U.S. Intelligence Concedes Ukrainian Offensive Goes Nowhere
Aug. 18, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—The Ukrainian offensive will not reach Melitopol, the key objective of the drive to cut off Russia’s land route to Crimea, according to a classified intelligence forecast leaked to the Washington Post. According to the Post’s description, the
“grim assessment is based on Russia’s brutal proficiency in defending occupied territory through a phalanx of minefields and trenches, and is likely to prompt finger pointing inside Kyiv and Western capitals about why a counteroffensive that saw tens of billions of dollars of Western weapons and military equipment fell short of its goals.”
The bleak outlook, conveyed to some Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill, has already prompted a blame game inside closed-door meetings,” the Post reported further. Some Republicans are now balking at President Biden’s request for an additional $20.6 billion in Ukraine aid, given the offensive’s “modest,” i.e., virtually non-existent results. Other Republicans and, to a lesser extent, hawkish Democrats have faulted the administration for not sending more powerful weapons to Ukraine sooner.
U.S. officials reject criticisms that F-16 fighter jets or longer-range missile systems such as ATACMS would have resulted in a different outcome. “The problem remains piercing Russia’s main defensive line, and there’s no evidence these systems would’ve been a panacea,” a senior administration official said.