Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Is the Ukrainian conflict bogged down by the imbalance between attack and defense?

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The first weeks of the Ukrainian conflict were marked by what then seemed like a war of rapid movement, which was reminiscent of the precepts of the German blitzkrieg or the allied offensive in Iraq in 1991.

If the Russian maneuver against Kyiv and Kharkiv encountered effective and coordinated Ukrainian resistance, it was above all handicapped by an obvious lack of preparation of the Russian armies, which apparently expected the rapid collapse of the armies. Ukrainians.

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This rapid maneuver was, however, much more effective in the south of the country, allowing in a few weeks the junction with Donbass to the north, and the Russian border to the east, while seizing all the territories in the north. south of the Dnieper, and even beyond, with the capture of Kherson.

It could be noted, however, that no Russian offensive had been launched against the fortified Ukrainian defenses along the Donbass. If it could then be a surprise maneuver, many being those who expected a Russian offensive limited to the oblasts of Donbass, it is also probable that the general staff feared the resistance capacities of the opposing defense lines.

The Ukrainian counter-offensive in the summer and fall of 2022, which liberated Kherson and cleared Kharkiv, was also a profound maneuver. However, this was made possible by the Russian lines of defense and logistics then too widely heard, and not because of a dazzling Ukrainian breakthrough on the Russian defensive system.

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Russian advance Ukrainian conflict
The Russian advance into southern Ukraine during the first weeks of the conflict still seemed to give precedence to offensive maneuver over defensive posture.

The fact is, since the start of this war, it appears that the offensive and maneuvering potential of the two armies has proven incapable of gaining the upper hand over the defender, whether Russian or Ukrainian, except at the cost of losses. far too excessive for the gain obtained.

The failure of recent counter-offensives in the Ukrainian conflict

Six months after its launch, it is now clear that the Ukrainian spring counter-offensive will not have achieved the spectacular results promised. Obviously, the expectations, visibly excessive, around this operation, were more due to the odalisques of TV sets, than to the commitments made by a Ukrainian general staff aware of the reality of its means, and knowing the defensive system deployed by the armies Russians to resist it.

If advances have, in fact, been recorded by the Ukrainian troops, particularly in the Zaporozhye Oblast, these were obtained at the cost of numerous losses, including those concerning the precious armored vehicles and artillery systems delivered sparingly by Europeans and Americans.

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The Ukrainian units, in fact, found themselves confronted with a much better designed Russian defensive system than the February 2022 offensive had been, well equipped with infantry forces, supported by armored units, particularly tanks, by dense and positioned artillery, and informed by a multitude of drones, in an intense electronic warfare environment.

offensive on Kyiv
Is the Ukrainian conflict bogged down by the imbalance between attack and defense? 4

LOGO meta defense 70 Russo-Ukrainian conflict | Defense Analysis | Artillery

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Fabrice Wolf
Fabrice Wolfhttps://meta-defense.fr/fabrice-wolf/
A former French naval aeronautics pilot, Fabrice is the editor and main author of the Meta-defense.fr site. His areas of expertise are military aeronautics, defense economics, air and submarine warfare, and Akita inu.

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