Fri. Sep 22nd, 2023

At the start of their counter-offensive two weeks ago, Ukrainian forces recaptured several villages from the Russian occupiers. But now it seems to have come to a stand still.

The Ukrainian army has gained confidence by resisting. It is now entering a phase of doubt. A few kilometers gained, Russian defenses not sufficiently weakened, minefields too, mean that Volodymyr Zelensky’s army is coming up against the enemy’s front line. In an interview with the BBC on Wednesday June 21, the Ukrainian President admitted that progress in the counter-offensive launched a fortnight ago was “slower than desired”.

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“Unfortunately, while we were preparing for this counter-offensive, the Russians were also preparing. There are so many minefields that it is slowing down the advance of our troops,” explained Prime Minister Denys Chmygal. Over the past two weeks, it has not been possible to determine where the weakness lies.

This counter-offensive may yet be a success
But General Michel Goya, military analyst and author of the blog La Voie de l’épée (The Way of the Sword) assures us that the Ukrainians have – as yet – no need to hurry. “The Ukrainians have the summer to succeed, to achieve at least one major victory”. According to him, “a great victory means at least going as far as Melitopol, planting the flag on something very important”.

General Goya believes that “things aren’t necessarily linear”: “You can put pressure on and then things can actually break down somewhere, create a breach, and in that case, things can speed up.

However, this slow-moving counter-offensive is not representative of Ukraine’s capabilities. Not all forces have yet joined the battle. And several options are still being considered to write the scenario for a major offensive.

By admin