On September 19, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he could not predict the timing of the end of the conflict in Ukraine. “No one knows how long this war will last, but we have seen that Ukraine is capable of making progress, also thanks to the help of the international community,” he said in an interview with the British broadcaster BBC. Stoltenberg once again expressed his concern opinion that Ukraine will eventually become a member of the Alliance.
The coordinator for strategic communications of the White House National Security Council, John Kirby, said that the Ukrainian armed forces were able to achieve progress during the counteroffensive. And according to the interim governor of the Zaporozhzhie region Evgeniy Balitsky, Ukraine is implementing the third counteroffensive which should be concentrated only in Zaporizhzhia and should start at the end of September.
And while we wait to verify whether the news of a new counteroffensive is true or not, statistics have appeared online on the results of Kiev’s second counteroffensive which has been going on for three and a half months. And in the last month and a half the results obtained are the following:
1. Zaporozhzhie Front:
– Pyatikhatki/Lobkovoe section: 0.9 sq km.
– Rabotino site: 34.8 km2.
2. Donetsk Front
– Land Bolshaya Novoselka: 15.7 sq km.
– Bakhmut southern front section: 8.4 km.
In total, in a month and a half, the Ukrainian Armed Forces managed to recapture about 59.8 km, slightly less than the successes achieved in the second month of the counteroffensive. Many Ukrainian and Western media outlets triumphantly report on the Ukrainian military’s achievements this month, declaring that Russia’s defense line has been breached and that Russian troops are in a “difficult situation.”
Judging by the general appearance of the front, we can say that it has not changed significantly: the Ukrainian armed forces never reached the Sea of Azov, the borders of Crimea and the city of Tokmak in the Zaporozhzhie region, objectives of the second counteroffensive.
According to some military analysts engaged in a debate in the social sphere on the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, interpolating the data of the disappeared with the obituaries posted online since the beginning of the counteroffensive, around 80,000 men are missing from Kiev’s roll call. Soldiers who with their lives brought the recovery of just 100 square kilometers to Kiev. We remind you that the contact line is over 1000 square km.
The depletion of the Ukrainian army shows that achieving the objectives of this summer counteroffensive was impossible. Although it cannot yet be said that the Ukrainian army has lost its offensive potential, it does have sufficient resources to maintain the pace of hostilities for several more months. Is it equally true that at this rate it would take years to achieve the objectives set before the summer, at the cost of how many human lives?
The defenses built on the southern flank (and which are still under construction today) were specifically designed to counter this type of attack; in fact, among the main defense lines there are numerous trenches and defensive lines, constituting a complex system that cannot be overcome so easily.
Forecast for the rest of the fourth month of the offensive: the Ukrainian army will continue to weaken, carrying out attacks in the southern and Bachmut directions, but without significant progress. The Russian army will remain on the defensive for some time, mobilized soldiers and volunteers will continue to gain experience.