Russian troops defending the front lines against the Ukrainian advance are discovering a lurking danger that threatens to make their positions more precarious.

“The enemy is remotely undermining our rear, ammunition supply routes and reserves,” Alexander Sladkov, a leading pro-Russian military blogger, wrote in a Telegram post on Thursday.

Sladkov wrote that Ukrainian forces were firing the Remote Anti-Armor Mine System, a US-made artillery shell that lays anti-tank mines by dropping them over the front line. The United States has sent Ukraine more than 10,000 of these shells along with 155mm howitzers that can fire them at a range of nearly 11 miles.

The mine-laying artillery shell is designed to force desperate decisions. Vehicles must traverse a mine-strewn path to deliver fresh troops, ammunition, fuel, and food to frontline positions. It can also be used to set traps along the escape routes of frontline forces.

Depending on the variant, the mines self-destruct at certain times: some in less than 24 hours and others more than a day later. Sladkov claimed that these munitions, which Ukraine first used in December, could be countered or defeated.

“These mines self-destruct after 4 hours, the M73 variant after 48 hours,” he wrote. “Reconnaissance engineers (sappers who check routes) can easily deal with them.” It is debatable whether it is as easy as this pro-Russian voice argues because this community tends to downplay threats while exaggerating Russian capabilities.

The dangers for Russia are multiplying, and the Ukrainian counteroffensive appears to be underway. Kyiv forces are attacking Russian positions with Western-made tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, artillery and other weapons systems that could force them to retreat along roads that may be mined.

sam Fellman