Time and Russian Strength Work Against Ukraine
Jan. 30, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—Austrian Army Col. Markus Reisner, head of the research and development department at the Theresian Military Academy in Vienna, gave an interview citing American experts, including Chairman of the U.S. Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, who now speak of a “war of position.” Last year, he said, Ukraine managed to maintain momentum in one offensive or another, but had failed to do so overall. Now, Ukraine considers it important to get back on the offensive. If that doesn’t occur, it would be a big advantage for Putin’s military, he said. Because, Reisner asserted, “The longer Ukraine waits to do that, the more time Russia has to dig in on the appropriate lines, consolidate and, most importantly, bring in troops that have been missing in recent months.”
The fact that Ukraine has now received tens of millions of euros worth of weapons is not the decisive factor in favor of the Ukrainian armed forces, he said. After all, in a war of attrition, one is forced to replenish forces, rather than bringing in equipment and forces in a unified way. Waiting to do so runs the great risk that the “initiative will pass to the opponent.”
Even if Ukraine is supplied with weapons by the West, one should not forget that Russia still has “enormous stocks” from the Soviet times, Reisner calculates. With all the losses, the Russian military should still have more than 4,000 tanks that are operational or that can be made operational in the near future. In comparison, the Western delivery of 10 or 20 tanks to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which is likewise constantly struggling with losses, is an extremely small number.
For the coming weeks, Reisner, again citing Milley, Ukraine faces a “very strenuous fight.” The chances of Ukraine retaking the annexed territories this year are “slim,” he said.