/ANALYSIS/ The Ukrainian offensive was able to push the Russians no more than twenty kilometers from the previous front lines. In some sections, the Russians even managed to advance at the cost of heavy losses. What is happening in Ukraine now? We present three essential questions and their answers.
Ukrainian soldiers during the counter-offensive in the Zaporozhye region
| Photo: Profimedia/Gian Marco Benedetto/Anadolu Agency/abacapress.com
1. Can the offensive of the Ukrainian army be called a defeat, or can it still lead to the collapse of the Russian defense?
The Ukrainian offensive cannot yet be called a success, if it can be called an offensive at all. In the most important direction to the coast of the Sea of Azov the Ukrainians advanced only by about twenty kilometers, and that’s even on a relatively narrow section of the front, which they haven’t been able to expand yet. It is similar in Bachmut or on the left bank of the Dnieper. In both cases, it is about local achievementsbut if we do not take a magnifying glass to the map of Ukraine, they will be difficult to identify.
According to military experts, this is still the first stage of testing the adversary’s forces. The Ukrainian offensive has not yet reached the second, which would allow the deployment of new mechanized divisions armed with Western tanks. However, this still does not rule out some surprising rapid development, even this year. But even Western analysts admit that the Russian army is doing better in defense.
According to experts, a stalemate awaits the war in Ukraine. The decisive phase is here
2. Does Russia produce enough weapons to supply the front, and is it better off than Ukraine, which has to rely mainly on Western arms supplies?
The Russian defense industry is benefiting from the fact that it was already on a decent trajectory before by war. Even before the war, Russia spent 4.4 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on defense, significantly more than most NATO members. In addition, many weapons were exported. Now, according to Radio Free Europe, they are even building new weapons factories.
On the contrary, European NATO members had minimal defense budgets before the war, often only a percentage of GDP, very low arms orders, and thus very small production capacities. This is changing very slowly. Ukraine, whose arms production is complicated by missile attacks, cannot compete with Russian arms production. Chief of the Ukrainian General Staff Valery Zaluzhny admits that even with everyone previous deliveries the situation at the front is balanced and the Ukrainians do not have the upper hand.
3. What can change about today’s situation on the Ukrainian-Russian front? Is time playing more for Russia or for Ukraine?
Time is running out for a greater Russia. Massive supplies of the most modern Western weapons to Ukraine could change the situation. F-16 fighters, state-of-the-art tanks, long-range missiles. Some guns The West does not supply Ukraine on purpose so that Kiev cannot use them to attack Moscow. Others simply do not produce enough. Even the West needs new weapons.
But the Russians are obviously enough for the current army of Ukraine with their quantity and quality. “The most important is the air force. Air control is necessary for large-scale ground operations,” urges Západ Zaluzhny.