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Can Ukraine launch a successful counterattack in the Donbas?

Expert Russia President Vladimir Putin talks about the risk of a ceasefire on favorable terms.

Russia has been occupying Ukraine for almost three months. Dropping retaliatory blows to Russia’s positions Ukraine forces are beginning to redraw the battle map in some places. Will this strategy be successful? RFE / RL correspondent Reid Standish is an analyst at the Washington-based Institute for War Studies. Corc Barrosla talked about it.

The British Ministry of Defense said on May 12 that, In the north-east of Ukraine Kharkiv Russia’s recent success near the city is partly due to the deployment of Russian forces in the eastern Donbas region and the renewal of heavy casualties elsewhere.

Retaliatory blow and counter-attack

Barros says that, Ukraine it must turn all retaliatory strikes into larger counter-attacks, as it has done successfully in some places. However, the analyst says that these retaliatory strikes are sometimes incorrectly described as counter-attacks. Because of the scale of the response blow according to is smaller, at the tactical level, the forces occupy a small area. The counter-attack is a higher-level operation, aimed at capturing larger areas

“Currently, when we look at these retaliatory strikes, we see that one, two or three villages have been captured. So far, we have not reached the point where the Ukrainians will strike a real blow at the position strengthened by Russia. – emphasizes the analyst.

On the other hand, the expert says that it is not clear how much resistance the Ukrainians will face during these counterattacks. Because sometimes the Russians withdraw from their positions. Barros called the expulsion of Russians from Kharkov a very important point. Of Russia Ukraine supply lines from Belograd near the border to Izyum, and from there to Donetsk and Going to Lugansk. “We believe that, The wars that the Ukrainians have just begun in Izyum and determines the conditions for war around that, This is very important for the current stage of the war in Ukraine. “ Says the analyst.

The village and urban places

Russia After failing to capture major cities in northern Ukraine, he turned his forces eastward, aiming to capture the Donbas’ full free

Barros says that, Ukrainians use very effective strikes in places where the Russian supply lines are overloaded or the rear is not safe. They attack fuel trucks and logistics convoys: “But good communication, strengthened by Russia and They can’t hit their positions with supply maps very effectively. ”

The analyst emphasizes that Ukrainians can more easily withdraw Russian forces from rural areas and large cities. In this case, the Ukrainians use intelligence to determine the location of Russian units snowartillery and launches missiles: “But when you move to densely populated urban areas, the pace of battle on both sides and the level of progress is significantly reduced. The Ukrainians were unable to demonstrate their ability to retreat by entering enemy-held territory in the city. I don’t want to say that they couldn’t do it, we just haven’t seen it in the battle yet. “

The forces are weakening

“USA and Britain officials say that, Russian forces are lagging behind schedule and moving slowly, though that, they were able to go some way. Will they be able to advance in the Donbas when they see what Russian forces have achieved in the new phase of the war? ” Barros says in response to this question that, As the Russians’ forces dwindled, their levels of progress fell and they had to regroup.

“It simply came to our notice then that, There is very little effective force left that Russia can involve in the war. Mobilization in Russian society and A possible challenge will not result in a meaningful military force. The same can be said about the Ukrainians, whose forces have also diminished. Heavy fighting has been going on for 75 days. “Given the blows inflicted on Russia, the effective combat power of the Ukrainians has also weakened.” Says the analyst.

Ceasefire trap

He noted that both sides were making slow progress, especially in eastern Ukraine and In the Donbas. Expert Russian President Vladimir Putinfrom the risk of achieving a ceasefire on favorable terms, and thus the east and in southern Ukraine, especially in the north of the Sea of ​​Azov and He says he can consolidate what he has illegally acquired near the Black Sea.

“A ceasefire Putinto occupy these territories of Ukraine, to destroy the remnants of the structures of the Ukrainian government in those places, as well as to create conditions for the Kremlin to resume offensive operations at any time and recognizes the opportunity “, – Barros emphasizes.

Analysts say the Kremlin’s attempt at a ceasefire is the West’s, certain leaders and He noted that the cessation of hostilities was a matter of concern way will be seen as: “It simply came to our notice then that, “As soon as the Kremlin launches this game, there may be international pressure for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to accept those terms.”

Restoration of vitality

George Barros does not consider it possible for Russia to build a more effective military force in a short period of six to 12 months. Because the training of a quality soldier 8-10 need months time. Moreover, given the blow inflicted by the Ukrainians on the Russian corps of officers, the recovery of the loss of manpower could take a generation.

Russia’s Abkhazia (Georgia), Syria, Libya and attracting forces from elsewhere will not be enough to create an effective force. That’s it according to also Putin “If it wants to resume the war on its own terms, it can seal what it has achieved for a long time, reorganize its forces as much as it wants, paralyze Ukraine’s economy by blocking access to the Black Sea, and hope that it will finish what it started.” – Barros emphasizes.

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