The Russian Ministry of Defence reported decision to place defensive minefields in a region bordering war-torn Ukraine resulted in Vladimir Putin being mocked on a podcast analysing the latest on the war efforts.
Dominic Nicholls, associate editor at the Telegraph and host of Ukraine: The Latest podcast, hit out at the Russian president as he was breaking down the main developments on the war.
Referring to reports that first emerged last week of Russian troops mining the Belgorod region neighbouring Ukraine, Mr Nicholls said: “Up into the north, the border region, where Ukraine meets Russia, Russia has been increasing the density of his minefields in Belgorod.
“This is inside of Russia. Along the border area there.
“Nothing says your attack on Ukraine is going absolutely to plan quite like laying defensive minefields inside your own country but then I am not a master strategist, I am sure it’s all part of Putin’s genius plan.”
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On September 18, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine wrote in a Facebook update: “In the Slobozhanskyi direction, the Russian army keeps their troops near the state’s border.
“They create diversions in the region and increase the number of mine-explosive barriers along the border in Belgorod oblast.”
Belgorod, which as noted by Mr Nicholls is within the internationally recognised borders of Ukraine, has become increasingly involved in the war started by the Kremlin in February 2022.
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Local officials have claimed multiple times in recent weeks that the area was targeted by drone attacks launched by Ukraine.
Since the beginning of the conflict, Kyiv has rarely claimed responsibility for attacks launched beyond its borders.
The mining of the area comes as Ukraine is months into its counter-offensive manoeuvres, which were launched in early June.
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After a slow start, made complicated by Russian troops heavily mining the occupied areas, Ukraine has been widening the breach in its enemy’s defences in the southern Zaporizhzhia region.
Last week, Ukraine successfully damaged the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet, the branch of the Russian Navy operating in the Black Sea.
The building is based in Crimea, which Moscow occupied in 2014, and is believed to have been targeted by Storm Shadow missiles.
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