The Ukraine counteroffensive is a dud so far

On June 9, Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelensky, officially announced that the long-awaited Ukraine counteroffensive against invading Russia had begun.

So far the results have not been very impressive with the Ukrainians making conservative probing attacks to determine Russian weak points and not gaining much Russian occupied territory.

Ukraine is really in an unfortunate dilemma.

During most of the war, Ukraine was in defense mode with Russia making almost all of the aggressive attack moves, especially in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine.

Russia's mindless scorched-earth artillery shelling policy, followed by troop assaults with poorly trained conscripts gotten mainly from the first mobilization, gained them a reputation for crude brutal fighters, their troops being used as cannon fodder and taking unusually high casualty rates.

For a potentially successful aggressive attack, the aggressor has to have at least a 3-to-1 soldier superiority over the defending side, yet even with a 10-to-1 soldier superiority, the Russians were only able to make minimal progress, especially in the city of Bakhmut (under the mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin) which was not strategically important but only had political psychological significance for both sides.

So, the Ukrainians are now on the offensive, but they are not mindlessly attacking in droves to be easily killed by defending actions. The Ukrainians can’t afford to lose soldiers at the same rate as did the Russians so they are not suicidal and may come across as being too conservative in their tactics which in the initial phases is basically just a continuation of trench warfare with no major strategic breakthroughs.

The Ukrainians will need bold and costly strategic breakthroughs soon if they are to make any significant progress in the counterattacks.

The southern Ukraine battlefront, centered around Zaporizhzhia, is the most likely location for an eventual strategic breakthrough. Ukraine has been firing long range rockets and drones trying to take out command centers, stored ammo sites, petroleum storage places, rail lines, and an assortment of other strategic locations, trying to disrupt the logistics supplies and routes in the region to deprive the Russians of vital military resources. Even this softening up procedure cannot go on forever, though. That's because Western-supplied expensive, precision, long-range rockets and drones are in short supply and they run out quickly due to the numerous strategically significant Russian locations.

The southern Ukraine battlefront has been largely dormant for a long time with no ongoing Russian aggressive attacks taking place, at least on a daily basis, since the beginning of the war. The Russian soldiers in Zaporizhzhia are not as battle-weary as those in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine and are putting up a good defensive fight against Ukrainian soldiers.

The Russians basically have three lines of defense: 

There is the first line of defense which consists of minefields, anti-tank weapons, and artillery backing. Then there is a second line of defense, and a third which is the main one with most of the military hardware.

So far the Ukrainians have only had minor success in penetrating the first line of defense and taking back a handful of insignificant villages.

So, what can we expect if Ukraine continues forward the same way? Months and months or even years of military skirmishes which will lead to minimal territorial gains. Neither Ukraine nor Russia seem to have the ability to make bold, daring, and risky strategic military moves to take over territory and lose a minimum number of soldiers. Soon, both Ukraine and Russia may run out of enough artillery shells, drones, soldiers, and long range precision rockets, making the military stalemate even deeper than it is now.

I and some military analysts see no light at the end of this dark tunnel for Ukraine.

The Ukraine counteroffensive so far is a failure and it seems that we will all have to patiently wait for a long time for some optimistic military results to occur if they will ever occur for Ukraine.

Image: Screen shot from CBS News video via YouTube

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