Russia moves back to the front lines and Ukraine prepares for the worst | War in Ukraine

Russian military forces are trying to reach the strategic point of the front line, the city of Chasiv Iar, while waiting for foreign weapons, taking advantage of the increasingly apparent weaknesses of the Ukrainian units. and new recruits.

Over the weekend, the commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Oleksandr Chirsky, admitted that the situation on the front lines had “deteriorated significantly” in recent days. “Despite significant losses, the enemy has intensified its efforts, using new units in armored vehicles, thanks to which it manages to achieve tactical gains from time to time,” explained the general. In other words, after a temporary hiatus associated with winter, Russia manages to replenish its forces faster than Ukraine, which faced a shortage of weapons and soldiers.

President Volodymyr Zelensky himself said in late March that delays in sending military and financial aid to Kiev would force his forces to “gradually” retreat in the face of Russian advances.

These kinds of statements are at odds with the usual belief of most Ukrainian leaders, who since the beginning of Russia's large-scale invasion have preferred to highlight their military's achievements on the battlefield and predict total defeat for their adversary.

However, the shift in public statements by Ukrainian officials marks a more sensitive and decisive period in Kiev's resistance effort, more than two years after the start of the Russian invasion. Ukrainian armed forces believe that Moscow is currently preparing an offensive against the city of Chasiv Ir in the hope of capturing it in time for the May 9 Victory Day holiday, which is so important in the Russian calendar that marks the victory of the Soviet Union. On Nazi Germany in World War II.

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Ten kilometers west of Bakhmut, Chasiv Yar, a city that has been one of the bloodiest battlegrounds of the months-long war, is a key point for Russia to achieve one of its primary objectives: the capture of Donetsk province. One of the illegal mergers in late 2022.

“Chasive Ear is situated on high ground; If Russia captures this city, it can increase its rate of advance on the ground,” said military analyst Rob Lee. Independence of Kiev.

After failing to achieve key objectives of the counteroffensive last summer — due, according to Kiev, to not receiving weapons promised by Western allies in time — Ukrainian forces have begun to adopt a more aggressive defensive approach. Without sufficient resources to sustain offensive operations, Ukraine must try to stop the initiatives of the Russian military, which will seek to break through the front line in the next few months.

“Russian forces should continue to exert intense pressure on the central axis of the front line and may be preparing for a more comprehensive offensive to gain full control of Donetsk province this summer,” he said. Kyiv Post Retired Colonel Serhii Hrabskii.

In this context, the possibility of the North American Congress moving closer to breaking the deadlock that has prevented it from approving a $60 billion aid package for Ukraine becomes even more important. Such as the implementation of the new military mobilization law announced this Tuesday by Zelensky. However, these reinforcements may not be sufficient to avoid territorial losses.

One of the biggest challenges for Ukrainian forces in the coming months is anticipating which axis Russia will try to break through to the front line. This uncertainty forces Kiev's forces to reinforce their positions along nearly a thousand kilometers, as well as to stretch their meager resources along that entire stretch.

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“Using a five-to-one advantage in artillery, ammunition and a surplus of manpower reinforced by the use of new weapons, we see the Russians advancing on the front line,” retired British general Richard Barnes told the BBC. .

Earlier this month, several Ukrainian military officials were quoted by Politico Europe as anticipating a possible breakdown of the front line during the summer, even as Ukrainian forces are bolstered with Western troops and weapons in the coming months. “There's nothing to help Ukraine at this point because Ukraine has no technology to compensate for the massive amount of troops that Russia can mobilize against us,” one of the senior officials said.

“We don't have these technologies, and the West doesn't have enough of them either.”

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