How Ukrainians “Design” Before Launching Their Counterattack

When will the Ukrainian counteroffensive begin? When are the troops in the queue considered ready to attack the front line? Since the end of winter, military analysts have been scrutinizing small incidents in an attempt to discern the strategy drawn up by Ukrainian civil servants. “The range of possibilities is very wide. It is difficult for Ukrainians to decide where and when to start their venture”Thibaut Foylet became an expert on military issues at the Foundation for Strategic Research (FRS).

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The only certainty is that the Ukrainians are actively preparing the ground for their operations. For several weeks, strikes on Russian logistics equipment have been increasing, especially in depth, that is, in the very rear areas of the front. Every day and night, fuel and ammunition depots, railway junctions, telecommunications infrastructure, command posts or soldiers’ cantonments are targeted by Ukrainian bombs, rockets or drones in the occupied territories, but also on Russian soil.

This artillery campaign, called “formation” in military parlance, is a prerequisite for any major attack. Its primary objective is to weaken the enemy by destroying his support systems or forcing him to retreat far from the front. In this respect, Russian military doctrine favoring the use of railways rather than highways to supply troops was not without advantages for the Ukrainians. “It is easier to destroy a railway than a road, and much harder to repair it”A military source said.

Long-range missiles and sabotage operations

To do this “modeling”, the Ukrainians have Western equipment such as Himars rocket launchers, which can reach targets located up to 70 kilometers away, with GLSDB guided bombs even 150 kilometers away. Better yet, they’ve got Storm Shadow missiles from British aircraft that have a range of over 250 kilometers. The first applications of these projectiles were seen especially at the air base located in Berdyansk near Luhansk, Donbass or Mariupol.

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Sabotage activities carried out by Ukrainian partisans who have penetrated into the occupied territories or into Russian territory are also on the rise.

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