“Ukraine’s counterattack was so successful… Cooling the map of national resistance” 

On the 20th (local time), the Washington Post ( WP ), an American daily, said, “It seems that the Ukrainian military’s options for this counterattack are running out.”

Ukrainian forces have been conducting a so-called “counteroffensive” operation since early June, but have not broken through the front lines, only recapturing a few villages.

Despite breaking through minefields in several places and reaching the first line of Russian triple defensive fortifications, and successfully striking Russian operational stockpiles and logistics ships, Ukrainian forces have recaptured about 210 square kilometers of occupied territory in the past two months or so. It is known that only

This is the result of the Russian army, which had been constantly fighting since the outbreak of the war in February of last year, showed a harder-than-expected struggle by firmly guarding the defense line and at the same time expanding the occupied territory on some fronts.

Franz Stefan Gadi, a senior research fellow at the Institute for Strategic and International Studies ( IISS ) in the UK, said Ukrainian forces had struck several times over the past few months at logistics points in the rear of Russian lines, but the frontline was largely unaffected.

“The Russian stronghold was destroyed, but not to such a degree that an immediate collapse could be

The British Economist also pointed out in a report the same day that Ukraine is far from achieving its strategic goal of reclaiming the eastern and southern regions lost to Russia and reaching the Azou Sea.

Analysts say that they have not secured air supremacy and that the artillery power is not sufficient.

The Ukrainian military is trying to find a breakthrough with long-range weapons such as Western-made high-speed mobile artillery rocket systems ( HIMARS ) and drones (unmanned aerial vehicles), but it is not an easy situation. Blocked by Russian army mines and trench defense, they have been forced to fight attrition for over two months.

Delays in the delivery of weapons promised by the West are also cited as one of the factors slowing down the counterattack.

An official from the Ukrainian General Staff contacted by The Economist said that out of more than 100 German main battle tank Leopard 2 promised by the West, only 60 units have yet been received, and it is difficult to find minesweeping vehicles.

The Wall Street Journal ( WSJ ) of the United States said, “The war in Ukraine is in danger of becoming a protracted war that will last for several more years. Ukraine’s war goal of restoring territorial integrity is clear, but the prospects are bleak considering the limits of Western aid.”

On the 20th , the WSJ evaluated that major European allies such as the US and Germany want to prevent Russia from winning, but at the same time fear the costs and risks of supporting Ukraine’s complete victory.

The media pointed out, “Some Western officials are envisioning a grand compromise to end the war, but it runs counter to the goals of Russia as well as Ukraine.”

foreseen,” he explained.

Ukraine is also requesting additional support for the long-range missile ATACMS and the latest F-16 fighter jets, but it is not feasible.

President Zelensky, who was on a surprise weekend tour of Europe, did get promises from the Netherlands and Denmark to support F-16 fighters.

The governments of the Netherlands and Denmark issued a joint statement on the 20th and said, “We agree to transfer ( fighter) to Ukraine in close cooperation with the United States and other partners when the conditions for the transfer are met.” .

This is the first time a Western country has committed to providing F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.

However, the specific timing and amount of support are not clear.

In the case of Denmark, the plan is to sequentially deliver a total of 19 units. Denmark is in a position to first deliver six out of 19 fighter jets around the end of the year, followed by sequential delivery of eight and five next year and 2025, respectively.

On the other hand, there are observations that the time to deliver fighter jets from the Netherlands will be at the earliest of the end of this year or early next year.

Western experts draw the line that there is no ‘game changer’. Bob Hamilton스포츠토토, a military expert at the

US Foreign Policy Research Institute ( FPRI ), said, “There is only one surefire solution (weapon system). “Ukraine does not have the ability to produce enough drones and strike targets deep in the Russian mainland to undermine Russia’s will to fight,” he said . Samuel Charab, chief political scientist at the Rand Institute in the United States, also explained to the British Financial Times ( FT

) on the 20th that “Plan B, there are not many alternatives.” Researcher Charab pointed out, “There is no magic wand,” and pointed out, “The claim that long-range attacks (missiles) can penetrate all Russian defenses, including minefields, is absurd.” He said that long-range missiles could hit Russian supply lines, but that wouldn’t change the tide. In the midst of this, the time for the Ukrainian forces to continue counterattack operations is running out. In Ukraine, twice a year in spring and autumn, when the snow melts or rains, the land turns into a huge mud pit, creating an environment in which advance is virtually impossible. The Economist pointed out that it will become increasingly difficult to cut the route between Crimea and mainland Russia until the end of October, when “Rasputica” or mud season returns. U.S. intelligence agencies are known to have recently released a report saying that the Ukrainian military cannot achieve its operational goal of cutting off the overland route linking Crimea with the Russian mainland this year.

The tanks promised by the West do not arrive on time, and the air power is still insufficient
. Pessimism about ‘unable to recover entire territory’
“Ukraine, the possibility of a great reversal to regain territory is getting smaller”
In autumn, again ‘muddy season’… The counterattack operation fails, but
even the prospect of “Zelensky seeks re-election before the popularity of the end-of-war negotiations cools down”

The result of the counterattack is not clear, and pessimism is spreading in the West, and as the autumn muddy season approaches, the will of the Ukrainian people to fight for their lives seems to be weakening.

“The disappointing speed of Ukraine’s counterattack has been the focus of international headlines over the past few weeks,” said The Economist, diagnosing growing dissatisfaction and criticism of President Zelensky from within Ukraine.

At one time, Ukraine raised its voice that it would recover even the Crimean Peninsula, which was forcibly annexed by Russia in 2014, through this counterattack, but now the atmosphere has changed, emphasizing more realistic expectations, the Economist analyzed.

The allies are evasive about the supply of new weapons, and the prospect that former President Donald Trump will defeat current President Joe Biden in the US presidential election next year is increasing Ukrainian anxiety, the Economist observed.

Anastasia Jamulado, co-founder of Zvit, a volunteer women’s group that supports frontline troops in Ukraine, said crowdfunding has slowed.

“Even praying for a successful counterattack has become an act of self-destruction,” said Jamula. “The atmosphere is too heavy.”

Changes in perception of peace negotiations are also being detected on the front lines.

Earlier this month, a Ukrainian military sniper caused a stir when he dismissed the prospect of his country regaining all of its territory, saying that many soldiers would now welcome an end to the war.

An official from the Ukrainian General Staff pointed out, “Any kind of peace under the current situation only means a delayed war.” “Why postpone the problem to the next generation?”

The Economist explained that it was a thing of the past that young people scrambled to enlist for resistance, and now everyone is being drafted under unwanted circumstances.

This has created a gloomy atmosphere in Ukrainian politics, with rumors circulating that President Zelensky will hold early general and presidential elections this summer.

It is expected that President Zelensky, as a ‘national hero’, will not challenge for re-election before being pushed into the phase of peace negotiations that can include an end to the war against public sentiment or territorial concessions.

Political commentator Volodymyr Pesenko said, “Any future elections will be in the nature of asking for confidence in Zelensky. Zelensky’s team understands that this situation can change.”

The economist said that the presidential and general elections were originally scheduled to be held this fall, but some say that the situation was already too late for that.

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