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Now more and more military analysts are talking about a “positional impasse.” Like, the front is almost not moving and neither side can achieve significant success. I don’t think these are entirely correct conclusions. Even wrong ones. The fact is that the Russian Federation is indeed making tremendous efforts, concentrating its forces on one small area (the Bakhmut-Lysichansk region), but Ukraine has not yet made such efforts.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine have not yet carried out a single full-scale counter-offensive of the strategic level. Yes, there are certain successes at the operational level (let me remind you that the operational level just connects the tactical with the strategic), but they are still insufficient for a full-fledged assessment.
That is, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and its proxy forces are in a “positional impasse”. So far, they have found only one way out of this impasse – this is the concentration of a large amount of old artillery, the suppression of the fortifications of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with the help of long-term and massive fire, and then a frontal assault.
If the assault fails, then the repetition of the artillery preparation begins, then the assault again. And so time after time, until the combat units of Ukraine “break” from such overvoltage and intensity.
The amount of artillery and ruthlessness towards their soldiers / militants are the qualitative superiority of the RF Armed Forces in this war. This is important to understand.
And what is the qualitative superiority of the Armed Forces of Ukraine? It does not exist yet, its search is an important aspect. Many see the competent use of Western weapons as such a qualitative superiority. Not just what, but systems such as HIMARS, for example.
If Ukraine can implement these systems in a quality manner, this may give it superiority. But artillery and missile systems are not a panacea. Artillery cannot completely destroy enemy positions, nor can it break into its defenses. Artillery only suppresses and supports. This truth was clear even in the First World War, but it seemed to be forgotten.
How do you crack defenses? Offensive is one of the most difficult types of military operations. It requires crazy coordination, impeccable communication and a high level of training.
Historically, in modern times, we had the following types of offensives:
- The times of Napoleon and before the First World War – a maneuverable tactic, a constant movement in order to go into the flank of the enemy.
- World War I and Interbellum are small assault squads that infiltrate and breach enemy defenses in close combat using automatic weapons and grenades.
- World War II – tank breakthroughs and wedges.
And then the “positional impasse” sets in again. Consider, for example, the Iran-Iraq war.
It is obvious that “maneuvers” are not relevant today. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation have tried and are sometimes trying to implement tank breakthroughs, but this is easily reflected by the Ukrainian infantry, oversaturated with anti-tank systems, and the idea of assault groups requires mass character.
Why? Because with such an offensive, you will definitely lose about 30% of the composition. Let’s imagine that 50,000 fighters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will take part in a large counteroffensive in one sector. Since the Russians have an advantage in aviation, these will not be large deployed formations, but many groups at the tactical level that literally fight and go from village to village. By the way, doesn’t this remind you of the situation with our offensive in the Kherson region?
But so, by the end of the operation, out of these 50,000, 35,000 will remain in service. The rest will be driven out by the dead, wounded and missing. You have to be mentally prepared for this.
The new ranged weapon is not a lifesaver. This is only an aid in the search for a qualitative superiority over the Russian Armed Forces. Considering that it is difficult to imagine other options here (tank breakthroughs and wedges of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, due to air superiority, the Russian Aerospace Forces will not be able to implement, and artillery cannot break into defenses), then we are waiting for the return of the good old tactics of assault squads. And the fact that the British volunteered to pump the Ukrainian infantry under their program only confirms this.
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