Ukraine’s infantry made it past the main layer of defenses in the front line weeks ago, but armored vehicles have now rolled past anti-tank obstacles known as “dragon’s teeth” and are advancing near the town of Verbove in a critical step for Kyiv’s operation.
Armored vehicles, including American-made Strykers, breached the main layer of the infamous “Surovikin line” of defenses, named for the Russian Gen. Sergei Surovikin, which is made up of trenches, mines and anti-tank obstacles.
The Institute for the Study of War first assessed last week that armored vehicles likely penetrated the main layer, though it wasn’t immediately clear if the positions would hold.
Ukrainian commanders have also confirmed to media outlets that the armored vehicles blasted through the main line after troops cleared the way.
If Ukraine can secure its advance around the towns of Verbove and Novoprokopivka next, it can then advance toward Tokmak, a key waypoint toward the ultimate objective of taking the city of Melitopol.
Ukraine still has a long way to go, at least 15 miles or so, to reach Tokmak, and the path is scattered with more Russian defenses.
The modest gains come as the first U.S. Abrams tanks pledged to Ukraine have arrived in the country and are being prepared to send into battle.
Read the full report at TheHill.com.