The Washington Post does a piece on how the Russian’s use of mines and dug in fortifications (A’la WWI) has almost stopped the Ukraine in its tracks after they received American and other Western trading and combat equipment….
The growing reality is that Ukraine is NOT gonna be able to do much except pick off Russian target’s away from the battlefield and slowly make gains on the ground….
The conflict has turned into grinder of men and equipment …
American advice withstanding….
American Lawmakers s and American politics maybe pulling the plug out from Ukraine aid….
(Always in the background was a President Biden who had to be pushed by Ukraine President Zelensky to provide aid, equipment and training for Ukraine…Biden as we saw in Afghanistan, is NOT one to go all -in for foreign military conflict’s…
Key findings from reporting on the campaign include:
● Seventy percent of troops in one of the brigades leading the counteroffensive, and equipped with the newest Western weapons, entered battle with no combat experience.
● Ukraine’s setbacks on the battlefield led to rifts with the United States over how best to cut through deep Russian defenses.
● The commander of U.S. forces in Europe couldn’t get in touch with Ukraine’s top commander for weeks in the early part of the campaign amid tension over the American’s second-guessing of battlefield decisions.
● Each side blamed the other for mistakes or miscalculations. U.S. military officials concluded that Ukraine had fallen short in basic military tactics, including the use of ground reconnaissance to understand the density of minefields. Ukrainian officials said the Americans didn’t seem to comprehend how attack drones and other technology had transformed the battlefield.
● In all, Ukraine has retaken only about 200 square miles of territory, at a cost of thousands of dead and wounded and billions in Western military aid in 2023 alone.
Nearly six months after the counteroffensive began, the campaign has become a war of incremental gains. Damp World War I-style trenches lace eastern and southern Ukraine as surveillance and attack drones crowd the skies overhead. Moscow launches missile assaults on civilian targets in Ukrainian cities, while Kyiv is using both Western missiles and home-grown technology to strike far behind the front lines — in Moscow, in Crimea and on the Black Sea.
But the territorial lines of June 2023 have barely changed. And Russian President Vladimir Putin — in contrast to the silence he often maintained in the first year of the war — trumpets at every opportunity what he calls the counteroffensive’s failure. “As for the counteroffensive, which is allegedly stalling, it has failed completely,” Putin said in October.
The Ukrainians were insistent that the West simply wasn’t giving them the air power and other weapons needed for a combined arms strategy to succeed. “You want us to to proceed with the counteroffensive, you want us to show the brilliant advances on the front line,” said Olha Stefanishyna, deputy prime minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine. “But we do not have the fighter jets, meaning that you want us to throw our soldiers, you know, and accept the very fact that we cannot protect them.”
When allies said no, she said, “we heard … ‘We are fine that your soldiers will be dying without support from the sky.’”
In an August video conference, soon followed by an in-person meeting near the Poland-Ukraine border, U.S. military officials pressed their case. They said they understood the logic of preoccupying Russian forces at different points on the front, but argued that deep advances would not come unless the Ukrainians massed more forces at a single point to move quickly and decisively….
While useful, Ukrainian officials said, neither the ATACMS launchers nor the cluster weapons have broken the battlefield deadlock.
Nor have other strategies. Throughout the counteroffensive, Ukraine has continued striking far behind enemy lines in an effort to weaken Russian forces and sow panic within Russian society. Kyiv isn’t permitted to use Western weapons for strikes on Russia, so a fleet of homegrown drones have been used instead. Some have been able to reach targets in Moscow, while others have damaged Russian oil depots along the Black Sea. Naval drones have also successfully hit ships in Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.
Ukraine has recently gained ground in the southern Kherson region, establishing troop positions on the eastern bank of the Dneiper River, but it’s unclear how much weaponry — artillery especially — has been moved across the river to threaten Russian supply lines stemming from Crimea.
Ukraine has stopped asking for more tanks and fighting vehicles, despite intensely lobbying for them throughout the first year of the war.
“A lot of the weapons,” a high-ranking Ukrainian military official said, “they were relevant last year.”…
Then in mid-October, the Russians tried just that in a fierce assault on the eastern Ukrainian town of Avdiivka, which sits in a geographically strategic pocket close to the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk. Now it was the Russians on the offensive, with four brigades moving in columns of tanks and personnel carriers, and descending on one narrow strip of the front.
Engineering vehicles with mine sweepers led the charge. It was exactly how the Ukrainians had started their counteroffensive. And similarly, the Russians suffered severe losses — Ukrainian officials claimed that more than 4,000 Russian troops were killed in the first three weeks of the assault — before switching to a dismounted approach, just as the Ukrainians had done….
On Nov. 1, in an interview with the Economist, Zaluzhny acknowledged what had been previously unutterable — the war had reached “a stalemate.”
“There will most likely, he said, “be no deep and beautiful breakthrough.”….