The clock is ticking for the Ukrainians - must have new weapons
VG.NO - NORA THORP BJØRNSTAD-HÅKON KVAM LYNGSTAD -STELLA BUGGE - Published: 16 June 2022 07:20
- Now almost everything depends on how fast Western weapons reach the Ukrainians. Ukraine will not be able to stop Russia without it, says defense researcher Tor Bukkvoll.
All bridges to Sevierodonetsk across the Donetsk River have been destroyed, the British Ministry of Defense wrote in its morning report on Thursday.
The British describe the situation as "extremely difficult for the Ukrainian forces", although Ukraine has probably managed to withdraw large parts of its combat forces.
Now the Ukrainians are left with one opportunity for takeover, says chief researcher at the Armed Forces Research Institute, Tor Bukkvoll.
- Now almost everything depends on how fast Western weapons reach the Ukrainians. Ukraine will not be able to stop Russia without it. Russia's progress is small, but it is still there. It will be difficult for Ukraine to stop Russia without better and more long-range artillery, Bukkvoll tells VG.
Russia is now trying to gain full control of Sevierodonetsk, while at the same time pushing inwards towards the neighboring city of Lysychansk:
Claims video shows destruction of Norwegian-delivered weapons in Ukraine
The Ukrainians are promised a lot of weapons from the West. Last Wednesday, the President of the United States announced a $ 1 billion agreement on arms supplies to Ukraine, which includes more artillery, weapons systems for use against Russian warships, as well as ammunition for artillery and advanced missile systems that Ukraine already uses.
But it takes time before it can be used, explains researcher Bukkvoll. This is both because the forces will be trained in the use, but not least because the weapons from the USA will be by the sea, from boat to land, and transported over large parts of Europe.
- The Ukrainians had first expected to get enough weapons before the end of this month, but now Ukrainian commentators are talking about the end of July or August, the researcher says.
The progress of the delivery is absolutely crucial.
- If the Ukrainians do not get it fast enough, we can see a gradual Russian takeover of Luhansk and maybe eventually Donetsk, but if Ukraine gets enough weapons and becomes good at using it, one might think they can stop the Russians and maybe manage to go on the counter-offensive, explains Bukkvoll.NEWS
Tests the weapon Ukraine wants
No large movements
Ukrainian military chief Valery Zaluzhny reported on Wednesday that Russian forces had launched a massive offensive from nine different sides in northern Luhansk Oblast, eastern Ukraine.
In the south, the Ukrainians have succeeded in a moderate counterattack against Russian forces, spread out, Bukkvoll explains, but in the east, the situation is far more difficult for Ukraine.
- Russia has some progress, especially in Luhansk, but less so in Donetsk. Then there is more or less stagnation around Kharkiv. Russia has taken back some areas so they are still close enough to the city to use artillery against parts of the city. Then Ukraine has some progress in the south, but not much either says researcher Bukkvoll to VG.
The availability of weapons is largely the answer to why the position is as it is now.
- The situation is still as it was after the war moved to eastern Ukraine, that Russia has an advantage when it comes to weapons, especially when it comes to artillery and ammunition.
Ukraine must save on ammunition, while the Russians have used it much more without saving on it, he says.
- There can be no possible change in it until Western weapons reach the Ukrainians at the front in greater numbers, says the chief researcher at the Armed Forces Research Institute.
Two key cities
The fierce fighting over Sievjerodonetsk in Luhansk, which has been raging for a month already, is still ongoing.
The Russians have taken small victories along the highway between Bakhmut and Lysychansk, the city just across the river from Sevierodonetsk writes the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) in its latest analysis.
According to Bukkvoll, Sevierodonetsk is not particularly militarily important, but together with the neighboring town of Lysychansk, it is politically important.
- Now it looks like the Russians have control over most of Sevierodonetsk, but Lysychansk is a little more difficult in the terrain for the Russians. If the Russians manage to take both, then Russia can quite quickly claim that they have taken the entire county of Luhansk, and they would probably like to announce that at home, the defense researcher tells VG.
Higher loss figures now
Researcher Bukkvold has registered that attention to the war has fallen recently. Actually, it's weird, because the war is no less than before, maybe, on the contrary, he says.
- It may seem as if there are more losses now than before, but we must take into account that this may be due to the fact that Ukraine in particular has become more open about losses than before. Russia still shares little information about losses.
How big the losses depend on how much personnel the parties are willing to put into the war, he says.
In summary, it can now be said that there is now quite limited progress for both parties, and the progress that has been made has entailed great losses on both sides.
- There is more talk than they exhaust each other than that they are someone who gets a significant advantage here. It is possible that the high losses we see now continue for a while says Bukkvoll.NEWS
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