She added, however, that Kyiv’s troops who have been battling to advance through heavily-mined areas for almost three months had now run into major defensive Russian fortifications.
In Washington, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the United States had “noted over the last 72 hours or so some notable progress by Ukrainian armed forces …in that southern line of advance coming out of the Zaporizhzhia area”.
Ukraine’s counteroffensive has not yet recaptured any major settlements, though it has retaken more than a dozen small villages.
Last week it captured the village of Robotyne, beyond which lies Russian-occupied high ground, huge anti-tank ditches and lines of concrete fortifications visible from space.
Editor Oloyede Oworu