In an interview with The Observer, Brigadier General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, Commander of the Tavriia Operational and Strategic Group of Forces, said that the Russian forces have spent 60% of their time and resources on the construction of the first line of defence, and only 20% for the second and third. Now the Ukrainian army is advancing on both sides of the breakthrough and are consolidating their positions.
Source: The Observer
Quote: "In my opinion, the Russians believed the Ukrainians would not get through this line of defence. They had been preparing for over one year. They did everything to make sure that this area was prepared well."
Details: Tarnavskyi said the Armed Forces of Ukraine are now between the first and second defensive lines. "In the centre of the offensive, we are now completing the destruction of enemy units that provide cover for the retreat of Russian troops behind their second defensive line," he said.
Tarnavskyi emphasised that the counterattack was restrained by a huge minefield put down by the Russians. Behind it, Russian troops "just stood and waited for the Ukrainian army," knocking out Ukrainian equipment.
"As soon as any equipment appeared there, the Russians immediately began to fire at it and destroy it. That’s why demining was carried out only by infantry and only at night," he stressed.
Now that the mine barrier has been overcome, the Russians are forced to manoeuvre and redeploy their forces. "The enemy is pulling up reserves, not only from Ukraine but also from Russia," Tarnavskyi emphasised.
However, he is sure that sooner or later the Russians will lack strength, which will allow the Ukrainian forces to advance faster. Now that the minefield has been breached, the Russians have lost much of their advantage. "There is a very big difference between the first and second line of defence," Tarnavskyi said.
He explained that the second line is not so well constructed, which means the Ukrainians can use their vehicles, although there are still minefields.
"The closer to victory, the harder it is. Why? Because, unfortunately, we are losing the strongest and best. So now we have to concentrate on certain areas and finish the job. No matter how hard it is for all of us," the Brigadier General concluded.