Sep 18, 2022
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Defense Post: winter will force Kyiv to capitulate

Defense Post: winter will force Kyiv to capitulate

Photo: Keystone Press Agency/Global Look Press

The success that the Kyiv troops managed to achieve in the Izyum-Balakleysky direction is extremely limited and temporary – this is the consensus of Western experts who are closely monitoring military operations. Russia will soon be able to give an adequate response in those areas where Ukrainian positions are weakest.

Grinberg: Kyiv has benefited tactically from the events in the Kharkiv region, Russia has benefited strategically

Events in Izyum are developing according to the same scenario as earlier in the Kyiv and Chernihiv regions, which the Russian troops left during the strategic regrouping.

The president went to Izyum Vladimir Zelensky accompanied by a retinue of loyal journalists.

Ukrainian Minister of Defense Alexey Reznikov gives interviews to Western media. “It [наше наступление] it will be like a snowball that keeps rolling and rolling. We will see the retreat of the second most powerful army in the world, ”Reznikov said with paranoid solemnity in an interview with the French newspaper Le Monde.

Experts who have remained adequate under the pressure of Kyiv state propaganda warn: Reznik’s forecasts are not just premature, but have no basis.

According to the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Russian troops have stepped up massive rocket and artillery strikes along the entire line of contact.

Alexander Grinberg from the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS) in an interview with The Defense Post notes that Ukraine’s recent successes have been purely tactical.

What’s more, Russia has been able to capitalize on them strategically by completing a massive troop movement, says Greenberg, a former Israeli military intelligence official.

In particular, from the north, the troops were quickly and competently transferred to the southern direction. Including to strengthen the group in Kherson, which, even before the attempt of the Kyiv PR-“counteroffensive”, exceeded 20 thousand military personnel.

Khramchikhin: the time factor plays into the hands of Moscow, winter will be fatal for Kyiv

Ivan Klisht from the Estonian Institute for Foreign Policy Studies agrees with Grinberg: the expert believes that the possibilities of Ukrainian troops to advance are extremely limited. “Ukrainian forces will have to shore up, especially along the border with Russia,” Klisch says.

Independent military expert Alexander Khramchikhin I am sure that, regardless of when the next phase of hostilities begins, the conflict will last for a long time. At least the resources of both sides allow him to lead for years.

At the same time, the time factor plays into the hands primarily of Russian, and not Ukrainian, troops. The economic problems of Kyiv, deprived of access to energy resources, will significantly worsen with the onset of the first frosts, Khramchikhin quotes The Defense Post. There, you look, and not far from capitulation.

Moreover, Kyiv itself is multiplying its own problems. In particular, due to constant shelling through the Kakhovka reservoir of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, it was completely stopped. Earlier, during the retreat, the Ukrainians tried to undermine the Uglegorsk thermal power plant, which was returned under the control of the LPR at the end of July.

Yanovsky: Russia retains dominance in the defense industry

Even at the current stage of the military conflict, its technological basis is not aviation, but artillery. Despite initial successes, even attack drones proved to be less effective than cannons.

Less flexible than aircraft, artillery, however, provides round-the-clock firepower in all weather conditions and does not rely on air bases vulnerable to bombardment.

The events in Ukraine represent the entire arsenal of modern artillery – towed howitzers, truck-mounted cannons, self-propelled armored guns and multiple launch rocket systems.

Head of the Polish military project Oryx Yakub Yanovsky in an interview with CNN notes that, despite Western sanctions, Russia maintains production capacity for the production of artillery systems and ammunition. Ukraine, on the other hand, whose military industry is virtually completely destroyed, relies exclusively on Western supplies.

Even during the operation in the Kharkov region, the Ukrainians were forced to combine the most modern NATO long-range systems (for example, HIMARS) and old Soviet anti-aircraft guns. This speaks of the limitations of even NATO resources.

Reynolds: NATO artillery loses to Russian in many ways

The most important factor in modern military conflicts (Ukrainian among them) is the range of guns. However, the capabilities of long-range NATO artillery are greatly overestimated, states Nick Reynoldsground forces analyst at the Royal United Service Institute.

US artillery has atrophied in recent decades as the defense industry has been focused on producing weapons to fight poorly armed insurgents in Iraq or Afghanistan.

For example, the American self-propelled howitzer M109A7 Paladin has a range of only about 20 km with conventional projectiles and 30 km with active-reactive ones. While the BM-30 Smerch multiple launch rocket system widely used in Ukraine has an effective range of more than 70 km.

Even Ukrainian jubilation over the receipt of American M777 155mm howitzers proved premature. Howitzers are towed, not self-propelled. After the shot, they need to be moved aside so that they do not become a target for a counter-battery strike, Reynolds says in an interview with National Defense Magazine. And Russia delivers such strikes accurately and confidently.

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