Ukraine’s offensive against Russian forces is progressing slowly, and there may not be a major advance on Russian lines in the next two months as previously thought, according to officials in West.
However, “focusing on such tactical issues” is not productive and it is necessary to look at the bigger picture, the officials said, adding that it shows that Vladimir Putin is losing the war, because the Ukraine has regained a large amount of territory in general since. The invasion of Russia begins.
“The Ukrainian offensive is slower than we expected a few months ago. That’s a recognition of the Russian defenses. And it’s also a recognition of how Ukraine needs to put together a force that is a a mixed fleet of both old equipment and donated equipment … war, going through a minefield,” said an official (mines are a layer of Russian defenses).
“Russia lost either killed or wounded more than 270,000 people and [destroyed] over a couple thousand tanks, and when you add that to armored fighting vehicles [then it is] more than 4,000 fighting vehicles,” added the official.
“There is a huge gap in Russia, and especially its army and combat effectiveness,” the official said. “And then on the broadest base, you see Russia under economic pressure and under diplomatic pressure.”
Western-supplied armor, including German Leopard tanks, has been damaged or destroyed in prolonged fighting in the east and south for the past three months. The first of 14 British-supplied Challenger II tanks was decommissioned near Zaporizhzhia this week.
According to defense sources, it tripped a mine and was then targeted by a Russian Lancet loitering drone. There are no plans, the sources said, to replace it at the moment from among the 145 Challenger IIs currently available for deployment.
Western officials say arms supplies to Kyiv will continue, and deny that “war fatigue” will begin to set in unless Volodymyr Zelensky’s government can show significant success in the near future. That is something that many politicians in Europe have suggested.
It is also argued that the Kremlin’s reliance on American support for Ukraine is beginning to erode as the US presidential campaign begins next year. The possibility of Donald Trump – who was accused of being the “Muscovian candidate” when he was previously in the White House – winning the election has further increased this concern.
“Russia thinks time is on its side; We think time is on our side,” another official said. “It’s been put that if you’re Putin, you’re gambling that Donald Trump will win next [US] election. But this is too far. “