June 3, 2023

Brighton Journal

Complete News World

Five predictions for the next six months in the Ukraine war | Ukraine

1. The war is likely to last for at least a year but basically it has reached a stalemate and the intensity of the war is decreasing

Six months of war may have passed, but neither has passed Ukraine Nor is Russia ready to stop the fighting, despite the losses it has incurred. Ukraine wants to regain its occupied territories, and Russia wants to continue inflicting pain not only on its opponent, but by proxy, on the West as well. The Kremlin believes that winter will play in its favour.

There have been no negotiations between the two sides since evidence of massacres emerged at Bucha, Irpin and elsewhere in the Russian-occupied lands north of Kyiv. But movement on the battlefronts has been minimal since the fall of Lysichansk at the end of June. Both sides are struggling for momentum and seem exhausted from the fight.

2. Ukraine does not have an effective means of conventional counterattack, while guerrilla raids are an optimistic way to precipitate the collapse of Russia

Ukraine wants to take back Kherson, located west of the Dnieper River, but a senior administration official admitted privately that “we don’t have enough capacity to take them back.” Kyiv changed its strategy towards launching long-range missile attacks and daring raids of special forces on Russian bases in the depths of the front lines.

The main presidential adviser, Mikhailo Podolak, said that the goal was to “create chaos within the Russian forces”, but while this would weaken the effectiveness of the invaders, it was unlikely that the invaders would collapse on themselves and voluntarily cede Kherson, like some Ukrainians. Officials hope.

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Russian soldiers patrol the area of ​​the Metallurgical Kombin Azovstal, in Mariupol, in the Russian-controlled Donetsk region.
Russian soldiers patrol the area of ​​the Metallurgical Kombin Azovstal, in Mariupol, in the Russian-controlled Donetsk region. Photo: AP

3. Russia still wants to make its way forward but will likely turn its attention to holding on to its gains and annexing Ukrainian territory

Russia has no new offensive plan other than to use mass artillery, destroy towns and cities and work its way forward. It does this partly because it is effective, and on the other hand to reduce losses, having lost, according to some Western estimates, 15,000 dead so far. It continues to adopt this strategy around Bakhmut in the Donbass but progress is slow, in part because it had to redeploy some forces to reinforce Kherson.

The Kremlin may not have achieved what it hoped for at the beginning of the war, but Russia now owns vast swathes of Ukrainian territory in the east and south, and is actively talking about Annexation referendums. With colder weather quickly approaching, she’ll likely focus on boosting what she has.

4. Winter will precipitate a new refugee crisis and Create an opportunity for those who can prepare better

Winter is the most important in strategic thinking for both sides. Ukraine is already concerned about humanitarian issues because there is no gas heating available for apartment buildings in Donetsk province and other frontline areas. One humanitarian official predicted that there would be a new wave of migration in the winter, with as many as 2 million people possibly crossing the border into Poland.

Russians see winter as an opportunity. Ukraine fears that Russia will target its own power grid, making the heating dilemma even more acute, and the vast grid could simply be shut down Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Moscow also wants to prolong the West’s pain over energy costs and has every incentive to increase the pressure.

Despite this, spring may be the time for a renewed attack – each side will want to renew and prepare for what may be another fighting season.

Nella Zelenska holds a doll belonging to her granddaughter in front of her destroyed home in Potashnya, outside Kyiv, Ukraine, in May.
Nella Zelenska holds a doll belonging to her granddaughter in front of her destroyed home in Potashnya, outside Kyiv, Ukraine, in May. Photo: Natacha Pisarenko / AP

5 The West needs to decide whether it wants Ukraine to win or just hold on — and it needs to match humanitarian aid with Huge need

Ukraine would have been defeated without Western military assistance. But at no time has the West supplied sufficient artillery or other weapons, such as fighter planes, that would allow Kiev to push the invaders back. Politicians talk about the necessity of forcing Russia to its pre-war frontiers, but they do not provide enough equipment to do so.

At the same time, the humanitarian need of Ukraine is growing. For example, there is nowhere near enough money for reconstruction – many homes in northeastern and northwest Kyiv are still destroyed five months after the Russians left, often with desperate residents living in garages or makeshift buildings on the site.

IDPs often have to live in schools or kindergartens, which are temporary accommodations in which people struggle to survive for an extended period of time. Ukraine has a budget gap of $5 billion (£4.2 billion) a month due to the war. The aid and reconstruction will cost many times that amount.