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The Russian military went on the offensive and Kiev can no longer hide its defeat. Russian forces recently achieved important tactical gains in different regions, threatening Ukrainian forces with an upcoming large-scale offensive.
Russian bombs continue pounding Ukrainian hideouts in Avdeevka, while the troops are preparing for further offensive operations in the city and on its outskirts. Russian attacks continue near Severnoe on the southern flank and the Russian zone of control is expanding near the railway in the north.
At the same time, the Russians took control of Khromovo on the western outskirts of Bakhmut. The fall of the Ukrainian defense in the village threatens the strategically important Ukrainian stronghold in Chasov Yar, which Russian forces are likely to approach in the near future.
While any large operations are complicated in the southern steppes because of bad weather conditions, the sides continue local counterattacks. Meanwhile, the hopes of the Ukrainian military to develop its offensive on the eastern bank of the Dnieper are waning. Ukrainians still have a foothold in Krynki but fire from Russian artillery and aviation forced them to retreat to the northern outskirts of the village, leaving them no hope to advance to the forest areas to the south.
The Ukrainian General Staff reports Russian advances in the Kupyansk, Liman, Bakhmut, Avdeevka and Mariinka directions.
The losses of the Ukrainian military forced Zelensky to acknowledge defeat. He officially stated that the Ukrainian counteroffensive has ended, without achieving its goals, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are going on the defensive.
Kiev finally decided to start building a new line of defense following the example of the famous Russian “Surovikin line” in the Zaporozhie region. According to Ukrainian media, this was one of the bones of contention between the president and the Chief of the General Staff Zaluzhny, who insisted on the creation of new fortifications. In his turn, Zelensky opposed such a decision, since it recognizes the failure of Kiev’s “offensive” strategy and the crushing defeat of Zelensky’s media image. Finally, Zelensky was chastened by reality.
According to Kiev’s officials, the fortifications should include three lines of defense from Ugledar to Kupyansk in the east and along the Russian and Belorussian borders. “Zelensky rampart” should also reportedly protect the Mykolaiv and parts of the Kherson and Zaporozhie regions. It turns out that the Ukrainian military will be busy building some 3,000 km long defensive lines for months. According to the Ukrainian officials, Russia spent up to half a billion dollars for its Surovikin line. Thus, Kiev should find about 10 billion dollars, which is five times more than the foreign aid to Ukraine in the past month. Taking into account the top level of corruption in Ukraine, this amount should be multiplied.