- Ukraine is making slow and steady territorial gains in the southern Zaporizhia region.
- But a communications specialist in Kiev’s military says there are major challenges, such as Russia’s air superiority.
- The soldier said Moscow’s guided bombs are among the “biggest concerns” for frontline troops.
As Ukraine advances through offensive operations in the south, its soldiers on the front lines still face aerial dangers, with guided bombs among their “biggest concerns”.
A Kiev Army communications specialist named Oleksandr Solonko detailed the ongoing fighting in the occupied Zaporizhia region in a recent X report. string. He highlighted the threat posed by Moscow’s powerful guided bombs, the challenges of fighting through Russia’s layered defenses and fortifications – including minefields, trenches, tunnels, and anti-tank obstacles – and the role that aerial reconnaissance plays, along with long-range fire, in impeding movement.
The enemy can spot any soldier from a distance, regardless of the unit he is serving in or the topographical features of the battlefield, Solonko wrote, adding that personnel and equipment can be targeted and fired at from a distance. He added that trying to carry out a mission in complete concealment is “mostly impossible”. translation from his remarks by another service member.
Solonko also noted the enemy’s “air superiority,” which he said was a decisive factor in Ukrainian armored vehicle losses.
Much of the airspace above the battlefield remains in dispute after 18 months of full-scale warfare, but early in the counterattack, Russian attack helicopter crews found they could strike from a distance beyond the reach of Ukraine’s short-range air defences. Since then, Ukrainian forces have improved at eliminating these threats, but others remain, such as Russian planes that can launch remote-guided bombs.
“The KAB is one of the biggest concerns,” Solonko said, referring to Russia’s arsenal of guided bombs. “The Russians use it extensively. I can’t speak for its accuracy, but the weapons are powerful.” The Ukrainian military has been raising concerns about these types of weapons for months, describing them as serious threats to Ukrainian operations. Some of these bombs could weigh more than 3,000 pounds.
“They are trying to target the logistical centers and command centers, just as we do,” he continued, adding that they are also firing at the roads and frontline defenses in the settlements.
“The Orlan-Zala-Supercam linked aerial reconnaissance system is effective and problematic,” Solonko said, referring to several different types of Russian drones. “They identify targets and they launch[the scalpels]and they swarm them with the KAB. They try to penetrate the vehicles and chase them.”
“The sites that have been recovered have become more calibrated,” he added, before highlighting the devastation on the front lines. “No bombs were spared. There was no shortage of mines either. The tree line in which one of the crew was working had simply been leveled. Only a palisade was left, and the well-made trench was no longer usable.”
Solonko’s comment came after Ukrainian forces raised the country’s flag in the small village of Robotyn in the Zaporizhia region. The Kyiv Defense Ministry officially confirmed Robotyn’s release on Monday and published a statement video Soldiers of the 47th Mechanized Brigade detailing the operation to capture the village.
In the video, a soldier described the secret night mission to raise the Ukrainian flag in two robots. He added that Kiev forces approached and cleared one of the buildings. However, their vision was limited, and they weren’t sure if they would encounter any traps, so they put the flag on the first floor. When the sun rose, they realized they could reach the surface, so they changed their plans and put the flag there.
“Thank you to all your brothers-in-arms,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a Sunday address to the nation. “And to all our other warriors of various ranks, and of various units, who do all they can to ensure that our flag is flown in all its rightful places, throughout the lands of our state!”
Although Robotyne is quite young, its capture is a shining moment for Ukraine as it continues to make slow and steady progress amid an exhausting and bloody counterattack. Clearing Russia’s complex and entrenched defensive lines has proven to be a daunting task for Kievan forces, preventing them from recapturing territory at a faster pace.
For those who are “very smart” and think that it took the Ukrainian armed forces an incredibly long time to drive the Russians out of the village of Robotyn, they certainly missed the defense system that had to be overcome in order to push the Russians back from Mariupol. We are gradually approaching the village, encircling it and eventually capturing it.” “Actually, a huge task has been accomplished.”