Ukraine has warned Russia that their largest “counteroffensive is yet to come” and operations are heading to Melitopol.
Ukrainian forces are gaining more ground at a rapid pace towards Russia’s “linchpin” town of Tokmak in southern Ukraine.
Operation Tokmak signals a major shift for Ukrainian forces which will be a hard task as Russian troops are carrying out a series of defensive measures erecting “hedgehog” tank defences, digging more trenches and installing more checkpoints.
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The commander of the Tavria operational-strategic group of troops, Oleksandr Tarnavsky, said in an interview with CNN that the greatest breakthrough of Ukraine’s counteroffensive is yet to come.
Tarnavsky said, “Tokmak is the minimum goal. The overall objective is to get to our state borders.”
He said the Ukrainian Armed Forces are continuing to conduct their offensive operations in the Melitopol direction. The AFU are destroying Russian troops step by step liberate temporarily occupied territories and consolidate on the achieved lines.
Tarnavsky added, “I think it will happen after Tokmak. At the moment they are relying on the depth of their defensive line there.”
However, this said Russia’s 58th Combined Arms Army who are holed up in Tokmak have been making tactical progress.
The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) said, “In recent days, Russian forces have likely reinforced their defences around the occupied town of Tokmak in southern Ukraine, which is approximately 16 km behind the current front line.
“Russia is likely deploying additional checkpoints, ‘hedgehog’ anti-tank defences and digging new trenches in the area, which is held by its 58th Combined Arms Army.
“Tokmak is preparing to become a linchpin of Russian’s second main line of defences.
“Improvements to the town’s defences likely indicate Russia’s growing concern about Ukrainian tactical penetrations of the first main defensive line to the north.”