The Counteroffensive Is Coming – The New York Times

Ukraine hopes that its counteroffensive will finish this stalemate. Western allies have equipped the Ukrainian navy with billions of {dollars} of kit and educated its troops at camps in Germany over the previous few months. The troops have discovered a way referred to as combined-arms warfare, wherein totally different components of the navy work collectively to take territory. Tanks punch via enemy strains by rolling over trenches, for instance, and infantry then unfold out to carry the world.

“The counteroffensive will very doubtless begin in a number of locations, perhaps within the south and the east,” Julian mentioned. “A few of these will probably be feints. Some will probably be a part of the principle efforts.”

Ukraine nonetheless has fewer troops and fewer tools than Russia, however Ukraine’s navy has to this point confirmed more practical — with higher morale, smarter techniques and extra superior Western weapons — than Russia’s. The counteroffensive is successfully a guess that Ukraine can use these benefits not simply to repel Russia however to retake massive territories.

As Thomas Gibbons-Neff, a Ukraine correspondent, mentioned, “If Ukraine manages to sever the land bridge, Russian troops will probably be underneath additional pressure and, extra importantly, Ukraine will probably be in a greater place to assault farther east and south, towards Crimea.”

Most specialists don’t imagine Ukraine will retake Crimea anytime quickly — or that this warfare will finish with Crimea again underneath Ukrainian management. Nonetheless, Ukraine doesn’t want that final result for the counteroffensive to be a hit. Any main progress might trigger Putin and his aides to fret {that a} lengthy warfare would convey additional losses and finally put Crimea in danger. “The Russian individuals do care about Crimea,” my colleague Helene Cooper mentioned. Earlier than the Soviet period, the area was a part of Russia for many years.

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Within the favorable state of affairs for Ukraine, a peace deal wherein Russia is expelled from all over the place however Crimea and components of the Donbas area would turn into believable. On the flip facet, a failed counteroffensive and an unbroken land bridge would supply Putin with an enormous psychological victory and a basis from which to launch future assaults.

An necessary issue is that Ukraine now has sufficient weapons for just one main push. If the Ukrainians haven’t made progress by the autumn, when colder and wetter climate makes preventing tougher, the Russian land bridge might start to look impregnable.

Jean Nicholas

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