Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky stated his country’s forces need more time to prepare an offensive against the Russian invaders. Ukraine is still awaiting promised aid and has limited offensive capabilities (BBC).
Zelensky is correct in delaying the much anticipated offensive. One reason is the latter part of that statement; it’s anticipated by everyone – including the Russians.
Another reason is the Russians have occupied the territories they are in for 15 months; plenty of time to build defenses and lay mines. As the Russians have learned, tanks are no match for anti-armor missiles. It is naive to believe Ukraine’s armor will fare better against Russian missiles.
Russia has held back it’s air power (aljazeera) due to a supply of anti air missiles provided Ukraine by the West. NATO has not supplied Ukraine with aircraft (Time). Advances by Ukraine’s military will have to occur under Russian air superiority. Unless the west is going to provide air support Ukraine’s forces will be decimated if they move too fast.
The pace of any advances is key. If Ukraine forces take off with some silly “blitzkrieg” mentality they are going to get surrounded and destroyed. They cannot advance faster than their air cover can move with them. They will need engineers to defeat minefields and defenses. Their ability to maneuver will be severely hampered.
If Ukrainian forces are defeated in the open during an ill conceived assault it’s game over. Selective attacks on key positions and objectives in a methodical way can succeed, but the West should not expect instantaneous results.
Vlad Putin‘s forces have been beating themselves up trying to advance against Ukraine defenders. Letting them continue isn’t a bad strategy. Putin believes that if the West stops supporting Ukraine he has a chance at victory. Most of his propaganda, and that of his allies in the “alt right,” has reflected this effort.
Donald Trump’s comments praising Putin’s “genius” for one of the most disastrous military actions in modern history should be taken as a red flag. Listening to his commentary on how Ukraine should conduct it’s operations is a bad idea. Fortunately he has no power to affect the West’s support of Ukraine (Reason). It would be folly to bow to the Big T’s, or anyone else’s, pressure and be suckered into over committing forces in a half cocked counter offensive.
We must remain committed to supporting Ukraine in the face of this illegal act of aggression by the Russian Federation. Failing to stand strong will only encourage other tyrants with empirical ambitions and internal political strife to repeat Putin’s performance (CNN).
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