Ukrainian tanks are being wiped out by Russian minefields. The country needs its own 'Manhattan Project' to figure out how to clear them, a retired general told the NYT.

  • Ukrainian soldiers are struggling against vast Russian minefields.

  • The country relies on US-provided technology that isn't advanced enough to clear paths effectively.

  • The Ukrainian military might need to create its own solutions, a retired army general told the Times.

If Ukraine wants to overcome its pernicious minefield problems, it needs to start getting serious about solutions to mine clearing, a retired army general told The New York Times.

Last week, the Washington Post reported that vast Russian minefields had weakened Ukraine's counteroffensive strategy, forcing troops to abandon tanks and infantry fighting vehicles provided by Western governments and advance on foot. This has caused troops to move at a slower pace, killing troops and morale in the process.

"You can no longer do anything with just a tank with some armor because the minefield is too deep, and sooner or later, it will stop, and then it will be destroyed by concentrated fire," Ukraine's Commander in Chief General Valery Zaluzhny told the Post.

Mick Ryan, a retired Australian army major general and fellow at the Lowy Institute, told the Times that mine-clearing technology in military warfare is not as advanced as what Ukraine needs to push past Russia's defenses.

Ukraine uses the US-provided M58 Mine Clearing Line Charge (MICLIC) systems, which Zaluzhny told the Post "are also being destroyed," per the Post.

Ryan suggested that the country take up the cause itself and create more advanced weaponry to aid in their push to take back land occupied by Russian forces.

"Ukraine needs a Manhattan Project for mine clearing," Ryan told the Times, referring to the US project to build the world's first atomic bomb during World War 2.

Beyond the minefields, the two-month offensive to take back territories claimed by Russia has become a significant challenge for Ukrainian troops dealing with heavily fortified defenses from their opponents. Reports say Ukraine has shifted its focus to artillery bombardment rather than pushing through the line. 

George Barros, the geospatial-intelligence team lead and a Russia analyst at the Institute for the Study of War, told Insider's Chris Panella that Russia built up its defensive lines. At the same time, Ukrainian troops waited for weapons from the West.

The Ukraine Ministry of Defense did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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