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Ukrainian Forces advance through two of Russia's three defense lines - Defense Minister

Ukrainian Forces advance through two of Russia's three defense lines - Defense Minister Ukraine's Defense Minister Rustem Umerov (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine).
Author: Liliana Oleniak

The Ukrainian military is between the second and third lines of Russian defense. Ukraine has a plan to liberate the territories by 2024, according to Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov.

Umerov says that the occupiers have three lines of defense on the front in Ukraine. According to him, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have passed the second line and are now facing the third.

"We already de-occupied 50% of our territory, we are defeating Russia on our land, we have gained the territories, we stopped atrocities and now we have a plan for 2924," the minister says.

The Defense Minister emphasizes that the return to the 1991 borders remains a strategic victory for Ukraine. Asked by a journalist whether a settlement is possible if the war lasts for years, Umerov said that the civilized world should be embarrassed if this happens.

"It will continue and destroy democracy. They (Russians - ed.) believe that Ukraine and Ukrainians should not exist," he says.

The minister also noted Ukraine's plans to join NATO. According to him, all calculations for the next year, procurement, and planning of operations will be carried out according to NATO standards.

Umerov also comments on the corruption and procurement scandals in the Defense Ministry. He says that tenders, competitions, and audits are currently underway. The defense minister added that the agency is ready to invite external auditors for cross-checking.

Russian defense lines

Earlier, Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, Ukrainian generals, and experts emphasized that minefields and defensive lines were the main obstacle to the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the south.

In September, the commander of the Tavria operational and strategic group, Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, said that Ukrainian troops had broken through Russia's first line of defense in the Zaporizhzhia region. According to him, it was the main line of defense of the occupiers.

There was also information that Ukrainian soldiers had reached the second line of Russian defense near the settlements of Robotyne and Verbove in the Zaporizhzhia region. However, there was no information about its breakthrough.