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Will counter-offensive end Ukraine's stalemate with Russia?

The war in Ukraine has devolved into a stalemate, but with the promise of more sophisticated weapons, will Ukraine have what it takes to win the war?
Will counter-offensive end Ukraine's stalemate with Russia?
Posted at 7:38 PM, May 27, 2023

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak previously hinted on Twitter that Ukraine’s counteroffensive is underway.

"This is not a single event’ that will begin at a specific hour of a specific day with a solemn cutting of the red ribbon," Podolyak wrote. "These are dozens of different actions to destroy the #Russian occupation forces in different directions, which have already been taking place yesterday, are taking place today, and will continue tomorrow. Intensive destruction of enemy logistics is also a counteroffensive."

Jamil N. Jaffer, executive director of the National Security Institute, said there have been signs of a counteroffensive getting underway for some time. 

“We've already seen the Ukrainians begin preparing for this,” Jaffer said. “They've conducted what they call ‘operational preparation environment.’ They've conducted strikes deep inside of Russia, hitting their supply depots and the like in an effort to prepare the battle space for the next part of this offensive, which will likely come as a series of efforts trying to penetrate Russian lines.”

Jaffer says Russia currently controls 17% of Ukraine, which Ukrainian forces hope to pick up. 

“Ukraine is going to try to come around, penetrate their lines, push them back as far as they can, and get them as far out of Ukrainian territory as possible,” Jaffer said.

Ukraine will soon begin being trained on F-16s. Although Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has long called for such aircraft, U.S. officials have downplayed such weaponry. 

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“F-16s for Ukraine is about the long-term commitment to Ukraine," Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said. "These F-16s will not be relevant to the upcoming counter-offensive."

Jaffer said forces could be trained on these aircrafts enough to start using them within four months, but being fully trained can take nearly 18 months. 

“They are not a magic weapon, but they can be hugely effective if the operators are trained properly and can get to the point where they're effective,” Jaffer said.

There are many indications that the war, which began in February 2022, will continue for some time. Jaffer said the U.S. and the West have done enough to help Ukraine force a standstill, but now is the time is to give Ukraine the tools it needs to win the war.

“One of the real challenges here is that we never expected the Russians to be as weak as they were, nor the Ukrainians to be as good as they are,” Jaffer said. 


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