British Intelligence update on Ukraine as of May. 1
Since summer 2022, Russia has constructed some of the most extensive systems of military defensive works seen anywhere in the world for many decades. These defences are not just near the current front lines but have also been dug deep inside areas Russia currently controls.
Imagery shows that Russia has made a particular effort to fortify the northern border of occupied Crimea, including with a multi-layered defensive zone near the village of Medvedevka.
Russia has also dug hundreds of miles of trenches well inside internationally recognised Russian territory including in the Belgorod and Kursk regions.
The defences highlight Russian leaders’ deep concern that Ukraine could achieve a major breakthrough.
However, some works have likely been ordered by local commanders and civil leaders in attempts to promote the official narrative that Russia is ‘threatened’ by Ukraine and NATO.