The counteroffensive is coming

The counteroffensive is coming

Ukraine hopes that its counter-offensive will end this stalemate. Western allies have provided billions of dollars worth of equipment to the Ukrainian military and trained their troops at camps in Germany in recent months. Troops learned a technique known as combined arms warfare, in which different parts of the military work together to seize territory. Tanks pierce enemy lines by rolling over trenches, for example, and the infantry then fan out to hold the area.

“The counter-offensive will probably start in several places, perhaps in the south and east,” said Julian. “Some of them will be feints. Some will be part of the main efforts.”

Ukraine still has fewer troops and less equipment than Russia, but so far Ukraine’s military has proven more effective – with better morale, smarter tactics and more advanced Western weapons – than Russia’s. The counter-offensive is effectively a gamble that Ukraine can use these advantages not just to repel Russia, but to retake large territories.

As Thomas Gibbons-Neff, a Ukraine correspondent, said: “If Ukraine succeeds in cutting the land bridge, Russian troops will be under greater pressure and, more importantly, Ukraine will be in a better position to attack further east and south. , towards Crimea. .”

Most experts don’t believe Ukraine will take back Crimea anytime soon – or that this war will end with Crimea back under Ukrainian control. Still, Ukraine does not need this result for the counter-offensive to be a success. Any major progress could make Putin and his advisers fear that a long war would bring more losses and eventually put Crimea at risk. “Russian people care about Crimea,” said my colleague Helene Cooper. Before the Soviet era, the region was part of Russia for decades.

In the favorable scenario for Ukraine, a peace deal in which Russia is expelled from everywhere except Crimea and parts of the Donbass region would become plausible. On the other hand, a failed counter-offensive and an unbroken land bridge would provide Putin with a major psychological victory and a base from which to launch future attacks.

An important factor is that Ukraine now has enough weapons for just one big attack. If the Ukrainians haven’t progressed by autumn, when cooler, wetter weather makes fighting more difficult, the Russian land bridge might start to look impregnable.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *