Ukrainian servicemen attend combat training in Kiev region, Ukraine, Friday, March 3, 2023InternationalIndiaAfricaOleg BurunovEarlier this week, Ukrainian lawmaker Alexandra Ustinova claimed that a lack of weapons had prompted Kiev to postpone the beginning of its counteroffensive against Russian troops indefinitely. Kiev’s “long-planned” counteroffensive against Russian forces may end up with the encirclement of Ukrainian troops, a UK magazine has warned.The counteroffensive-related risks are “high”, the magazine admitted, referring to the fact that Ukraine has “a limited supply of the surface-to-air missiles needed to deter Russian bombers.”The media outlet also pointed out that Russian servicemen are “well dug in along most of the front line, with multiple layers of trenches and dragons-teeth anti-tank obstacles.””When attacking, Ukraine will need its troops to outnumber the defenders, and it can only muster such numbers in limited areas. Even if it punches through Russia’s defenses, it will need to exploit such breakthroughs carefully, or risk its troops being encircled,” the magazine argued.According to the outlet, both Ukraine and “its Western backers should prepare for the possibility that the counteroffensive will yield only marginal gains, or worse.”This comes amid ongoing guesswork about a possible zero hour of the counteroffensive, which Kiev plans to launch as Russia continues its special military operation in Ukraine.Ukrainian lawmaker Alexandra Ustinova told a US news outlet earlier this week that Kiev planned to begin the counteroffensive before the end of this month, but that the lack of arms “has pushed the launch date back indefinitely.”She claimed that the US military delivered “far less” arms to Kiev than what Ukrainian Defense Minister Valery Zaluzhny has requested that the Pentagon provide.Russia’s Special Operation in UkraineKremlin on US Remark on Kiev’s Counteroffensive: Such Statements Carefully Monitored7 April, 12:31 GMTThe remarks were preceded by Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal arguing last week that Kiev could launch the counteroffensive this summer, noting that Ukraine does not feel “the pressure from our friends and partners,” in an apparent nod to the US and its NATO allies.
The developments unfold amid this month’s leak of “top secret” Pentagon documents, which revealed classified information about a spate of sensitive security issues, including the conflict in Ukraine. One of the documents in particular warned in February that Ukraine might fail to obtain sufficient troops and weaponry for its planned spring counteroffensive, and was therefore only likely to achieve “modest territorial gains”.
Western countries meanwhile continue to provide Kiev with billions of dollars worth of military aid, which Moscow warns will add to prolongation of the Ukraine conflict and turns the US and its allies into the side to the standoff.