Forbes: The Ukrainian forces failed to get through the Russian devastating minefields


Forbes magazine said that the Ukrainian forces suffered catastrophic losses while trying to bypass Russian minefields in Malaya Tokmachka in southern Ukraine, and that the observers were surprised by these losses, which the newspaper tried to explain for its reasons.

In Forbes report, Russian mines destroyed three Leopard R2 tanks and a number of British minesweepers, the Wisent 1MC, as well as several US Bradley M-2 armored vehicles, at the beginning of the battle.

The forces that entered the minefields and came under Russian artillery fire were immediately neutralized, adding that Ukrainian soldiers jumped out of their disabled vehicles and tried to drag the dead and wounded, and rescue teams aboard M-2 Bradleys recovered the survivors.

The Ukrainian forces that attempted to cross the minefield on June 8 lost approximately five Bradley M-2 armored vehicles, five Leopard 2A6 tanks and half of the Leopard 2R within an hour or two of the start of the fighting.

The report indicated that this failed attack resulted in a loss equivalent to an entire battalion, and said that repairing armored vehicles would take weeks, if not months, and that some of them wouldn’t return to service again, and the human losses amounted to dozens of dead Ukrainian commanders and soldiers.

The report stated that the minefield is considered one of the largest types of blasting barriers, and it’s a piece of land in which mines of one or more types are laid in a specific order or randomly, and one of its most prominent characteristics is that it’s dense with obstacles.

The minefield in the Malaya Tokmachka area strewn with TM-62M anti-tank mines spread a few feet from each other.

These high-explosive mines developed in the sixties of the last century, and they can installed manually or automatically.

This ancient deadly weapon guarantees the disabling of any vehicle that collides with it, whether it’s an armored car or a tank.

In addition, the TM-89 cumulative high-explosive anti-tank mines, which entered service in 1993, were used, and are so powerful that they are able to penetrate 200 millimeter-thick armor, targeting the sides of armored vehicles where the armor is much weaker.

The report indicated that the Russian army uses the “GMZ-3” mine-laying mechanism, which installs it on the surface of the earth without camouflage or in its interior with camouflage launched in kilometers distance by special missiles.

According to Western experts, the density of minefields, their quality and the ingenuity of their installation are among the main obstacles that prevented the success of the Ukrainian offensive operation.

The United States has promised that the next package of military assistance will include an additional number of M-2 Bradley armored vehicles to compensate for the losses suffered by Ukrainian forces in the recent attack.

The European Allies won’t be able at this stage to provide Leopard 2A6 tanks and Leopard 2R minesweepers.

Forbes said that if the Ukrainian forces were able to penetrate the defensive lines of the Russian army in the aforementioned area, they would have been able to advance to Tokmak, which is located 20 kilometers to the south.

If the Ukrainian armed forces capture Tokmak, they will be able to attack Melitopol, located 60 kilometers away along the T0401 highway.

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