Michael Gofman argues that, although the achievements of the Ukrainian armed forces are not great, The counterattack is not over yet. There are still a few “interesting” weeks before the so-called Autumn Rasputitsa – the time of the year when, due to precipitation, dirt roads are impassable or very difficult. This term is used in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. This time, he has a huge impact on the course of the fight Weather.
There are reports on Russian-backed Telegram accounts that the Ukrainian military is conserving its strength for another attack on Dokmok and possibly crossing the Dnieper. In fact, it can be very dangerous. It is not certain that the Ukrainian armed forces will actually take such steps. However, perhaps this is an attempt to stretch Russian positions.
During the counteroffensive, Ukraine was unable to liberate very large areas. However, the success of an operation is not measured by points on the graph alone. For example, the offensive side usually suffers more casualties than the defensive side. In this sense, the Ukrainian operation is considered very successful – Over the months of the counteroffensive, Russia lost less equipment and people.
Although she failed to achieve the goals she set for herself, we should not talk about the pointlessness of the counterattack. If this is indeed the case, Russia may use it to rally and advance deeper into Ukraine.
A well-made defense
For the past week, the Russian military has been trying to advance Local attack in Avdivka. But this attack shows the same The Kremlin’s military is currently incapable of carrying out such operations.
Russia lost a significant amount of military equipment in the battle for the city, and has so far achieved only isolated, localized victories. If the Russian military focuses on Avdiivka, it may become the second Bachmood. Military operations may then stall for months and turn into war.
The battles for Avdivka showed how difficult it is to conduct operations against a well-prepared defence. The Ukrainians have been building a defensive line there since 2014. If the Ukrainian military had followed American advice, the summer offensive by the Ukrainian armed forces might have looked similar: they accepted heavy losses in equipment and people and tried to break through Russian defenses. At all costs. The effect is probably similar.
Training of Ukrainian soldiers. October 13, 2023
However, the Russian military certainly knows how to adapt and learn from its mistakes. Avdivka’s functions remind A well-coordinated operation from the first weeks of the war rather than the failed winter offensives.
Either way, Russia will need it Another wave of mobilization – at least several lakhs of exhausted soldiers waiting for the cycle.
At the same time Ukraine received an older version of its Dream missiles from its allies. The latest ATACMS is 300 km. Kiev received a variant of this weapon with a range of 165 km. These missiles are designed to destroy troops and equipment in open terrain. It has already proven its effectiveness – they have already targeted Russian K-52 and Mi-28 helicopters stationed in the Luhansk region, which have been causing many problems for Ukrainian forces in recent months.
Although the discussions about the materials had been going on for a long time, the Russian army did not have time to prepare them. He still follows the pattern of responding to threats only after they occur.
However, it is unlikely that ATACM will seriously affect the course of combat operations. Their operation would have been more effective if the US had supplied missiles to Ukraine half a year agoAt the start of the Ukrainian counteroffensive.
After all, the war in Ukraine was called the Artillery War. In 2022, the sides did not fire any missiles – for example, Moscow’s forces fired about eight million of them. In 2023, warehouses in both Russia and Ukraine begin to run empty.
Quantity, not quality
Russian forces, short of ammunition for the past few months, have used artillery sparingly. After Russia sought North Korea’s help.
The quality of ammunition produced by North Korea is worse than that of the West, but quantity, not quality, matters in this war. Also, Russia buys munitions from Iran and invests money in other countries to increase production capacity there. Domestic production is also increasing. Although the first results are already visible, this is not enough to cover the entire need for ammunition. A significant increase in production can be expected only in 2024.
The situation in Ukraine is very difficult. In March 2023, European countries agreed to supply Kiev with one million artillery shells. This will be enough to maintain the military balance next year, but Ukraine will need more resources to launch another offensive.
However, taking into account the increased production rate in Russia and supply from North Korea, it can be considered Ukraine will not have a decisive advantage in 2024. To get it, the country needs More products from partners. However, the political climate ahead of the US elections is shaping up to significantly reduce enthusiasm for supporting Ukraine.
The West is also guilty
Ammunition shortages also force Russian generals to change their strategy. As a result, Russian forces are more likely to rely on precision-guided munitions than large numbers of missiles. This could become a problem for Ukraine next year.
Russia is stockpiling missiles. in connection with We can expect another one A massive attack on Ukraine’s infrastructure, As happened last winter. In this case, the importance of air defense will increase significantly. While Kiev is well protected, the rest of the country – including the south – is not.
The situation is negatively affected by the narrative spread in the West that Russia can no longer win the war or will soon run out of money. Next year, Moscow will spend more on defense and national security than at any time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. This does not mean that Russia can achieve a decisive victory, but It’s too soon for the rest of the world to cut off aid to Ukraine.
The slow pace of the US and European countries significantly reduces Ukraine’s ability to win this war.
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