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27 Aug. 2023

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Why is the US emphasizing that Ukraine should change its counteroffensive strategy?

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Why is the US emphasizing that Ukraine should change its counteroffensive strategy?

U.S. officials are trying to convince Ukraine that the chosen strategy and tactics of the counteroffensive are wrong. Find out what the US position is on this issue and what Ukraine insists on

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According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), over the past few weeks, US and Ukrainian officials have been engaged in tense behind-the-scenes discussions about the strategy and tactics of the Ukrainian counteroffensive and certain decisions that should revive the de-occupation of the territories. American leaders are trying to convince Ukraine's military leadership of the need to use the tactics of generalized combat, which were taught to Ukrainian soldiers by Western partners and which began the Ukrainian Armed Forces' counteroffensive. And as it has become known, over the past few weeks, certain agreements have emerged between the parties and some changes have been made in Ukraine. However, Kyiv and Washington still have not agreed on actions that should turn the tide of the counteroffensive and accelerate the advance of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.


Why is the US calling for a change in strategy?


The main arguments of the American side are based on the fact that Ukraine has already received enough weapons and equipment for a successful large-scale counteroffensive. It is noted that the total amount of supplies has already passed the $43 billion mark, and in the coming years there will simply be no possibility of supplying such a large amount of equipment, as resources are exhausted.


In addition, the United States believes that Ukraine still has time to achieve a significant breakthrough in the south of the country before the onset of cold weather and should seize the chance to attack.


The second reason for concern in the United States is that Ukraine intends to liberate Bakhmut, and thus is "spreading its forces thin" instead of concentrating the main attack on the Melitopol direction. After all, the use of small groups to attack russian positions significantly slows down the offensive and gives the occupiers the opportunity to respond and resort to mortar attacks.


And despite the fact that the Ukrainian military leadership and Volodymyr Zelenskyy in particular consider the liberation of Bakhmut important for raising morale and creating a buffer zone in the east, Kyiv still made concessions and listened to American leaders, going on the defensive in some areas, in particular in the east of Zaporizhzhia region. It is noted that this allowed to reduce artillery expenditures and concentrate forces to break through the russian defense in the south.




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At the same time, some former US officials believe that the Pentagon's complaints and dissatisfaction with the slow pace of the Ukrainian Armed Forces' advance are inappropriate, as Ukraine does not have the main component of a rapid counteroffensive - air superiority.


"When the Americans use the tactics of a general offensive, they do so with air superiority," says General Philip Breedlove, who was NATO's Supreme Allied Commander in 2013-2016.

"Ukraine does not have this. And we also did not provide the Ukrainians with long-range artillery. So when all these talks about slowness without a common military tactic begin, we should first look in the mirror," he concludes.


Why doesn't Ukraine change its counteroffensive strategy?


Ukraine's command agrees that the window for a counteroffensive is still open this year, but it is not ready to radically change its plans and tactics. The main reason for this is that the current strategy allows the Ukrainian Armed Forces to maintain their combat potential for a much longer period of time and minimize Ukrainian losses. 

In addition, the dense mining of the territories does not allow for the use of general military tactics in most parts of the front without significant losses in manpower and equipment. And as you know, Ukraine considers its people to be its most important resource.


However, according to the WSJ, Valeriy Zaluzhnyi told his American partners that Ukrainian forces are on the verge of a breakthrough. It is worth noting that recently it became known that two strategically important settlements, the villages of Urozhayne and Robotyne, were liberated, which opens up new opportunities for Ukraine to advance in two directions. So, it is possible that the Ukrainian side is accumulating forces for a breakthrough attack in one of these areas. 


So, we are waiting for good news from the front and believe in the Armed Forces of Ukraine!


We remind you! National Flag Day and Independence Day have become significant for Ukraine and fatal for russia. Learn more about the most important events that have not only become symbolic for Ukrainians, but will inevitably affect the course of the war in our previous article.


Photo: Volodymyr Zelenskyy Telegram channel




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