In Ukraine, going to war with Russia is like staying afloat with a 25-pound life preserver. It takes all your energy to stay afloat, leaving almost nothing left to swim to shore. And reaching the shore means winning. It’s about pushing back the Kremlin troops completely and retaking their territory. Today, Although support from the United States and other Western countries remains, confidence that this is the outcome seems to be waning.
According to a group of senior US officials, the problem lies in military strategy in the south of the country. Ukraine’s counteroffensive is struggling to break through Russian defenses, largely due to inadequate troop deploymentsaccording to this group of officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to The New York Times newspaper.
Military experts question the use in particular. It is linked to Ukraine’s desire to cut Russian supply lines in the south of the country, thereby severing the so-called “land bridge” between Russia and the Crimean Peninsula, which has been occupied by the Kremlin since 2014. Instead of focusing on that, however, Ukraine’s commanders have split their forces evenly between East and South, which US critics say is undermining their ability to achieve their goal.
The result of all of this is this Other Ukrainian troops are stationed near towns to the east, like Bakhmut, instead of being near Melitopol and Berdyansk in the south, strategically more important fronts. Secretly, Ukraine seems to have been advised to concentrate its efforts on the front towards Melitopol, Kiev’s top priority, and to break through the Russian defenses, even if this means more casualties and losses of equipment. The warning insists that Ukrainians are widely dispersed and need to consolidate their military might in one place. Already during a video conference in August, senior US and British military officials urged Ukraine’s military commander, General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, to focus on a single main front, and it appears that this advice is only now being heeded.
Despite some progress in the south Some military analysts believe that progress may be insufficient and that the fighting is taking place on unfavorable ground for Ukrainians. The Russian defenses are well hidden and Ukrainian soldiers often do not discover them until they are very close, the sources say. Weather conditions and terrain can also play a role, as rain could force a halt to the counteroffensive in a month or six weeks.
Another concern is that Ukraine’s main attack forces could run out of power in mid to late September. Despite some changes in tactics, such as using artillery and long-range missiles instead of going under fire into minefields, Ukrainian forces may lack the firepower to retake much of Russian-held territory.
But the warnings are not there yet the harbinger of a disastrous scenario for Ukraine. Despite the challenges, US officials do not see the counteroffensive as doomed and believe the Ukrainians have time to systematically seize the territory, especially before winter.
However, these doubts could also find echoes in politics. This week President Volodymyr Zelenskyy again appealed to NATO to pressure his country to join “before the end of the war,” he said. As the saying goes, you have to ask for the impossible in order for your prayer to at least be answered. The proposal will not be successful for the time being, especially since it would force the West to become more directly involved in the conflict. But everyone agrees that it is Zelenski’s responsibility to demand the impossible.
Meanwhile, the United States continues to rhetorically support Ukraine. The country has just announced that it will provide Kiev with a new $250 million military aid package that includes a large amount of ammunition. According to the White House press secretary, the aid includes AIM-9M air defense missiles, mine detection systems and Javelin missiles. In addition, Washington announced that it would send a large quantity of ammunition for various types of weapons, such as the Himar missile system, 155 and 105 mm artillery ammunition, and three million bullets.
Washington has been more than generous, within political constraints, on the role the country should play in Ukraine. About $63 billion has flowed to Kyiv since the invasion began, including more than $43 billion in military aid. The problem lies in the duration of this generosity. Although the Joe Biden administration has said it will support Ukrainians for as long as necessary, European officials have said they fear the 2024 presidential campaign could force the Democrat to end negotiations with Zelenskyy on an end to the conflict To enforce in a way that is not so beneficial , in the absence of any significant progress, by next September.