Russia's new 'sea of fire' tactic makes it even more treacherous for Ukraine to clear minefields, report says
- It's becoming even more dangerous to clear minefields in Ukraine, according to the New York Times.
- Russians are dropping grenades from drones to create a "sea of fire and explosions," per the outlet.
Russia has developed a new tactic that's making it even more treacherous for Ukrainian soldiers to clear out minefields, according to the New York Times.
In the southern theater of the ongoing war between the two countries, Russians lace the soil with flammable agents and then use drones to drop grenades and ignite "a sea of fire and explosions," marines told the outlet.
Ukraine launched a long-anticipated counteroffensive on June 4 — but has made less progress than expected.
Dense minefields and fortifications have slowed down its troops and have resorted to a "village by village, house by house" approach to retaking the south, the NYT reported.
Ukrainian officials estimated last month that Russia has planted up to five mines per square meter in the south — and it could take years to clear all of them away.
"On average, there are three to four to five mines per square meter," Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, said in televised remarks on August 2. "Imagine how difficult the work is to remove them to allow our military to move afterward."
Western tanks have struggled to break through the minefields, and Ukraine's generals have switched to using Ukrainian infantry units to push back the well-dug-in Russian occupiers methodically.
While the White House believes that Ukraine has made "notable progress" against Russia's second line of defense in the south over the past 72 hours, its soldiers are now set to encounter more minefields, according to one think tank.
Troops will likely encounter "anti-tank ditches; dragon's teeth anti-tank obstacles; and additional minefields" as they push forward against Russian defenses, the Institute for the Study of War said last week.
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