Ukraine’s Tactics Unveiled: Starving Russian Forces and Stretching the Front Line

Ukraine Launches Counteroffensive Against Russian-Occupied Territory

In the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, Ukraine has quietly initiated the first phase of a counteroffensive to reclaim Russian-occupied territory. While little detail has been provided by Kyiv, it is known that Ukrainian forces armed with new weapons from the West are facing off against Russian troops who have spent months fortifying their positions.

One important recent development is the surprise visit of South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol to Ukraine. President Yoon and his wife, Kim Keon Hee, traveled to Ukraine following trips to Lithuania and Poland. Additionally, agreements brokered by the United Nations and Turkey have eased concerns over global food security by allowing the transportation of food and fertilizer from Ukraine and Russia to areas suffering from hunger.

Ukraine’s tactics in the counteroffensive involve intensifying fighting along multiple points of the 1,500-kilometer front line. Ukrainian forces have been making steady progress in the northern and southern flanks of the city of Bakhmut, which has been under Russian occupation since May. They are also engaging in battles along the southern front in Zaporizhzhia, although progress against Russia’s formidable fortifications has been minimal.

Hanna Maliar, Ukraine’s deputy minister of defense, recently stated that Ukrainian forces had destroyed six Russian ammunition depots in 24 hours, highlighting their effective and targeted approach. The goal of Ukraine’s strategy is to starve Russian units of supplies and reinforcements by attacking their logistic and command centers in the rear. The United Kingdom, for instance, has supplied Storm Shadow missiles to assist in this effort. However, Ukraine still lacks vital air cover for its attacks. While F-16 fighter jets have been pledged by Western allies, they are not expected to be deployed until next year. Ukraine is also requesting long-range weapons and increased ammunition, and the United States has sent cluster munitions to support the offensive.

Russia, on the other hand, is utilizing large numbers of anti-tank mines to impede Ukraine’s armored counteroffensive operations in the south. This tactic forces Ukrainian attackers to confront Russian drones, helicopters, and artillery. However, even with extensive fortifications, Russian forces face challenges due to battlefield attrition, incompetence, and poor coordination within their ranks. Russia has lost roughly half of its combat strength since the start of the conflict and is struggling to replace the munitions and tanks it has lost.

U.S. Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, predicts that Ukraine’s counteroffensive will be lengthy and bloody. Ukrainian soldiers have faced heavy shelling from Russian forces, slowing down their advance. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy admitted last week that the counteroffensive is progressing slower than expected, partly due to delays in receiving Western arms and trained soldiers. Another factor to consider is the upcoming winter, which brings difficult conditions for armored vehicles and troops. Therefore, both sides must prepare for a potential round of attritional warfare.

While Western analysts believe the counteroffensive will not end the war, it could prove to be a crucial turning point and strengthen Ukraine’s position in future negotiations. Ukraine is also eager to demonstrate the effectiveness of Western aid and support. The conflict continues to unfold, and the world watches as Ukraine seeks to regain its lost territory.