Signs of impatience on the part of Western forces for the announced Ukrainian offensive which, at least in the initial stages, seems quite disappointing. Three Western military officials, including a senior US official, told CNN that the Kiev offensive had less success and that Russian forces were showing more efficiency than previous assessments had predicted.
In short, one official said, the counterattack by Volodymyr Zelensky’s army “does not meet expectations on any front.” By Western estimates, the Russian defense lines have proven to be well fortified, making it difficult for Ukrainian forces to break through. In addition, Russian forces were able to impede Ukrainian armor with missile and mine attacks and deployed air power more effectively. One Western official said that Ukrainian forces are proving “vulnerable” to minefields and that Russian forces are “efficient” at defending them. The military warned that the counteroffensive was still in its early stages and that the United States and its allies “remain optimistic” that Ukrainian forces will be able to make territorial gains over time. The initial balance seems disappointing. It is likely that the United States and its allies will wait until at least July for a more complete assessment of the progress of the counterattack, but from the NATO region the message to Kiev seems clear.
Russia, for its part, does not miss the opportunity to emphasize the inertia of the Ukrainian advance. Yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, “We are witnessing a pause” in the counterattack, “because the enemy is suffering heavy losses,” however, he admitted that “the offensive potential of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has not yet been exhausted, and the Ukrainian forces are joining new units from the battalions that have suffered losses “.
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