Ukraine is worried about losing control of the battle story due to expectations management.

As Ukraine’s counteroffensive meets stiff Russian resistance, Kyiv and its supporters worry a gloomy portrayal of the campaign could undercut continued Western military aid.

Some U.S. government officials have privately expressed their disappointment at the Ukrainians’ apparent reluctance to deploy some of the best-trained and equipped units and the fact that they did not apply the principles taught during training. One U.S. official expressed frustration at the Ukrainians’ failure to use more of their combat power.

A senior official in the Biden administration said that the U.S. allies and the Biden administration have provided Ukraine with everything it asked for, including hundreds of armored cars and 500 tanks.

Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters Thursday.

Ukrainian officials deny that they are moving too slow.

Sak, a Ukrainian nationalist, said: “I do not think that any other nation in the world would want to see this counteroffensive move faster.”

“Look, our enemy is outnumbered in personnel, artillery, and all other aspects. “We have to be David to fight Goliath. This means that we must be smart,” said he.

Heavy Casualties

Former Ukrainian Vice Defense Minister Leonid polyakov said that in at least two cases, one in June and the other in July, a commander of a brigade had launched direct attacks during the counteroffensive, in an attempt to achieve a quick victory. The army sent infantry units and armored vehicles to attack the Russian line across minefields that were not cleared and without suppressing enemy gunfire. The brigades suffered heavy losses from the opposing forces. Their commanders were heavily criticized for their unnecessary losses.

Ukrainian soldiers fire toward the Russian position in the Zaporizhzhia region June 24.

Efrem Lukatsky / AP file

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian president, has admitted that his forces have been working to integrate new Western military training and equipment. He said that they delayed the “spring counteroffensive” because there were not enough munitions, armaments, and properly trained brigades.

Analysts and U.S. officials claimed that the Russians took advantage of this extra time to strengthen their defenses.

U.S. officials said that experts and U.S. military personnel believe that breaking through the Russian lines and minefields to the east and south of the country will cause heavy casualties for Ukrainian troops.

The senior official of the administration said, “That is a difficult decision for a commander on the battlefield to make.” The official added: “I don’t believe anyone should be able to criticize the Ukrainians’ seriousness in taking this decision.”

Aug. 1, 202301:42

George Barros is a Russia expert at the Institute for the Study of War. He said that he was worried about policymakers and the press setting excessively high expectations for the Ukrainians. He said that there is a risk of “the narrative of stalemate” or a narrative of an unsuccessful Ukrainian counteroffensive.

Ukraine and its Western supporters say that these unrealistic expectations could play right into Russia’s hand, as Moscow bets that NATO allies will eventually tire of giving military aid to Kyiv, and that Ukraine may finally agree to concessions to stop the fighting.

Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, claimed that Ukraine’s offensive had failed in the last week. He said that “the enemy has not been successful in any single area.” The Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that the Ukrainian counteroffensive had failed last week, saying “not in a single area of fighting the enemy has there been success.” His claim has been repeated by Russian media, pro Kremlin Telegram and press statements out of Moscow.

Central and Eastern European countries, who have frequently lobbied on behalf of Ukraine in Washington and NATO, are aware that war fatigue could be spreading in the West. Nikodem Rachon is the spokesperson for the Polish Embassy in Washington. In the lead-up to Ukraine’s counteroffensive the Polish leaders have tried to temper their expectations. They warned that it would take “a massive effort,” and might not produce any immediate results.

He said: “It is quite obvious that Russia uses this aspect to undermine the unity of the countries that support Ukraine.”

William Taylor, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, warned that drawing overly pessimistic conclusions about Ukraine could lead to a “self fulfilling prophecy.”

He said, “If there is a perception that the Ukrainians cannot win, we will not provide the things they need to be successful.”

Fighting Without Air Power

Ukrainians claim that air power is a crucial area where international assistance is needed. They are trying to retake territory using only artillery, armored vehicles, and no air force capable of clearing a path for the ground forces.

“We wouldn’t have done it.” “We’ve never done this and yet we ask them to do it,” Taylor said, who was an Army infantryman in Vietnam.

On July 17, a Russian military helicopter flew over damaged portions of the Crimean Bridge. The bridge connects the Russian mainland with the Crimean Leninsula, and is an important supply route for Russian war efforts in Ukraine.

According to a report submitted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 2019, the U.S. military doctrine puts a strong emphasis on coordinated air-and-ground attacks, or “joint firing support.” This approach increases “chances of success” during a maneuver.

Polyakov stated that without air support the Ukrainian military forces would have to improvise more and be more cautious. He said that they could not follow the basic principles of U.S. Military doctrine.

“We launched a counteroffensive with no air superiority – not in the airforce, not using drones, and not using helicopters. “We have some precision-guided artillery munitions,” said Polyakov who is a member of a military think-tank advising Zelenskyy. “But it’s absurd to say that we should hold back when all the necessary components are not available.”

It will likely take several months before Ukraine can use the F-16 jets. The Biden administration has said that it plans to supply F-16 fighter jets. U.S. officials claim that the fighter jets alone will not be sufficient to change the tide.

Diplomatic solution

The political stakes for Ukraine’s counteroffensive are higher than ever. Ukraine is dependent on foreign military aid to maintain its war effort.

31 July 2023 01:46

Ukraine claims that it has made steady progress and that in just a few weeks, its forces have reclaimed territory that was seized by the Russians over several months.

Zelenskyy praised Ukrainian troops recently for regaining control of Staromaiorske in the southeast after a fierce battle that included artillery duel and house-to home fighting. According to analysts and U.S. government officials, an assault in June with armored vehicles failed to penetrate Russian lines in southern Ukraine. In the last week, Ukraine made a concentrated attempt in the western part of the Zaporizhia Oblast.

There hasn’t been any significant changes in the frontlines of the war in the last nine months. Both Ukrainian and Russian troops have not made major gains, and Samuel Charap is a senior researcher at the Rand Corp. He argues that there are no realistic chances of either side achieving a decisive victory.

He said that the U.S. must prepare for an uncertain outcome and look at options for a diplomatic solution.

It’s a good indication of the direction things are heading. Charap stated that there would not be a definitive military outcome.

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