Ukraine’s vain attempts to launch an offensive ostensibly to oust Russia from “conquered” lands in the Donbass reminds me of the Japanese Kamikaze bombers trying to impede the inevitable U.S. victory in the Pacific. It is needless deaths sacrificed in the name of national honor but, when it is over, is totally meaningless.
Before delving into the futility of Ukrainian efforts, I need to introduce you to a crazy person in the U.K. masquerading as a former military officer. This man is bonkers. Thank God that Lt. Col. Stuart Crawford is a “former” U.K. Army officer. His opinion piece is titled, How Ukraine blitzkrieg will tear Putin’s forces to ribbons. This manifestation of insanity normally would require that the person espousing such nonsense be wrapped up in a straight jacket and placed in a padded cell and fed jello. Preferably lime green.
Long range strikes into Russian forces rear areas, some with the UK-supplied Storm Shadow air-launched cruise missile, may indicate that some “shaping of the battlefield” is underway.
These strikes are targeting Russian arms and fuel dumps plus lines of communications and are probably designed to both isolate enemy forces on the front line and prevent reinforcements and supplies being brought forward.
Recent maritime drone attacks on Russian naval vessels in the Black Sea may be intended to force the enemy navy into its protected ports and prevent them launching their missiles at Ukrainian targets. In other words, they will keep the Russian navy quiet and out of the equation as much as possible. . . .
Which brings me to the wildcard option. Readers will, I suspect, have noted the recent incursion into Russian territory near Belgorod, where pro-Ukrainian disaffected Russian nationals mounted a raid which temporarily captured some Russian settlements and embarrassed the Kremlin until they withdrew.
This took place outside the 900 km fortified frontline between Ukraine and the occupied areas, and on a part of the Russo-Ukraine border where there has been little military activity to date. It showed, however, how lightly guarded this part of the Russian frontier is and how poorly prepared the Russians are to defend it.
What if the Ukrainians exploited this weakness and delivered a wide left hook which struck into Russian territory in the Belgorod region and then turned south? It would outflank the Russian “Maginot Line” along the contested demarcation zone and catch them in the flank – as the Germans did with the Allies through the Ardennes in 1940 during the Second World War.
I suspect that retired Lt. Col. Crawford is snacking on some magic mushrooms instead of sipping tea and munching crumpets. Ukraine does not have the logistics support in place capable of sustaining such an operation, not to mention the lack of troops and tanks. Not my opinion. An objective fact.
Here is just one report from the frontline in the Donbass detailing the “success” of this kind of Ukrainian left hook:
On the morning of June 4, the enemy launched a large-scale offensive in five sectors of the front in the South Donetsk direction by introducing into battle 23rd and 31st mechanized brigades from the strategic reserves of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with the support of other military units and subunits.
In total, six mechanized and two tank battalions of the enemy were involved.
The goal of the enemy was to break through our defenses on the, in their opinion, most vulnerable sector of the front.
The enemy did not achieve their tasks, they had no success.
As a result of the skillful and competent actions of the Eastern Group of Forces, the losses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine amounted to more than 250 personnel, 16 tanks, three infantry fighting vehicles, 21 armored fighting vehicles.
Apart from losing 250 soldiers, Ukraine is now short 16 tanks and 21 armored fighting vehicles. Ukraine does not have an intact defense industry manufacturing new tanks and armored vehicles. Zelensky is running around Europe like a homeless guy begging for spare change. But instead of getting shekels in his rusty cup he is pleading for tanks and vehicles, which are no longer widely available. Ukraine grabbing a few kilometers inside Russian territory is only a temporary achievement that cannot be consolidated into a sustained offensive. Ukraine is not following a von Clausewitz plan, it is doing George Armstrong Custer at the Little Bighorn.
No army in the history of war can sustain losses like this and prevail. Ukraine is not following military doctrine. It is being coerced by the West in launching desperate suicide missions that are not going to change the strategic picture on the ground. Instead, it is just more meat grinding, which the Russians are happy to do. Too bad that Lt. Col. Crawford does not have the stones to go forward with the Ukrainians and put his own neck on the line. This is needless slaughter.