Ukraine forced to lose territory to buy time as essential weapons finally delivered

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun9,2024

Ukraine is using a new defensive strategy to buy time until it is better armed. By retreating to stronger positions, Ukrainian troops can fight more effectively and save lives, military officials said.

“Time is in the favour of Ukraine and thus the rationale of an elastic band: You can cede a little territory and gain a little time. And then by the end of this year, Ukraine will have advantages that it’s never had before,” said Dylan Lee Lehrke, an analyst with military intelligence think tank IHS Jane’s.

This strategy is different from the long battle for the city of Bakhmut, where Ukrainian troops suffered many casualties trying to hold their ground.

A soldier named Sekach mentioned that this flexibility has helped Ukrainian forces combat the Russian offensive. “We had to spread out our positions and our logistics, too.

“We are doing it a lot smarter now,” he said, but added, “But don’t jinx it,” showing Ukraine‘s concern about Russia’s current battlefield advantage.

Russia‘s main offensive in the Donetsk region is focused on areas around the captured Avdiivka and the town of Chasiv Yar, making small but steady gains. If Chasiv Yar falls, it would endanger nearby cities, disrupt Ukrainian supply routes, and bring Russia closer to taking the entire Donetsk region.

Russia now has about 650,000 troops in Ukraine, nearly five times the number it had two years ago. Russian tactics have been effective, including sending waves of soldiers from different directions and attacking more frequently at night. They have even had soldiers wear blue-striped Ukrainian helmets to confuse enemy drone operators.

Russian signal jamming has reduced the effectiveness of Ukrainian strike drones. Ukrainian commanders blame superior Russian capabilities and poor communication between their own electronic warfare and drone units. “Russians will definitely continue to have minor successes in the next while,” said Sekach.

Russia’s improved targeting of Ukrainian supply routes is also having an impact. “They understand that we are supplied with new aid and they have increased their (drone) strikes and it influences our logistics,” said Ninja, a soldier with the 28th Brigade in Bakhmut.

Frequent attacks on supply routes have forced drivers to constantly change schedules. “You need to know the road perfectly, every crater, to allow a driver with night vision to drive quickly, come in, unload and get out,” Ninja explained.

To supply the front lines, brigades have had to use new tactics. Regular trucks can be used in other combat zones, but in the Chasiv Yar and Avdiivka areas, armoured vehicles, smartly plotted routes, and supply-carrying drones are necessary. “Now the delivery is significantly complicated, we are forced to use drones,” said Oleksandr. “If before armoured vehicles would deliver ammunition two or three times per day, now they generally do so only once a day.”

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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