“Washington Post”: The disaster of the Ukrainian counteroffensive

The grand plans for the Ukrainian counter-offensive were not realized. As the Washington Post writes, Ukraine suffered heavy losses.

The Washington Post published an extensive article about the counter-offensive, showing that Ukraine made few gains because not everything initially went according to plan. So Valery Zaluzhny, the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, had to change his tactics despite the advice of US officials.

The text is based on interviews with more than thirty Ukrainian and American officials and more than twenty officers and soldiers from the front line. Some of them spoke on condition of anonymity.

No progress

“WP” reported that the 47th Separate Mechanized Brigade would launch a counter-offensive on June 7, advancing nearly ten miles to the village of Robotyne in the first 24 hours, with the aim of liberating Melitopol and cutting off Russian supply routes. However, not everything went according to plan.

The density of minefields and attacks exceeded all expectations, the losses of troops and equipment were too great, and many soldiers experienced shock for the first time in battle and retreated to regroup and rejoin the bloody battle. “It was hellfire,” said Oleh Sentsov, platoon commander of the 47th Brigade.

Decline in morale

On the fourth day, General Załużny saw burned Western military equipment: American Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, German Leopard tanks and mine clearance vehicles. The number of deaths and injuries undermined morale. A senior Ukrainian military officer said the commander ordered his troops to suspend the attack before all Ukrainian weapons were destroyed.

Rather than attempt to breach Russian defenses with a large-scale mechanized attack backed by artillery fire, as his American counterparts advised, Załuzhny decided that Ukrainian soldiers would move on foot in small groups of ten, thus saving equipment and limiting human losses. but it was much slower.

The late counter-offensive, which was originally scheduled to reach the Sea of ​​Azov within two to three months, almost came to a halt.

Expectations versus reality

Instead of making a breakthrough of almost 9 miles (14.5 km) on the first day, the Ukrainians advanced about 5.7 miles (9.3 km) inland in the nearly six months from June and liberated several villages. It took more than two days to free Robotyne, and Melitopol is still out of reach. Seventy percent of the soldiers of one of the counter-offensive brigades, equipped with the latest Western weapons, went into battle without combat experience.

“Ukraine’s failures on the battlefield led to disputes with the United States over the best way to penetrate Russia’s deep defenses. The commander of US forces in Europe was unable to contact Ukraine’s commander-in-chief for weeks at the beginning of the campaign,” describes “WP”.

Each side blamed the other for mistakes or miscalculations. U.S. military officials concluded that Ukraine had failed to master basic military tactics, including using ground reconnaissance to understand minefield density. Ukrainian officials, in turn, claimed that the Americans did not appear to understand how attack drones and other technologies had changed the battlefield.

In total, Ukraine has reclaimed only about 320 square kilometers of territory in 2023 alone, at the cost of thousands of deaths and injuries and billions in Western military aid.

Source: Do Rzeczy