Russo-Ukrainian War 7/12/22

Image of Ukrainian soldiers seen here receiving training from 3 RIFLES at a training facility in the UK. The first cohort of Ukrainian soldiers taking part in a major new UK-led military programme, which will train up to 10,000 Ukrainians over the coming months, have arrived in the UK. (Image via British Ministry of Defence) © Crown copyright 2013

Western countries have announced further armored vehicle deliveries ahead of potential Ukrainian offensives. Countries including Spain and Poland have recently announced donations of tanks and APCs, potentially indicating Ukraine’s commitment to an offensive before the end of the summer. Though planning and mobilization have officially begun per Ukrainian sources, many have expressed doubt whether Ukraine could realistically mount an offensive in the short term. However, recent and consistent Ukrainian strikes, using a combination of HIMARS with existing Soviet-era rocket artillery like the Tochka-U, have exploited significant weaknesses in the Russian army’s ability to adapt to the threat of precision bombardment, an opportunity that Ukraine may seize on.

Despite Ukraine’s recent strikes, Russia is unlikely to run out of artillery shells. Even as munitions explode across Ukraine, more are being shipped in; however, replacing artillery barrels will likely be a far more significant cause for concern for Russia. Additionally, transporting shells fast enough to replenish used and destroyed supplies may become more difficult, and Russia may be forced to rely on storage facilities within Russian territory, far from the frontlines.

Though Russian forces could attempt to decentralize their logistics and command (an attempt which would likely result in loss of cohesion, given Russia’s top-down military leadership), Ukraine could arguably be in a better position to launch an attack sooner rather than later. This compounds with the coming of winter, where fighting is expected to slow down across Ukraine’s multiple fronts.

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