The course and results of Ukrainian offensive actions are quite naturally in the center of close attention of the population. Among a certain percentage of Ukrainians, a false narrative is spreading that the counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine involves a lightning advance, as was the case during the Kharkiv operation. More and more Ukrainians are asking the question – what prevents the Armed Forces of Ukraine from advancing faster and is the current rate of counteroffensive capable of liberating the occupied territories? Against the background of the debate about whether the counteroffensive is proceeding quickly or slowly, russian propaganda launched a veritable information war on social networks for the audience’s consciousness, claiming that the counteroffensive has completely failed.
In order to explain the peculiarities of the Ukrainian counteroffensive, it is necessary to turn to the basics of military strategy.
As every military person knows, the strategy and tactics of offensive actions are formed depending on the deployment of forces and the availability of appropriate weapons. After the failure of the Kharkiv operation, the enemy drew conclusions and built an echeloned line of defense according to all the rules of military science. The russian army had months to dig in and mine the captured territories. Minefields, fortified positions and strong air support allowed russia to gain an advantage as the defending party.
In addition, at the initial stage, the pace of the counteroffensive was hampered by unfavorable weather, as well as insufficient volume and speed of delivery of military aid from Western partners. The President of Ukraine, V. Zelenskyy, explained that it was the slow pace of the supply of Western weapons that prevented the Defense Forces from launching a counteroffensive before russia created powerful defense lines.
Therefore, in order to preserve the manpower of our troops, the Ukrainian leadership chose a new tactic – to exhaust the enemy with a slow pace of combat before proceeding to a full-scale counteroffensive.
The slower pace of destruction of the military potential of the occupier made it possible to preserve the lives of Ukrainian fighters and at the same time gradually exhaust russian manpower and equipment. This also leads to the imbalance of russian forces at the front and the destruction of the material and technical base in the rear. In addition, the launch of the counteroffensive proved that plans for russian defense operations in southern Ukraine have serious limitations and may not be as effective as previously portrayed by russian sources. In particular, the russian troops lack combat-ready reserves and the russians are unable to rotate these positions, which leads to the demoralization of the russian group. In addition, the “purges” in the army environment after the uprising of the “wagner” group on June 23-24 significantly weakened the coordination and management of the occupying forces in Ukraine.
According to experts of the American Institute for the Study of War, such tactics allowed the Ukrainian troops to continue counteroffensive actions on at least four areas of the front and to advance on July 4. During the month of fighting, the Armed Forces of Ukraine has liberated 9 settlements and almost 160 square kilometers of territory. The Ukrainian military continues to conduct offensive actions in the Melitopol, Bakhmut and Berdyansk directions, and over the last day our defenders have advanced more than a kilometer in the Bakhmut direction. And this despite the fact that 70% of the assault brigades and most of the equipment received by Ukraine are currently not involved in the counteroffensive.
Therefore, there is every reason to hope that in the near future the offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will lead to the collapse of the russian front. According to the forecasts of the head of the Ukrainian Center for Military and Legal Studies, O. Musienko, in the event of the loss of the first line of defense, the russians will be forced to retreat, and the Armed Forces of Ukraine will have the opportunity to enter the operational space, that is, to advance faster, clearing bridgeheads on which it will be possible to gain a foothold and continue offensive actions, respectively to the situation and for the average Ukrainian, such a development should not come as a surprise, when in some areas of the front, the advance of the Armed Forces of Ukraine may be faster, and somewhere else it may slip.
❗️That is, behind the outwardly slow pace of the counteroffensive, in fact, there is a tactic determined in advance by the leadership of Ukraine to exhaust the enemy, which allows you to save the lives of the Ukrainian military. According to this tactic, the Armed Forces of Ukraine methodically destroy the defensive positions of the russian army. The current speed of operations of the Defense Forces in at least 4 directions completely negates the thesis of russian propaganda about the seemingly deadlocked situation and Ukraine’s inability to liberate its own territories. The rate of advancement of the Ukrainian army is also affected by insufficient cover from the air due to a shortage of combat helicopters and fighter jets, as well as ammunition. Therefore, it would be very important for the breakthrough of the first line of defense of the russian army to be implemented by the Western partners of the President’s call to provide Ukraine with even more modern weapons for a counteroffensive. First of all, we are talking about long-range missile systems and new generation Western F-16 fighters.