Western officials and a high-ranking U.S. military officer have disclosed that the counteroffensive being led by Ukraine is not meeting their initial expectations, as Russian forces are performing better than expected in the early stages of Ukraine’s counteroffensive.
Western intelligence indicates that Russian defensive formations are considerably robust, challenging Ukrainian forces attempting to penetrate them. In addition, the Russian military has effectively utilized air assaults and land mines to immobilize Ukrainian armored units while enhancing their utilization of air power. One official mentioned that Ukrainian troops display vulnerabilities to minefields while Russian forces demonstrate aptitude in their defensive measures.
Despite the early struggles, the officials underscored that the counteroffensive is still in its infancy. They expressed hope that Ukraine would eventually succeed in regaining territories as the situation unfolds.
The officials also noted that Ukrainian forces have adapted to Russian defense tactics, employing more dismounted operations. In recent days, there has been an improvement in Ukraine’s ability to target and down Russian aircraft. One Western official described the ongoing counteroffensive as a “tough drive” for Ukraine and Russia, as both sides have sustained significant casualties.
This comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky admitted in a BBC interview on Wednesday that progress has been slower than desired. He said, “We would definitely like to make bigger steps but nevertheless, those who fight shall win and to those that knock, the door shall be opened.”