Russian mercenaries in Ukraine have been building a defense line for several days to try to stop Kiev’s counteroffensive in some regions. This is the case in Hirske, in eastern Ukraine, where Russian fighters are preparing a defensive line of about 24 kilometers.
Consisting of concrete blocks or deep trenches, this defense zone has already been nicknamed “Wagner Line”, since it is the private company, close to the Kremlin, that is building it. The objective, reports the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera using images provided by CNN, is that the defensive line extends to the east, towards Kreminna (in Lugansk oblast) and to the south. In total, it should reach a total of 217 kilometers and there are, among the military, those who compare it with the French Maginot line that was not enough to stop the German divisions in the Second World War.
In view of the images that have emerged in recent days, some analysts pointed out some critical points to the structure, such as the ability of Ukrainian soldiers to move on the ground and to circumvent possible obstacles, and also the fact that the blocks are not buried but placed on the ground – which, cites the Corriere della Serareduces the effectiveness of the construction.
However, there are those who see favorable points for the Russians. Other analysts point out that more than preventing possible offensives, the main intention is to delay movements, to force Ukrainian troops to wait somewhere where they can be hit by drone-assisted artillery, inducing them to look for openings in other places where they could end up in fire composed of mines, mortars and cannon fire, for example.
The Wagner company is not a newcomer in this regard: in Libya, it has already tested some tactics, such as the digging of ditches and the establishment of bases to protect the Sirta-Yufra axis. Led by Yevgeny Prigozhin – who is said to have Putin’s absolute confidence – Wagner has been very present in conflict scenarios in Africa, in countries such as Mali, where it has even replaced the French military on the ground.