The Russian president has launched a new offensive in Ukraine’s east, as he tries to take full control of the Donbas region. Russian forces have yet to make any significant breakthroughs and continue to suffer heavy casualties. Oleksiy Arestovych, a Ukrainian presidential adviser, said local forces had inflicted “colossal losses” on the Russian invaders in the Battle of the Donbas.
A former British officer has predicted that the Ukrainians will be able to stop the Russian attack and that this will have far reaching consequences for Putin and his regime.
Dr Mike Martin, a research fellow at King’s College London, said: “UK Foreign Sec Liz Truss has stated that the UK strategic aim is to evict Russian forces from Ukraine (including Crimea, so back to pre-2014 borders).
“She also said it would take 10 years but she’s wrong about that: Russian forces will collapse before that, and we’ll see a coup.”
Dr Martin argued that the Russians had blown their chance of winning the Battle for the Donbas by failing to reconstitute their forces properly and by applying outdated World War 2 tactics.
He explained: “As expected, the Russians have sort of fizzled.
“They pulled all of these mauled units out of Kyiv, and then tried to reconstitute them for combat in the East.
“This is pretty hard and these new units would have been bruised and damaged from the Battle for Kyiv.
“The Russians really had one chance – to build these units up – to build up a reserve, and then try to do some bold manoeuvre – and surround the Ukrainians in the East.
“The reason that was their one chance is they didn’t have anywhere near the 3:1 attackers to defenders ratio that you need, and so clever manoeuvring was the only option they had.
“The Russians needed to clout not dribble. Unfortunately they dribbled.
“The dribbled by feeding these reconstituted units piecemeal into the front line – trying to fight a kind of attritional battle against the Ukrainians.
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He said: “They are trading space for enemy troops. Exactly the right tactics.”
Dr Martin concluded that Russian forces would soon run out of troops to maintain their advance and that Ukraine would then counterattack.
He predicted the battle in the east would culminate in two to four weeks time.
Ukraine’s military said on Friday Russia was preparing for offensives in the areas of Lyman in Donetsk and Severodonetsk and Popasna in Luhansk.
It added Russia was “continuing to regroup, increase fire effectiveness and improve position,” in the south.