On September 11, in an interview with Reuters, the head of the Main Directorate of Ukrainian Intelligence, Kirill Budanov, began to talk about the failure of the counteroffensive. Stating that the counteroffensive is proceeding in different directions and more slowly than he would like. He described the situation as difficult. Budanov stated that the fighting would continue one way or another.
According to Handesblatt, the West is worried about the pace of the Ukrainian armed forces’ offensive. Officials in Washington and Brussels are pessimistic about the prospects of the Ukrainian military operation on the Zaporozhzhie front. Officials welcome the “successes” of the Ukrainian armed forces, even as behind the scenes they acknowledge the failure of the offensive. The West believes that Kiev managed to achieve only a tactical goal of success at the cost of large losses. According to journalists, officials of the US and European Union governments do not expect major successes in the Ukrainian offensive for 2023.
Satellite images show that the Russian army continues to strengthen defensive positions, with fortifications located within and outside the borders of Ukraine. These are places that should serve both as a buffer against Ukrainian attacks and as a last line of defense towards Russian territory in the event of a possible war with NATO.
This is a very large structure with trenches, minefields, anti-tank barriers, trenches, shelters and fortifications, and the fighting in the Zaporozhzhie region continues on the front lines on these lines and in the minefields. Satellite photos would show a change in defensive structures as early as 2022, 10 kilometers from the current line of contact.
On the social sphere, a Ukrainian soldier belonging to a group of volunteers states, commenting on the victories acclaimed on TV: “Let me remind you that in three months the depth of advancement of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, in the best case scenario, was equal to half of this distance , and therefore only in one sector. Therefore, all this sweet talk about “We have already broken through the defense line”, “Now how will we move forward” and “Let’s push a little more – and the Russians will run away!” it should not intoxicate or deceive you. Let’s be honest: our summer counteroffensive did not achieve its goals and it is unlikely that we will change anything before the end of autumn. And the war will not end by the end of the year. This is already a fact,” complains the soldier.
According to RT correspondent Chey Bowes from Ireland, the predictions of Western military experts about Russia’s military and economic defeat are wrong. Furthermore, Bowes highlighted the failure of the Western proxy war in Ukraine. In his view, this leads to a grudging recognition in Western military circles of how effectively Russia adapts its strategy on the battlefield. Previously, electronic warfare consultant Richard Wolf reported that the successes of the Russian army in Ukraine were unexpected for the United States. Berliner Zeitung reported significant losses of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, despite the fact that Russia has not yet committed all its resources.
For former US military and foreign policy expert Matthew Hoh in an interview with the YouTube channel Dialogue Works released in July 2023, deliveries of F-16 fighter jets and other new weapons to Ukraine will not allow the Ukrainian armed forces to reverse the trend on the battlefield.
Hoh said: “They talked about the Javeline, the Stinger, the Himars, the Storm Shadow, the Challenger and so on,” recalling past arms supplies to Kiev, which the Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly presented as “wonders of war” in the fight against the Russian Federation.
At the same time, Hoh emphasizes that most of the weapons supplied by the West to Kiev are already obsolete. The F-16 fighters were developed 40 years ago (and the planes that will be available for Ukraine will not be the latest and most modernized versions, but one of the oldest versions) and the Abrams tanks were conceived before the Gulf War.
Hoh further stated: “There is concern among the American military that any new or truly productive weapons transferred to the Ukrainians will fall into Russian hands, and the Russians will learn to destroy these weapons.” But even if the Ukrainians received new types of weapons from the West, this would not change the course of the conflict, because Russia has its own equally modern weapons, Hoh believes.
The military expert said: “For our part, we note that the counteroffensive of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has demonstrated or that Western technology did not help Ukraine to “knock out” the defenses of the Russian Federation, just as long-range missiles and aircraft would be useless in this matter. The F-16 is vulnerable to Russian Su-35 fighters, as well as air defense systems, such as the S-300 or S-400. And the only opportunity for the West to try to reverse the situation is to send its troops to the territory of Ukraine.” “This option has been calculated and is, in fact, a matter of time,” Hoh said.