The war in Ukraine may seem to be slipping off the radars of the media around the world, as if it had reached a standstill and ground to an halt. Both sides are very active behind the headlines.
Russia’s early spring offensive, designed to counter Ukraine’s Western-supported offensive, has quickly run out of steam and has failed militarily on every level.
Putinjudged this by launching an overwhelming force against the battle-weary Ukrainian defenses, but has instead taken huge casualties and made his deployed military vulnerable.
It is now time for Ukraine take advantage of Russian fatigue and, in my opinion, the stage has been set for what could be a decisive phase in the war.
In Bakhmut , Russian forces, primarily the Wagner Group continue to grind out a war of attrition.
It seems that the fall of Bakhmut is inevitable. According to reports, Russian forces control over 85% in the city. But Ukraine has made them pay a high price for each inch of progress.
Moscow is still focused on the security of the Donbass and Luhansk to the north. Forces haven’t conducted offensive operations for “some time” in many sectors and seem to be consolidating positions.
On the roofs of six reactor buildings at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant, sandbag positions are being set up.
These actions increase the risk of damaging the safety systems at the plant more than if there were fighting on the site. However, the structures are heavily reinforced and so it is unlikely that the reactors would be damaged in a catastrophic way.
The Russians have also built extensive linear defences across the Zaporizhzhia area in southern Ukraine. They now have three layers of defensive zone covering approximately 120 km of the region with trenches that are visible from space.
The defensive line is completed by the extensive use of Dragon’s Teeth – square-pyramidal concrete anti-tank barriers that were first used in World War Two as a way to impede tanks and mechanised troops.
Satellite imagery shows that Russian forces transferred armored vehicles and artillery from the occupied Crimea on to the frontline in recent weeks.
Click here to read more
Ukraine and Russia will both struggle to win this war
Could Putin use the war in Ukraine as a covert annexation of Belarus?
Ukrainians are also busy.
Reports of Ukrainian beachheads along the eastern bank Dnipro River are becoming more common in Kherson.
The fact that precision artillery attacks against Russian supply and logistics hubs have increased in frequency is an indication that Ukraine’s offensive phase has already begun.
The main battle tanks of Western countries – Leopard 2, Challenge 2, and Abrams continue to arrive in Ukraine. They are matched with Ukrainian crews that have been trained. NATO has recently stated that “more than 98 percent of the combat vehicles promised for Ukraine have already arrived.”
In addition, 14,000 Ukrainian soldiers have returned home to defend their homeland since receiving training in the UK. Tens of thousands have also been trained by Western nations.
Subscribe to Ukraine War Diaries using
This is not a war in stalemate. Both sides are preparing to engage in the next brutal round of warfare.
The devastation and casualties will increase no matter what the outcome of the battle and where the frontline is relocated.
This will eventually stop. But despite the apparent calm, there is a storm coming.