Has the West's opinion of Ukraine's counteroffensive changed and what is being said about the UAF in the news?
In recent weeks, the UAF have made significant gains in certain areas of the frontline, particularly in Zaporizhzhia region and the Bakhmut sector. Find out how the West is reacting to the UAF' advance and whether there are any changes in the attitude of Ukraine's partners toward the counteroffensive
Recent weeks have brought a lot of good news from the frontline. In heavy fighting, the Ukrainian Armed Forces liberated a number of important settlements, including Robotyne, Urozhayne and Staromayorske, and, according to preliminary information, broke through the so-called Surovikin line in Zaporizhzhia region near the village of Verbove.
In addition, the General Staff of Ukraine reports some successes of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in eastern Ukraine and the hopeless situation of the occupiers in Bakhmut. Thus, according to Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar, russian troops can neither leave Bakhmut nor move freely around the city because Ukrainian soldiers control almost all the dominant heights in the area.
At the same time, it has recently become known that U.S. officials are trying to convince Ukraine to change its strategy and tactics of counteroffensive. And among the main theses of the US leaders is the refusal to liberate Bakhmut in the near future in order to concentrate a larger group on the Melitopol direction.
So, what do the West think about Ukraine's counteroffensive today and how has the attitude of Ukraine's partners to the strategy of warfare changed, given the new successes of the Armed Forces?
Report by the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW): a breakthrough in russian defense
On August 23, ISW analysts announced that Ukrainian troops had broken through the first line of russian defense and came close to the secondary lines of russian defense, which consist of anti-tank ditches and "dragon's teeth." Experts also note that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are making progress in the direction of Verbove, thereby expanding the wedge driven into the russian defense. These facts are confirmed by the General Staff of Ukraine.
At the same time, the Institute of War Studies believes that russia is trying to divert Ukraine's attention to the Kupyansk direction, but their loud attacks in the information space do not coincide with the real situation on the front. In fact, the russian federation does not know where to send its troops, because the existing grouping is not enough for a breakthrough offensive on Kupyansk.
In addition, according to analysts, the constant redeployment of elite russian airborne troops to different parts of the front indicates the degradation of russian forces, which will ultimately make it impossible to resume any large-scale offensive operations.
It is worth noting that ISW claims significant losses on the part of russia on the islands in the Dnipro Delta in Kherson region. These are losses caused by Ukrainian artillery fire. The General Staff and official Ukrainian representatives have not yet commented on these statements. At the same time, it is known that Ukrainian soldiers landed on the left bank of the Dnipro River and raised the Ukrainian flag over their home, but the details of the operation and the specific location of the landing have not been disclosed.
ISW Director's personal opinion on Ukraine's counteroffensive
According to Jack Keane, a retired US general and director of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), the United States should focus on helping Ukraine fight the war the way it wants to, rather than expressing dissatisfaction with the counteroffensive, which is ultimately military negligence on the part of US officers.
One of his main arguments is that the modern American army has not developed any large-scale mechanized operations against a serious and capable enemy that uses complex defense. According to him, the last such battle was fought at Metz in France in 1944, led by General George S. Patton. Therefore, the United States should not criticize Ukraine's strategy, let alone assess the pace of progress as slow.
What do Western leaders and officials say?
According to the Washington Post, citing its own sources in the U.S. government, despite "frustration with the pace of the Ukrainian counteroffensive," Washington aims to increase military assistance to Ukraine.
"There is growing support in Washington for providing, for example, cluster munitions for rocket artillery that can strike deeper than the simple artillery version that the United States began shipping last month," the article says.
In addition, the publication notes that the United States seems to have accepted the fact that the situation on the front will not change significantly until winter.
"U.S. officials believe that strategic patience remains the best weapon against russian president vladimir putin, who still believes he can hold out longer than Ukraine and the West," the article says.
At the same time, the US government's statements about the "wrong strategy" have also stirred up other US officials. In particular, retired U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove noted that air support, which Ukraine critically lacks, is the basis of any American military operations. Moreover, according to Breedlove, the United States has never even considered an offensive without airplanes and air superiority. Therefore, criticism of tactics and the statement of "Ukraine's failures" are unjustified by the American government.
It is also worth noting that the upcoming US elections have a significant impact on the prevailing mood in the West. Thus, a considerable number of representatives of the authorities of various Western countries speak with a "look to the future", suggesting the threat of a war freeze, as one of the candidates with an openly anti-Ukrainian position may come to power and block financial and military support for Ukraine.
Thus, the prevailing mood in the West remains largely stable, and it is not so much the slow progress of the Ukrainian Armed Forces that is shaking the situation as the general tension on the eve of the American elections. However, it is likely that the successes of the Ukrainian army at the front could change the minds of Western leaders and speed up the delivery of the promised weapons and equipment. And given Valeriy Zaluzhny's words that the Armed Forces are on the verge of a major breakthrough, we have the courage to hope for a dynamic development of events, and most importantly, the fall of russian defense in certain areas.
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Photo: GENYA SAVILOV/AFP via Getty Images
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