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Bloomberg: Russia could break through defenses in summer, Ukrainian officials warn

by Martin Fornusek March 1, 2024 12:45 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian soldiers of Separate Jaeger 71st Brigade fire artillery in the direction of Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on Feb. 18, 2024. (Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu via Getty Images)
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Ukrainian officials worry that Russian forces could gain momentum on the battlefield by the summer if allies do not increase ammunition supplies to Kyiv, Bloomberg reported on Feb. 29, citing a source familiar with the discussions.

Ukraine is in an increasingly precarious position in the war with Russia, as $60 billion in U.S. assistance remains stuck in Congress, causing serious ammunition shortages and contributing to the loss of Avdiivka.

Russian forces have been ramping up pressure along the front, capturing several other villages after taking the key front-line city in Donetsk Oblast. An unnamed European official told Bloomberg that these losses should act as a wake-up call to Ukraine's allies.

According to Ukraine's intelligence assessments, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has not given up on his goal to seize major cities like Kyiv and Odesa, Bloomberg wrote, citing its source. Moscow's troops failed to capture the capital or any other regional center in its early offensive in 2022, except for Kherson, which was liberated months later.

Depending on the results of the current offensive, Russia may decide to either continue a slow but steady advance or gather forces for a decisive strike in the summer, the outlet wrote.

Despite the problems that Ukraine is facing, success is not guaranteed for Russia, as it deals with its own challenges. Russian forces have also been worn out by the two years of the full-scale war and need significantly more soldiers and heavy vehicles for a major push, Admiral Rob Bauer, NATO's military committee chairman, said last month.

Some observers expect that Russia may launch a new wave of mobilization after the upcoming presidential election in March, which Putin is broadly expected to win.

In turn, Ukraine's partners are seeking ways to address Kyiv's ammunition shortages. Several countries have thrown their support behind Czechia's plan to buy 800,000 shells outside the EU and ship them to Ukraine.

An unnamed high-ranking NATO official said on Feb. 14 that major shifts in 2024 are unlikely as both Ukraine and Russia struggle to assemble a striking force capable of making a major breakthrough, according to a Kyiv Independent reporter.

Looking ahead, the official expects that Ukraine may intensify its military operations when the weather becomes more favorable during the spring. A major counteroffensive aiming to completely push out Russian forces from the Ukrainian territory is unlikely in 2024, the official noted.

The Counteroffensive: Russia’s failure to take Kyiv was luck and timing
Editor’s Note: This article was published by the blog “The Counteroffensive with Tim Mak” on Feb. 22, 2024, and has been re-published by the Kyiv Independent with permission. To subscribe to “The Counteroffensive,” click here. In the first hours of his full-scale invasion, Russian President Vladimi…

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