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27 Nov. 2023

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Is Ukraine's summer counteroffensive over and whose side will have the initiative in the winter?

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Is Ukraine's summer counteroffensive over and whose side will have the initiative in the winter?

Although the situation on the frontline has not changed strategically for either side, it is dynamic and does not slow down. Learn more about the results of the summer and fall campaign of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and further prospects and opportunities for a breakthrough as seen in the world

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Most international experts emphasize that the summer and autumn campaign of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is over, and neither Ukraine nor russia will be able to achieve a major breakthrough on the front in the near future. At the same time, the Ukrainian government does not make any announcements about the end of the offensive and does not comment on the events at the front.


Is the Ukrainian Armed Forces' counteroffensive really over and what are the results and prospects of this campaign now?


Is the counteroffensive over?


Despite the lack of strategic changes and large-scale breakthroughs, the situation at the front is dynamic. At the same time, none of the experts call it a stalemate. russian occupation forces are trying to advance in the east, including near Avdiivka, and Ukrainian troops are gradually expanding their bridgehead near Robotyne and gaining ground on the left bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson region.


At the same time, neither side has the resources for a large-scale breakthrough, and as confirmed by the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Valeriy Zaluzhny, the situation on the front is approaching positional combat. However, positional warfare does not mean that the conflict will be frozen and the parties will remain in their current positions. Moreover, all narratives that Ukraine is surrendering are not true.


There has been no official announcement of the end of the summer and fall campaign, and Ukrainian forces are currently continuing their offensive in certain areas of the front. However, the complexity of these operations, given the defense resources of the russian federation, can hardly be overestimated.


Results of Ukraine's summer and fall campaign


The fighting near Bakhmut and the liberation of a number of settlements in the East, a wedge in the russian defense in Zaporizhzhia region and several bridgeheads on the left bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson region are not all the successes of the Armed Forces during the counteroffensive, because despite the fact that operations at sea and in Crimea were not covered much in the world media, Ukraine has made considerable progress there.


For example, the capture of Boyko's towers alone was a highly complex operation that had never been done before. Moreover, several successfully destroyed state-of-the-art C-400 air defense systems, the destruction of the Black Sea Fleet headquarters, the blowing up of a submarine and several russian frigates, and most importantly, forcing russia to withdraw the Black Sea Fleet from its main base in Crimea are very important results that have dramatically changed the situation and the balance of power in the Black Sea. After all, Ukraine, with almost no ships and aircraft, not only forced russia to retreat at sea, but also proved that russian air defense, consisting of state-of-the-art systems, is powerless against Ukrainian attacks.




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What can turn the tide of the war in Ukraine?


According to Western experts and analysts, modern technologies, and in particular FPV drones, are currently playing a decisive role in this war. And their large-scale production for Ukraine may indeed be a turning point in this war.


 In addition, in order to gain an advantage, it is necessary to establish supplies and own production of shells and ammunition for artillery, because Ukraine currently has a significant deficit, and russian artillery has an advantage at the front. 


It is also important to say that russia has much more reserves and capabilities to develop electronic warfare technologies, and therefore it is critical for Ukraine to develop this area. And now, Ukrainians are trying to turn the tide in their favor with modern approaches that russia does not use, relying on Soviet approaches. The New York Times noted that Ukraine is trying to overcome the age-old technologies of the russian federation with a startup approach.


Whose side will take the initiative this winter?


It would be a mistake to assume that the battles will be frozen with the arrival of cold weather. The fact that Ukraine has already fought in winter, both during the full-scale invasion of Vuhledar and Bakhmut and in 2014-2015 in the east of the country, particularly near Donetsk airport and Debaltseve, is proof of this.


At the same time, experts believe that we should not expect any strategic changes on the frontline, as winter is still a deterrent for both sides. Therefore, the parties are likely to continue limited offensive operations to gain tactical advantage and initiative.


At the same time, it is extremely important for Ukraine to get new results in the winter and spring of 2024, because, first of all, a successful campaign can affect military support from the West, and in particular the United States, where elections will be held. And the support of the White House is known to be crucial for Ukraine.


We remind you! Western air defense systems have turned Kyiv into a surprisingly safe city despite the ongoing war in Ukraine. Read what air defense systems protect the capital and what other Ukrainian cities are safe for Ukrainians and foreigners in our previous article.


Photo: defence-ua.com


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