By Dave DeCamp / Antiwar.com
Western officials told CNN that Ukraine’s bloody counteroffensive is “not meeting expectations on any front” as Ukrainian forces are struggling to break through Russia’s defenses.
The report said that according to Western assessments, Russia’s lines of defense have been well fortified, and Russian forces have been able to bog down Ukrainian armored vehicles with missile strikes and minefields.
One official said Ukraine’s forces were “vulnerable” to Russia’s minefields and described the Russian defenses as “competent.” The officials stressed that the counteroffensive was still in its early stages and said they remained “optimistic” that Ukraine could eventually regain some territory.
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Also on Thursday, Bloomberg reported that Ukrainian officials reported progress in the counteroffensive has halted. Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said the assault “is not an easy walk — this is not a Hollywood movie,” echoing comments made by President Volodymyr Zelensky a day earlier.
Zelensky acknowledged on Wednesday that the counteroffensive is going “slower than desired” but vowed Ukrainian forces would fight on. “No matter how far we advance in our counteroffensive, we will not agree to a frozen conflict because that is war, that is a prospectless development for Ukraine,” he said.
According to the Discord leaks and media reports, the US did not believe Ukraine could regain much territory, but the Biden administration pushed for the violent counteroffensive anyway and has rejected the idea of a ceasefire or peace talks.
Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.