As ammunition runs out, Ukraine’s hopes dim on the eastern battlefield – The Washington Post
The euphoria accompanying early victories is fading as Russian troops adapt their tactics and assert their overwhelming firepower against heavily outgunned Ukrainian forces in the eastern Donbas region.
The Russians are still making mistakes, but they are losing men and equipment at a lesser rate than in the first months of the conflict. The overall trajectory of the war has unmistakably shifted in favor of Russia as the demonstrably stronger force.
Two Ukrainian soldiers recount how they were forced to retreat from the town of Dovhenke, northwest of Slovyansk, under withering Russian artillery fire. The remaining soldiers felt “more motivated” to hold their position, but the defensive line was no longer effective.
The odds against the Ukrainians are overwhelming, said Danylyuk, the government adviser. “We don’t have the means to attack back.”
Ukraine has almost run out of ammunition for its Soviet-era weapons systems, and Eastern European countries have run out of surplus supplies to donate, Danylyuk said. Ukraine must shift to longer-range and more sophisticated Western weapons to match Russian firepower.
The Ukrainians have requested more sophisticated and longer-range HIMARS multiple-rocket launcher systems from the United States, but they will first have to be trained to use them. The Russians have meanwhile adapted their tactics to take advantage of their firepower.
Russian officials claim they are advancing more slowly to avoid civilian casualties, but analysts say the tactic helps reduce Russian casualties while inflicting heavy losses on civilians.
The Ukrainians are still fighting well and are conducting successful drone strikes against Russian positions and supply columns, according to Dmitri Alperovitch of the Silverado Consultancy.
Ukraine has 6 million men willing to fight, but they lack equipment to field all of them. Russia has also suffered heavy losses, but has regenerated its army by deploying new forces and refurbishing units that had been decimated.
Western officials expect that Russian troops will soon take control of Severedonetsk, and then will turn their attention to Lysyshansk, which would put them in full control of the region of Luhansk. If they manage to breach the river, they could make rapid advances.
For more on this story, please consider these sources:
- As ammunition runs out, Ukraine’s hopes dim on eastern battlefield The Washington Post
- Ukraine’s At Risk of Losing War With Russia: Military Official Newsweek
- Ukraine running out of ammunition, intelligence official says Fox News
- Latest Russia-Ukraine war news: Live updates The Washington Post
- Ukraine pleads for more weapons, cholera spreads in Mariupol Reuters
- View Full Coverage on Google News