Arms race in eastern Ukraine

Avatar of Nick John By Nick John Dec19,2023 #Arms #eastern #Ukraine
Arms race in eastern Ukraine 4
Arms race in eastern Ukraine 4

After more than a month of shifting its focus to eastern Ukraine, Russia has gradually made some progress against an opponent that is increasingly lacking weapons and equipment.

Meanwhile, the US and its allies are also racing against time to provide huge amounts of weapons to Ukraine, which they desperately need at this time if they want to hold back Russian forces.

Both sides are fighting fiercely, suffering huge casualties, and the battle in eastern Ukraine is becoming a fierce race, with the milestone being the moment Western heavy weapons reach the hands of the forces.

According to analysts as well as US and Western officials, if Ukrainian units in the east can hold out until these aid weapons arrive, they will likely be able to reverse the situation on the battlefield.

Tanks and armor of pro-Russian separatist forces move on the streets of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine in mid-April. Photo: Reuters.

Meanwhile, Russian forces are under pressure to gain an overwhelming advantage before weapons from the West reach Ukraine, as well as their supply chain of weapons and necessities facing more difficulties.

The Russian army is still in the process of redeploying forces and providing logistics to replenish units that were decimated in the first weeks of fighting, while slowly advancing into eastern Ukraine.

Russia is also stepping up missile attacks targeting Ukraine’s fuel stockpiles, ammunition and other critical infrastructure, including railway lines used to transport weapons.

`If we cannot provide what Ukraine needs to attack and destroy Russian artillery, missiles and troops before they complete their replenishment, this war could drag on.`

The United States and its allies are placing their trust in the Ukrainian army, which has demonstrated combat performance far beyond initial assessments.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated that the current US goal is to `weaken` Russia to the point where it will `not be possible to repeat what was done to Ukraine in the future`.

But to do that on the ground, Ukraine needs to receive shipments of heavy weapons, especially long-range artillery, and Ukrainian soldiers must be trained to use new Western weapons systems.

The US and its allies are accelerating the progress of weapons transfers as promised.

In recent days, the advance of Russian forces has slowed.

Western experts assess that Russia has not yet shown that it has overcome the shortcomings that have hindered efforts to control Kiev, including logistics problems or an ineffective command and control system.

The slow pace of Russia’s advance appears to be a deliberate attempt to reduce casualties, learning from the first weeks of the war, when Russian military convoys stretched for kilometers on narrow, shady roads.

Now, Russian forces are concentrated outside Ukraine’s lines, heavily shelling targets, destroying resistance positions, and then moving in when Ukrainian troops are forced to retreat.

In some cases, the Russian army, after capturing the villages, decided to leave, and the Ukrainian forces simply returned to their old places.

Russia’s tactics are putting great pressure on the Ukrainian army in the context that they are also starting to get tired and exhausted after more than two months of continuous fighting on many fronts.

“We are not superheroes, we also suffer casualties,” Oleksandr Danylyuk, defense and intelligence adviser to the Ukrainian government, said in an interview.

The weapon Ukraine needs most right now is long-range heavy artillery so they can attack deep into Russian lines.

The next US shipments will include Humvee armored vehicles, M-113 armored personnel carriers, Mi-17 helicopters and hundreds of thousands of bullets of all kinds.

Arms race in eastern Ukraine

Military situation in Ukraine after 11 weeks of fighting.

According to Ukrainian government advisor Danylyuk, the fighting is so fierce that Ukraine is quickly `consuming` every weapon it has, from ammunition to armored vehicles, drones and fuel.

Russian forces have `switched to a much better strategy than before,` Danylyuk emphasized.

According to Rob Lee, an expert at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Pennsylvania, USA, by narrowing the target, focusing only on the Donbass region and the southeastern region of Ukraine, Russia can mobilize larger forces to serve the country.

But Phillips O’Brien, professor of strategic studies at St Andrews University, Scotland, said that by stepping up the campaign in eastern Ukraine, Russia will face the risk of running out of resources.

American and Western officials insist the coming weeks will be crucial to the war, as both sides race against time to gain an advantage.

`Russia must get what it wants as soon as possible before Ukraine receives significant additional assets,` O’Brien said.

Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *