Russia starts reinforcing 'third line' of defenses in south

Russian forces have started to strengthen the "third line" of defense in Russian-occupied territories of Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Ivan Fedorov, the exiled mayor of Melitopol, said on Telegram on Sept. 13.

Ukraine is on the offensive on the southern front towards Melitopol, which was captured by Russian forces shortly after the start of the war.

Russian forces have begun to reinforce the 'deep rear' of their defenses on the southern front line, even as they claim Ukraine's counteroffensive has already failed, Fedorov said.

These measures include new trenches around Polohy, currently around 15 kilometers from the front line, as well as anti-tank obstacles and roadblocks in villages near Tokmak.

Tokmak is over 20 kilometers to the southwest of Robotyne, a settlement in Zaporizhzhia Oblast that Ukraine confirmed was liberated at the end of August.

Fedorov reported that the Russian military is bringing ex-prisoners to hold the front line around Robotyne, which was a strong point on the first main defensive belt the Russian forces had constructed.

Ukrainian forces have retaken 4.8 square kilometers of land from Russian troops on the southern front over the past week, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said on Sept. 11.

In total, Ukrainian forces have retaken 256.5 square kilometers of land on the southern front, which covers Zaporizhzhia Oblast and a part of Donetsk Oblast, since the start of the full-scale invasion, Maliar reported.

Baltic countries ban entry for Russian registered vehicles

Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia have banned entry to their respective countries for vehicles registered in Russia after a recommendation by the European Commission.

Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna said on Sept. 13 that Tallinn is joining the measure announced by Latvia and Lithuania a day prior.

"Starting today... Estonia will deny entry to all Russian registered vehicles," Tsahkna wrote on the social platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

"They are not welcome here to enjoy (the) privileges freedom has to offer until Ukraine has achieved victory."

The European Commission issued a document on Sept. 8 clarifying the guidelines of the sanctions imposed against Russia over its aggression against Ukraine.

The document said that, if Russian citizens enter the European Union in their own vehicles, it will be considered an illegal import and their cars can be confiscated regardless of the purpose or period of the expected stay.

Cosmetics, suitcases, appliances, leather and fur products, semi-precious and precious stones, and cameras can also be seized from Russian citizens upon entry.

The tensions on the borders of the Baltic countries with Russia and Belarus have been mounting due to Moscow's aggression against Ukraine, a migrant crisis orchestrated by Minsk, and the presence of the Russian Wagner mercenary group in Belarus.

Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland said earlier that they are ready to fully close their borders with the two countries if a "critical situation" occurs, fearing an escalating migration crisis and the Wagner Group's activity.

Drone attack on Odesa damages port facilities injures 6

Russia launched an overnight drone attack on the Izmail region of Odesa, injuring 6 civilians and damaging port and other civil infrastructure, Oblast Governor Oleh Kiper reported via Telegram.

Out of the six civilians injured, three are in serious condition. Further information is not yet available.

Ukrainian Air Force reported earlier tonight that Russian drones were spotted heading towards Odesa.