By Le Figaro with AFP
Published , Update
The general in charge of the counter-offensive in the south of the country affirms to the Guardian that his troops are “now between the Russian first and second lines of defence”.
The kyiv army has made a major breakthrough in the Russian defense lines in southern Ukraine, a senior general told the British daily The Guardian . «We are now between the first and the second line of defenseRussians, says General Oleksandr Tarnavskiy, in charge of the counter-offensive in the south, in this interview published this weekend, a few days after the announcement by Kiev of a symbolic victory with the resumption of the village of Robotyne.
The senior officer now expects faster progress, as the second line is considered weaker. He estimates with the British daily that Russia has devoted 60% of its time and resources to the construction of the first defensive line and only 20% for each of the other two.
«The enemy draws on its reserves»
In this perspective, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is increasingly rejecting criticism of the supposed slowness of the counter-offensive launched in June to retake the territories conquered by Moscow. “We are now finishing destroying the enemy units responsible for protecting the Russian troops when they retreat behind their second line of defense“Assured the general, whose troops had liberated the city of Kherson (south) last year.
According to General Tarnavskiy, the forces of Moscow “were just stationary and waiting for the Ukrainian armyand they have now redeployed to the area. “The enemy is drawing on its reserves, not only in Ukraine but also in Russia. Sooner or later, the Russians will run out of their best soldiers. This will give us an opportunity to attack them more and fastersaid the general. “It’s all to come“, he added.
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He also explains that the Ukrainian army was delayed in its counter-offensive because it “spent more time than expected clearing the territoriesoccupied by the Russians. “Unfortunately, the evacuation of the wounded was difficult for us. And it also complicated our progresshe added, admitting that kyiv had suffered major losses.
«The closer you get to victory, the more difficult it becomes. For what ? Because unfortunately we are losing the strongest and the bestsoldiers, he explained. “Now we have to focus on certain areas and finish the job. No matter how hard it is for all of us“, he added.