After launching a counteroffensive in June 2023, Ukraine changed its tactics, and now focuses on suppressing the enemy with artillery, electronic warfare, and UAVs.
“We no longer plan operations that involve heavy casualties. The emphasis is now on suppressing the enemy: artillery, drones, electronic warfare, and so on.”Ukrainian General Staff
The Western publication writes that Ukraine has received only 60 Leopard tanks, despite promises of hundreds.
What the Ukrainian military lacks
At present, there is a catastrophic shortage of demining vehicles. Another problem is the lack of air cover, which makes it difficult for the Ukrainian Armed Forces to break through Russian minefields and defence lines.
For this reason, Ukraine’s military leadership postponed the counteroffensive as long as it could.
Since the beginning of the counteroffensive Ukraine has prioritised the preservation of the army. The media reported that two brigades trained in the West lost many men and equipment in minefields. The original plans were then adjusted.
Progress of the counteroffensive
The Ukrainian Armed Forces have made important progress on the southern front and may have broken through enough minefields to reach the first of three Russian defence lines, but two and a half months later, Ukraine is still far from achieving its strategic goal of approaching the Sea of Azov and cutting off Russia’s land corridor to Crimea.
According to military expert Roman Svitan, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have returned to tactics where combat missions are carried out by small tactical groups under the cover of equipment and weapons.
Counteroffensive won’t mean end of war with Russia
According to experts, the war with Russia will not end with a single counter-offensive by the Ukrainian military.
Now the fighting may be for a single village and the Ukrainian Forces may suffer losses. Therefore, sometimes the military and political leadership has to decide whether it is appropriate to use reserves for an offensive operation.
It is also important to understand, as emphasised, that Russia is preparing for a war of attrition. Therefore, Ukraine must develop its strategy in response to Russian actions.
Ukraine needs to prepare reserves, change approaches to the use of resources and combat operations. The world has to understand that there will be no quick victory.
Russia has more powerful capabilities in the economy and the military-industrial complex. The same goes for human resources. Therefore, it may be better to stretch out the liberation of our territories over time, but to save the lives of our military.
West’s view regarding Ukraine’s counteroffensive
The New York Times writes that Western partners are concerned that the Ukrainian Armed Forces have returned to old tactics. After all, they say, it requires rapid consumption of ammunition.
The Washington Post believes that there are “no signs of a significant breakthrough on the frontline”. They say the main line of defence of the Russian occupiers is still ahead.
The journalists note that Ukrainian defenders want to advance to the south and interrupt the Russian land corridor to Crimea.
British intelligence has suggested that the rapid counteroffensive of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is hampered by the vegetation growing in Ukrainian fields. The overgrowth helps the Russians disguise their defensive positions and makes it difficult to clear minefields.