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Ukraine can exploit Russia’s confusion “but must plan carefully”

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MP Cannes 11/09/22.

Better weaponry from the West has enabled a surprise counterattack, leaving Russian forces in disarray. But caution is required in formulating a strategy for the harsh months ahead, writes military expert Dr Jack Watling

After five months on the defensive, Ukraine has seized the initiative from the Russian armed forces and is on the offensive, writes Dr Jack Watling in the Observer, London. In the south, Ukrainian troops are pushing Russia’s most capable combat units back towards Kherson and fixing them against the west bank of the Dnipro River, where they can be destroyed in place with artillery.

In the north-east, Ukrainian forces launched a surprise counteroffensive to sever the ground lines of communication north of Izyum, the base from which Russian forces were attempting to push into Donbas, compelling a Russian withdrawal. Several key capabilities have enabled these successes. In June, the Ukrainians could not concentrate their forces because of the volume of Russian artillery arrayed against them and struggled to get timely tactical intelligence from unmanned aerial vehicles – drones – because of extensive Russian electronic warfare and air defence complexes.

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Jack Watling is senior research fellow for land warfare at the Royal United Services Institute, London (RUSI)

 

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