Espreso. Global

U.S. should present strategy for Ukraine's victory over Russia. Column by Serhiy Zgurets

23 April, 2024 Tuesday

The U.S. aid package of more than $60 billion will meet the basic needs of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. By the way, this package also unlocks $4 billion left over from last year. There are two extremely interesting things in this bill that not everyone has noticed


About Budanov's interview on the deterioration of the situation at the front

The words of Ukraine's Intelligence Directorate chief should be taken in the context of the multidimensionality of military operations. We understand that this can be directed at the adversary, at the Ukrainian population, to prepare them for the realities. Budanov says that the situation will be difficult in early May and June, but his words are nothing new. He says that Russia's operation may be complex, meaning that it is not only about the situation on the front line, but also about the situation inside Ukraine.

If one makes a certain prediction, it is likely that Russia will continue to put pressure on the front lines, launch missile attacks, and that terrorist attacks by the Russians on Ukrainian territory are possible. And, of course, there may be a powerful information and psychological operation aimed at both Ukrainian citizens and Western countries to diminish the possibility of providing military and technical assistance.

When speaking about the military component, the current structure of the potential and capabilities of the Russian forces engaged in offensive actions cannot ensure an attack on Kyiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, and Chernihiv. However, Russia will try to reach the borders of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and the main Russian efforts are concentrated in that direction.

Budanov's interview is likely to prepare Ukrainians for the various realities that may be on the battlefield. But we understand that after the announcement of the US military aid package, Ukraine's potential will be increased, and the risks can be compensated for by using the actions of the Armed Forces.

About American assistance

The U.S. aid package of more than $60 billion will meet the basic needs of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. By the way, this package also unlocks $4 billion left over from last year. There are two very interesting things in this bill that not everyone has noticed because it requires the US Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense to present a strategy for Ukraine's victory over Russia in the best way that the US will determine. That is, the word "victory" is finally mentioned in the bill. Previously, everyone said that the United States was following a strategy to ensure that Russia did not win and Ukraine did not lose.

The draft law also mentions that an analysis of the possible transfer of weapons that will be of significant importance on the battlefield, as well as those that have not been transferred before, should be carried out. This may include the transfer of Tomahawk cruise missiles. The draft law also mentions the transfer of 300-kilometer-range ATACMS missiles, which is a significant shift from previous decisions of the US administration, because Ukraine currently has limited 180-kilometer-range missiles. These things related to the expansion of the list of weapons are extremely important.

Pentagon representatives said that within a few weeks, the transfer of ammunition and missiles to air defense systems could be ensured. There is also talk of expanding the number of armored vehicles. In the future, Ukraine can expect weapons related to the defense of the sky. Ammunition and missiles for air defense should be transferred as soon as possible, because it is now affecting the situation on the front line, where Russia has an advantage in artillery. Similarly, the work of air defense is essential to minimize Russia's use of aircraft with bombs, which are now systematically destroying Ukrainian fortifications.

The situation at the front

Talking about the situation on the front line, I'll mention Ivanivske. I called a comrade who provides artillery support in these areas, and a couple of days ago he told me that there was a catastrophic shortage of ammunition, and now he said that ammunition has appeared. Thanks to this, Ukraine's armed forces were able to destroy their enemy in Ivanivske, where Ukrainian fighters can sit in one house and the enemy can be in the next, so the enemy must be targeted very precisely using artillery. The comrade noted that together with drones and artillery, they managed to restrain the invader's advance.

But we understand that now it is all an echo of the history when there was very little ammunition, which led to Russia's ability to put pressure along the entire front line. I hope that soon, American ammunition will arrive faster and help Ukraine's military to hold the front line, as well as to take advantage of the current stage and destroy Russia's forces. In my opinion, it will be easier to do this now if these munitions arrive faster.

As for Ocheretyne, the Russian army is indeed trying to advance to this settlement using its advantage in ammunition and manpower, and then to circle around it from the north, put pressure on Berdychi and enter the rear of Ukraine's defense line from the north. But it is not as simple as it looks on the map, as if Russia is advancing.

There are videos of Russians complaining about how Ukrainian FPV drones and artillery are destroying them. All these advances are only a few hundred meters, although in the Ocheretyne area Russia's army has advanced within a few kilometers, but this is still not the situation to say that the front has collapsed and Russia has gained a strategic advantage. This is a dynamic situation, where even with Russia's superiority in manpower, artillery and aviation, the front is being held.

If American aid comes now, the situation will change in favor of stabilization. Although the president, I think, said on April 21, that Ukraine can take the initiative. It may not be easy, but stabilization of the front line will be a perfectly acceptable option for Ukraine at this stage for the next couple of months.

To summarize, the Pentagon has said that in a couple of days, if a decision is made, and we hope that the Senate will vote positively and the US President will sign it, this aid will be on its way within a few days. We are talking primarily about ammunition, both artillery and air defense. I hope that within a few weeks, the Ukrainian army will receive the most scarce items.

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