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What it will take for Ukraine to consider its

Time to Read: 4 minute
What it will take for Ukraine to consider its
What it will take for Ukraine to consider its
Khushbu Kumari

Meta Description What Ukraine has carried out so far are reconnaissance strikes, designed to reveal the whereabouts of Russian artillery and search for vulnerable areas. But what would be considered an achievement?

“Don't call it a counteroffensive,” say the Ukrainians. “This is our offensive. Our chance to finally drive the Russian army off our land”.

Okay, but what does it take to be successful?

First of all, let's not get distracted by Ukraine's recent territorial gains - hard-fought but minuscule - reclaiming obscure half-abandoned towns in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Zaporizhia.

After months of stalemate, the images of victorious Ukrainian soldiers, with visible signs of having been in battle, waving their country's blue and yellow flag in front of a bullet-riddled building is a welcome boost to morale for Ukrainians but, from a strategic point of view, it is a sideshow.

Thus, it would cut off Russian troops in the west and make it more difficult for their garrison to resupply in Crimea.

It does not necessarily mean the end of the war - which some are now predicting could drag on for years - but it would put Ukraine in a strong bargaining position when the inevitable peace talks finally take place.

But the Russians looked at the map long ago and came to the same conclusion.

Russia's response

While Ukraine sent its soldiers to NATO countries for training and prepared its 12 armored brigades for this summer campaign, Moscow was spending that time building what is now called “the most formidable defensive fortifications in the world”.

Blocking Ukraine's way to the coast - its own coast, let's not forget - are layer upon layer of Russian minefields, tank-blocking concrete bunkers (known as “; dragon's teeth”), firing positions, and trenches wide and deep enough to stop a Leopard or Abrams tank in its tracks.

All of this is covered by predetermined artillery hit zones calibrated to rain high explosives down on the Ukrainian armored vehicles while they and their crews wait for their engineers to find a way through.

Early signs point to - although this campaign is just beginning - that the Russian defenses are holding.

Ukraine has not yet committed the bulk of its forces, so these are probing and reconnaissance attacks, designed to reveal the whereabouts of Russian artillery and look for vulnerable areas in their lines.

In Ukraine's favor is moral. Its soldiers are highly motivated and are fighting to free their own country from an invader.

Most Russian troops do not share that motivation, and in many cases, their training, equipment, and leadership are inferior to Ukraine's.

The General Staff in Kyiv hopes that if they make a breakthrough enough, the collapse in Russian morale will catch on and spread across the entire battlefront as demoralized Russian troops lose the will to fight.

The quality of weapons provided by NATO countries also plays in Ukraine's favor.

, Unlike Soviet-designed armored vehicles, NATO tanks and infantry fighting vehicles can often withstand a direct hit, or at least enough to protect the crew inside who survive to go on fighting.

But will it be enough to counter Russian artillery force and drone strikes?

Russia, as a much larger country, may have more resources than Ukraine.

President Vladimir Putin, who started this war in the first place, knows that if he can bring the Ukrainians to a stalemate that lasts into next year, there is a chance that the United States and other allies will tire of supporting this costly war effort and start pressing Kyiv for a ceasefire compromise.

Finally, there's the matter of air cover or lack thereof. Attacking a well-entrenched enemy without sufficient close air support is very risky.

Ukraine knows, The United States, which manufactures them, did not give the green light until the end of May, by which time the first preparatory phase of the Ukrainian offensive was already underway.

For Ukraine, the F-16s may arrive on the battlefield too late to play a key role in the early phases of the counter-offensive.

This is not to say that the Ukrainians will lose.

Time and time again they have proven themselves agile, resourceful, and inventive. They managed to drive the Russian army out of Kherson by attacking its rear logistics centers to the point that the Russians could no longer supply their troops in that southern city.

Equipped with long-range weapons such as the British Storm Shadow cruise missile, Ukraine will attempt to do the same now.

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