The outlet notes that the Ukrainians have to heed the advice of their Western allies, especially as “losses continue to mount and Russia continues to have an advantage in troops and equipment.”
Although Washington continues to support the Ukrainian counteroffensive, the lack of success by Kiev’s forces, as well as a misguided strategy, have led US officials to increasingly express the view that Ukraine’s progress on the battlefield may be too little. reports The New York Times.
According to US and other Western officials, the main objective of the Ukrainian counteroffensive is break the defenses of Russian forces in the Kherson and Zaporozhye provinces to cut the land route to the Crimean peninsulaas well as the supply lines.
However, they recognize that the counteroffensive in that direction has difficulties. According to him, kyiv’s allies disagree with your current tacticsince instead of focusing on the land route to the Crimea, the forces of the Ukrainian Army are distributed almost evenly between the eastern and southern fronts.
Thus, they urge the Ukrainian authorities to focus on taking the city of Melitopol, located in the province of Zaporozhye, instead of continuing their vain attempts to recapture the city of Artiomovsk (known as Bakhmut in Ukraine), located in the Donetsk People’s Republic and liberated by Russian forces at the end of May.
The desire of the Ukrainian president, Vladimir Zelensky, to recover that city stumps the americans, who believe that politics should take a backseat, at least temporarily, in favor of a well-planned military strategy, the newspaper notes. Furthermore, it indicates that even if Ukraine has enough forces to try to occupy Artiomovsk, this would only lead to a large number of losses in exchange for few strategic benefits.
In this context, it was revealed that during a recent videoconference conversation, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Armed Forces, General Mark Milley, with some of his counterparts, urged the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valeriy Zaluzhniy to focus on the southern front. For his part, according to two officers familiar with the call, Zaluzhniy agreed.
According to the NYT, US planners are advising kyiv to intensify its efforts to break through Russian minefields and other defenses, “even if the Ukrainians lose more soldiers and equipment in the process“.
Other reasons why the Ukrainian counteroffensive is doomed to fail
The American outlet also acknowledges that, almost three months into their widely heralded counter-offensive, the Ukrainians have to heed these calls from their Western backers, “especially since losses continue to mount and Russia continues to have an advantage in troops and equipment“. It is noted that even the most experienced units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces have been repeatedly reformed after suffering heavy losses.
Meanwhile, some analysts argue that the progress of Ukrainian troops on the battlefield may be too little due to the fact that hostilities are taking place on flat and difficult terrain, so Russian forces carry out attacks from concealed positions. On the other hand, it is indicated that sometimes, when the Ukrainians clear a mined area, hours later the Russians fire another rocket that disperses more mines in the same place.
Thus, according to the NYT, US officials maintain that kyiv has between one month and six weeks more before the weather conditions prevent him from advancing his counteroffensive.
Analysts, for their part, believe that the most important thing is that the main Ukrainian assault forces they may run out of staff in mid to late Septemberrecalling that the country’s authorities have already sent a second wave of troops to replace the first, which failed to break through the Russian defenses.
Even if the hostilities drag on for months, Western officials do not believe this Ukrainian counteroffensive has enough firepower to occupy most of the territory of the provinces that joined Russia last fall. At the same time, they hope that kyiv’s troops will reach halfway to the Azov Sea by winter, noting that this would be a “partial success”. Other analysts argue that the Ukrainians will not achieve even this more limited goal.