UKRAINE IS WINNING OVER RUSSIA
Ukraine is making progress in Russian Regions. Could Ukraine win it’s war against Russia? Ukraine surprising recent breakthrough in the northeast has caused more military analyst to question.
over the weeks, Ukrainian troops have taken over 3,400 square miles of land an area equal to about half of the land, an area equal to about half the size of New York metropolitan area. The gains include Izium, a city that Russia had been using a rail hub to supply it forces elsewhere. Ukraine now controls nearly all the province of Kharkiv.
The Kharkiv operation amazed Russain military forces while they where focused on other regions and has given Ukraine its clearest victory since Russia retreat from around Kyiv, President of Ukraine Volodmymyr Zelenksy and his military advisers planned the attack partly so they could claim such a victory at the war.
” The Ukrainian war push is a big deal” said Julian Barnes, one of the reporters who wrote the story. ‘ they needed a dramatic win, and this is one”.
Ukraine advance has also determined Vladmir Putin’s war propaganda causing some criticism of the military even from some pro invasion Russians. More than 40 local elected officials across Russia signed a two sentence petition demanding Putin resign from office. and a senior member of the parliament from Putin party said the retreat has done ” very serious damage” to the operation.
The recent development have cheered Ukraine’s supporters in western Europe and the U.S., who have been anxiously trying to maintain public support for military aid. Steven Erlanger, who covers European diplomacy from Brussels, points out that European citizens are girding for a winter of high energy prices because of Putin’s restriction of gas sales.
But I told you in our most recent Ukraine update-last month that the chances of a Ukrainian victory had risen. They have risen even further since then.”The last few days have shown that the Ukrainians can craft effective plans based on intelligence, advice and high tech American weaponry used in innovative ways,” Julian said. “And those plans, so far, have delivered real battlefield results.”
Ukraine’s Strength in the War
A central question now is whether Ukraine can also make progress in two other regions where Russia is more entrenched: Donbas, in the east; and southern provinces in between Donbas and the Crimea peninsula (which Russia annexed in 2014). In recent weeks, Ukraine has also reclaimed about 200 square miles in the southern provinces.
A major reason for Ukrainian optimism is the continued support from the West, including weapons for Ukraine and sanctions on Russia. The progress in Kharkiv has depended on longer-range missiles that the U.S. and Britain were initially unwilling to provide but have supplied in recent months. U.S. officials also worked with Ukrainian military leaders to plan the assault on Kharkiv.
At the same time, the sanctions appear to be hurting both Russia’s domestic economy and its war efforts. Its factories are struggling to produce enough basic military supplies.
Russia’s Strength in the War
Still, recapturing territory in the south and the east is unlikely to be easy for Ukraine. Russia has concentrated more forces in those regions than it had in Kharkiv. Now that Ukraine holds Kharkiv, it also has longer supply lines to defend, John Blaxland, a military expert at the Australian National University, told The Times.
The seizure of Izium and its railways may help Ukraine maintain its lengthened supply lines, other experts said.Biden administration officials continue to express skepticism that Ukraine will be able to reclaim all of the land it held in February, just before the invasion.
Russia continues to have vast resources at its disposal, even if the sanctions have created some constraints: Russia has been firing many more artillery rounds per day.
Russia also has a history of forcing brutal losses on its own soldiers to win extended wars, and Putin has shown he is willing to commit atrocities (as he did in Syria and Chechnya) to exhaust an opponent. Some analysts – including Ross Douthat of Times Opinion and Anne Applebaum of The Atlantic – have argued that Western leaders should be planning for how they would respond to an escalation in Ukraine.
Ukraine also faces a disadvantage thatits allies have imposed on it, my colleague Helene Cooper points out. The U.S. and the E.U. have told Ukrainian officials that they cannot use Western military equipment to strike inside Russia – out of a fear that such attacks might cause Putin to expand the war or use nuclear weapons.
From a tactical standpoint, that restriction hurts Ukraine’s ability to win the war.