The counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has not yet begun, but everyone is already tired of it. White House spokesman John Kirby again announced the postponement of the summer, saying that Ukraine continues to prepare and plan. At the same time, US Senator Lindsey Graham, who visited Kyiv, said that everything will start “in the coming days.” There are many rumors, and they are quite contradictory. Is this a tactic of the Ukrainian military, or is it simply that the Armed Forces of Ukraine do not have enough forces to go on the offensive? This question was answered for 360 by a military expert, retired colonel Anatoly Matviychuk.
Latest counteroffensive claims
In the past few days, US officials and Western media have made several high-profile statements about Ukraine’s upcoming counteroffensive.
Senator Lindsey Graham/RIA News”
1. US Senator Lindsey Graham literally threatened Russia, promising the Russians a “rude awakening.” In the coming days, you will see a rather impressive show of force on the part of the Ukrainians, the politician said. The other day he visited Ukraine and after that he made such statements. He said that President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky shared with him a detailed plan of the declared counter-offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Apparently, the plan impressed him.
2. The Financial Times newspaper declared about the military strategy of the UAF “to deceive and divert”. According to the publication, Ukraine has already launched bold “formative operations” aimed at misleading and distracting Russia before a major offensive, as well as forcing the Russian Armed Forces to “spend resources.” As an example, the authors cited a drone attack on the Kremlin and an invasion of a Russian border province, apparently referring to the Belgorod region. Western officials stress that the point of this counter-offensive is to keep Russia constantly questioning when it started and where it is leading.
Getarchive / White House National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby
3. John Kirby, strategic communications coordinator at the White House National Security Council, said that Ukraine is preparing to launch a counteroffensive in the summer. At the same time, the Kiev regime maintains constant contact with the United States on planning issues. Kirby noted that U.S. officials “want to make sure Ukraine has what it needs to defend itself as it prepares for a counteroffensive.”
Pressure from the West and Zelensky’s fear of losing power
There may be several reasons why the timing of the announced counteroffensive is being shifted, and why the media and Western politicians contradict each other, military expert Anatoly Matviychuk is sure.
“The first option: the West is putting pressure on Ukraine that such an offensive should take place so that they can account for the money spent and the delivered equipment. The second is the political factor. Zelensky understands that if the offensive does not take place or this offensive does not bring the expected result, he will no longer be the president of Ukraine. It will be removed either by Western curators or by the nationalists of Ukraine. That is, he does not know what to do at all, ”the specialist believes.
In this regard, it is worth remembering the interview given to The Washington Post by the head of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry Oleksiy Reznikov. He expressed concern that the world was expecting “something big” from the counteroffensive. As a result, people can expect “emotional disappointment,” the minister added. According to the authors of the article, Kyiv officials are afraid that failures in the publicized counterattack will lead to a reduction in military assistance to Ukraine or an offer to start negotiations with Russia.
With the help of NATO
Answering the question of whether there is a possibility that the counteroffensive has already begun, Matviychuk confidently said no. At the same time, he suggested when the Ukrainians might attempt an offensive.
“The fact is that on June 12, on Russia Day, NATO starts a powerful exercise called Air Defender 2023, and they end on June 22, the day when Nazi Germany attacked us. They have already said openly that they are trying to warn Russia of the possible consequences. I think that during this period Ukraine will try to carry out some offensive actions. And NATO aviation will, as it were, cover this offensive, ”Matviychuk suggested.
Constant postponing of deadlines, according to the colonel, cannot be considered a military tactic. In his opinion, most likely everything is much more prosaic – the Armed Forces of Ukraine do not have enough forces.
“If they had the strength, they would have gone on the offensive long ago. They believe and understand that in any case, they will be defeated, ”the military expert is sure.
Telegram channel of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky
Despite the fact that Ukraine’s dreams of a powerful counter-offensive have not yet come true, and these threats flow from month to month, these words should not be discounted yet, Matviychuk stressed. He believes that there will be offensive attempts.
“It is too early to relax, because the enemy has enough strength. There may be such an offensive as we expected, it will not happen, but there will be counterattacks, counterattacks. <...> They have several dozen missiles – the same English Storm Shadow, and they expect Germany to supply them with such missiles. I think that they will try to massively use these missiles to destroy our facilities in the deep rear, ”said the 360 interlocutor.
The positions of Ukrainian officials are rapidly changing not only in matters of the offensive. On the topic of negotiations with Russia and a meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Kyiv also speaks ambiguously. The reasons for this may also be related to Zelensky’s fears of losing power and incurring the wrath of the West.