The First Phase of the Ukrainian Offensive has Failed

A military tank abandoned on rust
A military tank abandoned on rust Photo by Dmitry Bukhantsov on Unsplash

A Deep Dive into Why There Are Limited Successes along the Frontline but No Major Breakthroughs

Prighozin’s mutiny tempted them, but did they see this coming?

Colonel Markus Reisner:

In my view, the first phase of the Ukrainian offensive has failed. Attempts have been made to push forward like something straight out of a US Army textbook.
And they lacked the necessary support for such a mass attack. Ukraine then went on an operational hiatus, consolidated and is now attempting to change its tactics and combat technique.
But the offensive is progressing very slowly.

In an attempt to take advantage of the attempted coup, Ukraine advanced more to propel their counteroffensive and regain some parts that were under Russian control. Taking out the Russians' defensive position, on the other hand, is not easy.

The Ukrainians have been using American capture tactics, which don’t work against Russia. I am going to explain why the offensive has failed.

Ukraine attempted a mass attack using tank columns.

This was the exact approach the RAF used when they first invaded Ukraine. The terrain in the frontlines is like a chessboard because there are break lines, which are forest belts that separate one square, i.e., field, from the other. Moving in those fields requires good tactics. The problem is that the UAF tried to move in between the fields like a chess piece. However, this made them suffer heavy casualties in the long run, as they were exposing themselves heavily.

Lack of air support and precision weapon systems

The UAF has since had a tough time proving its aerial superiority.

  • Depletion of missile stocks
  • Weakening of air defence network
  • Strains on frontline air defence

Despite the continued activity of Russian and Ukrainian aircraft in the conflict, the deployment of air defence weapons, including major Soviet-era anti-aircraft systems like the S-300 and newer shoulder-fired missiles like the US-made Stinger, has necessitated tactical adaptations by both sides. This has resulted in less accurate rocket attacks being launched from longer distances, as opposed to the use of aircraft to provide close air support over the front lines.

The terrain supports RAF more than it does UAF

The terrain is densely populated because it is forested. This means that soldiers can move around unnoticed despite the heavy drone presence.

Image showing the Frontlines

Although the UAF has made some advances, especially during the start of the offensive, they are small compared to the area under Russian control. They have also been able to make quite good advances in the South of Bakhmut. However, if you look at the area, it is relatively small at about 1000 metres.

The situation around the Antonivka Bridge on the Dnipro River

The Russians have moved to the beachhead and are putting pressure on the Ukrainians with naval troops, including assault boats, missiles, and bombs. The bridgehead, though, remains in place, and the Ukrainians want to tie up Russian forces in the south, diverting them away from the centre area. Colonel Reisner continues to say:

The situation for the Ukrainians has deteriorated again in the last 48 hours as the Russians managed to advance right up to the beachhead. They did this, among other things, through the use of maritime forces. That means they tried to land there with assault boats, but also fired at the bridgehead itself with Iskander missiles and bombed it with glide bombs.

Desperate to break ground before the NATO Summit

UAF is desperate to break ground on the Russians due to the coming NATO Summit. Due to the failed mass attack using tank columns, the UAF has been forced to change tactics to make some progress. Because the terrain is like a chessboard, you just don't move directly. They have resorted to a tactic used by the Russians since last year.

The latest strategy entails a tactical move away from immediately transferring pieces from one field to another. Instead, the emphasis is on moving through windbreak belts, where soldiers are safe. Vehicles are used to convey troops to strategic sites, which are generally densely forested areas or urban situations such as freed settlements. Small groups plan to move on from these points. However, this strategy is fatal. Here is what Leornad Tusky told TASS:

The Kyiv regime is trying to demonstrate at least some success on the battlefield to justify the investment of its Western sponsors, particularly ahead of the NATO summit. However, the junta’s efforts have been futile as the counter-offensive is failing and stalling. This is why Kyiv has no choice but to throw troops into the fire

Comments from Putin and Zelensky

President Putin of the Russian Republic states that the Ukrainian counteroffensive has failed and there are huge losses on Kyiv’s side. He commented that Kyiv’s losses were reaching a catastrophic level.

However, President Zelensky has countered that by saying that their efforts are going as expected.

There is movement forward. Every step and every metre of Ukrainian land that is being liberated from Russian evil

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