Why is Ukraine taking so long to launch the world’s least secret counterattack?

Spring has not yet started and the attack has already been announced, but now it may take longer than previously thought. Why is Kiev delaying the long-awaited counteroffensive?

“We are not going to have a day when the armed forces announce: ‘Tomorrow the counteroffensive begins'”, stressed Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar at a press conference of journalists this Wednesday. In the past few months, expectations of a Ukrainian counteroffensive have reached an all-time high, but signs of a coup on the ground have yet to emerge. The weather, the more than 800 kilometer defense line or the limitations of the Western military sector: after all, why is it taking so long for the world’s least secret counterattack to appear?

“This year, the snow and cold came later than usual. The terrain is still not stable enough. In a high-intensity conflict with heavy tonnage armored and mechanized vehicles in a region that is a veritable graveyard, no military planning can completely and simply attack,” said Major General Isidro. De Morais Pereira explains to CNN Portugal.

Although the rain made itself felt little by little across the front line, the fertile lands of Ukraine became a veritable trap for tanks trying to advance through enemy positions. As the plains turned into swamps, Ukrainian military leaders were forced to use roads to move their armored vehicles, making them easy targets for enemy artillery.

“Forecasts are disappointing and rain is expected in the region till May 3. It does not seem to me that under these conditions Ukraine will not launch counterattacks. If the terrain stays the same, it will be suicidal,” says Major General Agostinho Costa, highlighting how dangerous the terrain is for wheeled vehicles, which have to get stuck in the mud and abandoned by their crews.

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Also, Ukraine does not yet have all the combat power promised by NATO, and it desperately needs to regain its territory, which may weigh on the timing of giving the order for an attack. A number of promised armored vehicles from the NATO alliance include British Challenger tanks and hundreds of Leopard A5s and A4s. No less important were American infantry fighting vehicles, Bradleys, and hundreds of armored personnel carriers, particularly US Strykers and M1117s.

“Some supplies promised by Western NATO countries are slightly behind schedule, but in some cases the number of vehicles promised has already doubled. It should also be noted that Patriot systems have already arrived from the US, Germany and the Netherlands. The news that the German Iris-D system is ready to be delivered will come next week. ” notes Isidro de Morais Pereira.

But the leak of classified Pentagon Papers has exposed some of Ukraine’s material shortcomings. The situation with the “Queen of the Battlefield” was more serious: the 155 mm heavy cannon. The U.S. believes the Ukrainians consumed 951,752 bombs, nearly half of the U.S. stockpile, as of the end of February. At the time of the report, the army, led by Valerii Zaluzhnyi, was expending an average of 3,474 rounds of ammunition per day and had only 10,892 reserve units, enough for four days. Both Europe and the United States are focused on ramping up production and shipping ammunition to Ukraine, but some prominent voices in the military insist the process will take time. Time is not Ukraine.

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“Ukraine is not going to stop the counteroffensive. There is enormous political pressure coming from Kiev and from Washington. But Western war supplies have not yet arrived. Zelensky’s political adviser [Danilov] He even said that the peace agreement was political suicide. There is a lot of pressure,” points out Agostinho Costa.

On the anniversary of the battle, February 24, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov vowed to “strike hard, at long range, in the air, on land, at sea and in cyberspace” and announced that a counteroffensive would take place. , taking away one of the most important advantages a military commander can have on the battlefield: the element of surprise. However, experts recalled that in the past Ukraine declared an attack on Kherson and recaptured the entire Kharkiv region.

“If the weather had been good, I would have started the attack already. The conditions are not very favorable. I am very much looking forward to it, because in September the Ukrainian offensive surprised us by announcing the attack on Kherson and recapturing Khargiv. It is difficult to make predictions. There is a lot of hope on the part of Ukraine and the West,” said Major General. Agostinho Costa insists.

Announced several months ago, without a specific deadline, the Russian Armed Forces leadership took seriously warnings of an imminent counterattack by the Ukrainian army. The proof of this is not in their words, but in their actions: Russia built one of the largest defensive lines since World War II, more than 800 kilometers of trenches, anti-tank mines, armored vehicles and concrete structures to house thousands. of bunkers. All of Ukraine must stop trying to regain its territory.

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“Throughout these months, the Russians have created three lines of defense. If the Ukrainian counterattack fails, its army will collapse and Russia will strike back. Then we can start a guerilla war like a peninsular war, a war without fronts with armed groups facing each other”, insists Agostinho Costa.

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