A failed Ukrainian offensive would create fears that this war could continue indefinitely (Reuters)
The Spanish newspaper "El Confidisial" published a report saying that the Ukrainian front was temporarily halted after a counteroffensive that did not achieve the progress expected by some Western governments. In this case, fears are growing that this "stalemate" will demoralize Ukrainian forces.
The report's author, Monica Redondo, quoted the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces, Valery Zaluzhny, as saying that as in World War I, "we have reached a level of technology that puts us at a standstill. There will probably be no deep progress."
Delayed military aid
Redondo quoted one of the soldiers named Jan Cipula as saying that the Ukrainian military operation did not produce the immediate results that were expected, explaining that one reason for this is that the West did not send military aid "on time," referring to Leopard tanks that arrived last spring.
"Ukraine's progress should not be underestimated. The Black Sea fleet was almost destroyed, and its remains were evacuated from Crimea. Ukrainian sailors also crossed the Dnieper River and set up a beachhead on the Russian side." According to him, "the enemy loses a record number of equipment and soldiers every day."
Pressure on Ukraine may increase
Before the start of the counteroffensive, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba warned of the danger of putting all expectations on the results of the military operation, because if it fails, Western aid may become in doubt, and pressure may increase on Ukraine to negotiate with Russia to agree to stop the war.
According to Marc Kansian, senior advisor to the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic Studies, "a failed attack would create fears that this war will continue at its cost and suffering indefinitely."
Since the beginning of the war, the Ukrainians – the army and the people – have been characterized by very high morale and great hope that they can defeat Russia and regain their territory.
But Liana Fix, a historian, political scientist and security expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, noted that "the stalemate is of course frustrating for Ukrainian forces, especially as Russia is preparing mine belts that negate Ukraine's technological advantages and rocket attacks in winter."
For the West and Ukraine, this moment means preparing for a long war that could stretch into 2024 or 2025, failing to halt Russia's advance through a successful counteroffensive and forcing Russia to negotiate.
The report said the conflict is likely to continue, saying the latest reports from the Institute for the Study of War indicate that Russia has made greater achievements on the front line than Ukraine despite the high number of casualties. Israel's war against the Islamist group Hamas has also distracted Western powers.
Features of the current situation
Analysts are focusing on arms shipments destined from the United States and Europe to Ukraine. Some analysts point out that the current "stalemate" is due to the fact that much aid has not arrived in time.
According to Commander Valerie Zaluzhni, there are other factors that explain the current situation on the battlefield: while reconnaissance drones are a strategic tool for terrain analysis, they have made large-scale surprise attacks impossible. This was Ukraine's trump card last year, when it retook Kharkiv in an operation the Russians did not expect.
Jamming GPS signals on an unprecedented scale also hampers Ukraine's ability to use Western-provided high-precision munitions, which rely on the system. Finally, it has been extremely difficult for Ukrainian forces to break through Russian defensive lines, which have been prepared for months and backed by deep minefields that prevent automated maneuvers on the ground.
What Ukraine fears most
The morale of Ukrainian troops, both in harsh battles such as the battles of Bakhamout and in other battles in the south and east of the country, is the main factor that characterized the almost first two years of the war. However, what military analysts and Ukraine fear most is that the stalemate in the war will halt military aid from the United States and Europe.
Russia, says Redondo, faces a similar challenge but is helped by other allies, and analyst Liana Fix explains that "Moscow is taking heavy losses in ammunition and troops, but it can count on the support of North Korea and Iran, has increased its budget and shifted its economy towards military production, giving it an advantage in the availability of resources."
Source: Spanish Confederation