Currently, the Ukrainian army, despite the protests of its top general, is carrying out sporadic attacks against Russian positions in preparation for a long-awaited counter-offensive. However, the Russian positions that are being attacked are not the ones that have been on the news in recent weeks, they are not those with anti-tank dragon teeth and a wide variety of trenches, dugouts and heavily armored positions. The areas where the Ukrainian attacks are taking place are part of the gray zone, the disputed regions many kilometers from the Russian defensive lines.

How are they there?

Without air cover and often outgunned, the Ukrainians find it extremely difficult to make any serious gains. So far, they have taken about eight villages within the gray zone, some of which they have subsequently lost again. During the attacks they have suffered significant losses in both men and material. Most of the so-called game-changing “Leopard 2” tanks received from various NATO states, including Germany, have been destroyed. In the absence of anything approaching air cover to protect attacking troops, or those advancing hoping to attack, the Ukrainian military, in coordination with NATO, is using HIMARS and Stormshadow missiles to eliminate Russian artillery. and ammunition depots.

It is certain that in the coming days the Ukrainian army will start a concerted attempt to achieve great success. This is due to the need to create an event of sufficient magnitude to impress the attendees of the upcoming NATO summit which begins on July 11 in Vilnius, Lithuania. Already today, July 4, there has been a full-scale Ukrainian assault on Russian artillery and ammunition supplies in the Bakhmut/Arteomovsk region. These HIMARS/Stormshadow missile assaults were many compared to anything seen elsewhere on the battle lines, either today or, indeed, any day before. At first glance, this indicates that Arteomovsk/Bakhmut may well be the site of the spectacular event the Ukrainian regime needs to impress its NATO patrons on July 11-12. Of course, tomorrow may bring a similar series of strikes elsewhere. We will see.

Aside from pulling off some kind of spectacular achievement, how are Ukraine’s chances at the moment?

The last month since the Ukrainian army began moving its forces towards the Russian outer lines has been a resounding failure during which large numbers of Ukrainians were killed and an equally massive number of military vehicles destroyed. Russia has maintained air superiority throughout the period and the particular use of the Russian ‘Alligator’ helicopter has proven devastating against both troops and vehicles. Ukraine has not been able to shoot down a single Russian air force plane during this period. The Ukrainians also appear to have been unprepared for the Russian minefield, as many Ukrainian military vehicles hit the mines on a regular basis. Russia has deployed a remote mining methodology that has succeeded in eliminating Ukrainian forces and vehicles as they advance and retreat to regroup before advancing once more.

As for replenishment, Ukrainians have once again resorted to conscription in the Ukrainian army. The vast majority of trained Ukrainian troops have been removed from the battlefield dead or seriously wounded over the past nearly 18 months. This was largely due to the Ukrainian high command fighting for every square kilometer of territory, dumping troops into areas where they were wiped out at a rate of some 400 to 600 a day. Newly recruited conscripts forced into the Ukrainian army now receive, at best, two weeks of training before being sent to the front. On the contrary, Russia has conserved its forces, keeping them in relatively secure positions, while Russian artillery softens the Ukrainian positions to the extent necessary before dispatching them. As for the new forces, Russia is experiencing a continuous increase in volunteers wanting to join the Russian army, which numbers about 1,500. per day. Volunteers undergo training for several months before receiving limited experience on the front lines before further training behind the lines of conflict.

As with Western gun shops, the stock of Ukrainian weapons and ammunition is dwindling rapidly. Additionally, Russia targets and destroys between four and eight Ukrainian arms depots per day on average. This has to have an effect eventually along with Russia removing rail infrastructure, arms depots and vehicle repair shops on a regular basis. Then one must add the undoubted superiority of Russian air power, only partially used to date. As said before, Russia has air superiority and this superiority is growing by the day. Just today, July 4, Russia shot down two Ukrainian planes, one of which was flying quite far from Russian lines at the time. In recent weeks, Russia has successfully launched several new military satellites into orbit that now provide extremely accurate data on Ukraine’s positions, hardware, and troop movements.

If there is a spate of attacks from the Ukrainians in the coming days as expected, it may be enough to sufficiently impress the NATO summit attendees. Ukraine’s backers will no doubt promise yet another tranche of money and promises of more weapons… though not, it is believed, a promise of F16 fighters. The most likely promise will be the immediate transfer of Lockheed-Martin MGM-140 ATACMS tactical missiles. These will be described as the latest ‘game changing’ weapons with which Ukraine will ‘win’ the war. However, as with all ‘game-changing’ weapons before it, it’s almost inevitable that it won’t live up to the name. The variety of Russian forces and military power is simply too great for any so-called “game-changing” device to make much of a difference.

Undoubtedly, the Ukrainians will make as much use of the ATACMS missiles as they have of the HIMARS and Stormshadow missiles that preceded them, which, while significant (at least initially), certainly did not change the direction of the conflict, which has never changed. significantly. time throughout the last eighteen months of combat. Russia has seized a large amount of territory and waged a war of attrition against rapidly dwindling Ukrainian forces for much of the last six months at least. A partial mobilization took place in Russia about six months ago that added an additional 300,000 soldiers from the reserve forces who had already served and an additional 70,000 volunteers who immediately went through many months of training. All these additional Russian troops are manning the enormously long, multi-layered defensive positions waiting for the Ukrainians who break through from the gray zone or are now active on the front lines.

So what are the chances of the Ukrainian army?

The word insignificant is probably the more appropriate term. Naturally, there will be occasional successes here and there, but will they make a fundamental difference, seriously and permanently break the Russian defense lines? It is possible that an attack is coming and it seems that it has done so. But what will be the Russian response after perhaps making a tactical withdrawal? Will they put up their hands and surrender? Unlikely. The most likely scenario is an extremely massive attack against any of those Ukrainian forces, including their supply routes. Before long they will be surrounded in what the Russians call a ‘cauldron’ and annihilated. This is the most likely scenario even in the event of a breach in the Russian lines.

These are the possibilities Ukraine currently has, to use their remaining stock of HIMARS and Stormshadow missiles plus their remaining drones in a concerted forward move that also includes a large wave of infantry to try by force of numbers to break through the Russian wall. death awaited them. Estimates of how many Ukrainians are likely to die in such a suicide campaign vary, but the number is unlikely to be less than 25,000 and is likely to be too low an estimate. The rest of the Western weaponry, including the British ‘Challenger’ tanks, is likely to be destroyed as well.

Would you like to bet on the chances of a Ukraine win? Maybe keep that shirt on your back? Losing it would leave you and the entire political elite in the West naked and terribly exposed to ridicule and humiliation. Having bet everything on what you should now be quite clear about is a lost bet.

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