As fall weather arrives, observers are looking at the status of Ukraine’s three-pronged counteroffensive, which continues to move very slowly.
Ukrainian forces have yet to fully break through Russia’s defensive lines and fight to their target cities — Tokmak, Berdiansk, and Vasylivka. Their tempo is heavily limited by minefields, airstrikes, shortages of specialized equipment, troop exhaustion, and uncertain signals from Washington.
Many analysts are asking if the operation has already run its course. The ones who spoke to the Kyiv Independent believe the following.
It’s likely that Ukrainian advances, especially in the south, will remain very slow and localized for a time. Both sides’ attention will shift east, to Avdiivka, and to a lesser extent, Kupiansk, as Ukrainian assault brigades rest and await the tools they need.
A source in the military intelligence told the Kyiv Independent that Ukraine is especially waiting for the planes that Western allies have promised. “Because then it’s a totally different war,” said the source, granted anonymity to speak freely.
This absolutely does not mean that the southeastern grouping or the wider Ukrainian military are a spent force. They are still making progress near Robotyne in spite of all the things holding them back.
There are signs that Ukraine has reserves, but has to be very careful how it deploys them. [Continue reading…]