Ukraine’s counteroffensive is making substantial progress. Russia knows this, even if the West doesn’t

By | August 27, 2023

Jan Kallberg writes:

The bleakness of the Western commentariat’s recent output is striking — Ukraine’s counteroffensive has made little progress, they say. Major US news outlets cite intelligence agencies opining that things are “grim” and that hopes are fading that Ukraine can reach its (supposed) objective of Melitopol, more than 50 miles away.

This is simply wrong. Intelligence analysts may look at the map of Southern Ukraine and see distances; military planners will apply the military math and see something very different. They know that to crush the Russian army and strangle the troops in frontline fortifications, they don’t need to advance 50 miles. 10 miles will do it.

Why? Because although it would be great if Ukrainian troops broke through to the shores of the Sea of Azov, they do not have to. Instead, they can achieve a significant operational outcome by bringing Russia’s ground line of communication (GLOC) under their guns.

On or around August 22, Ukraine’s troops liberated the village of Robotyne, some 90km (around 55 miles) from the Sea of Azov, a major accomplishment given the enormous efforts of the Russian invaders to fortify and hold it.

From here, the Ukrainians need to advance by a further 10–15 km (7–10 miles), in order to range their guns on Russia’s east-west transport routes that are critical to the ability of its army and armed forces to fight. If Ukraine can interdict these road and rail links, it’s very hard to see how the Russian army can continue to fight. [Continue reading…]

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