Ukrainian Armed Forces' counter-offensive will determine the fate of not just Ukraine but Europe - The Economist

The coming counter-offensive could determine the future of the whole of Europe

Ukraine's future counter-offensive could determine not only its future, but the future of the whole of Europe. The Armed Forces of Ukraine will have no better chance to regain its territory than now, when the aggressor state's army is weakened and Ukraine has received NATO-standard weapons.

The Economist writes about this. They believe that our troops should try to destroy the land route connecting Crimea to Russia through Donbas, the only achievement Putin can boast of.

As noted in the article, after the Ukrainian Armed Forces de-occupied Kherson in November and pushed back the Russians across the Dnipro River, the battlefield remained static. This threatens to freeze the conflict along the new "demarcation line" and in this situation, Ukraine would be better off agreeing to negotiations, the newspaper believes.

The newspaper believes that in this situation, the US and Europe should make it clear that they will support Ukraine's further military actions and will help our country for many years to come.

"So Ukraine and its Western backers should prepare for the possibility that a counter-offensive will bring only minor benefits or even worse. And even if the land bridge collapses, there is no guarantee that Putin will come to the negotiating table. He is undoubtedly hoping that if he drags the war out long enough, Western support for Ukraine will begin to waver," the journalists stated.

At the same time, as noted in the article, the risks are high, as our country has a limited stock of surface-to-air missiles needed to deter Russian bombers. At the same time, Russia is well dug in along most of the front line.

"The sooner the West begins to detail the security guarantees it will offer Ukraine, the better. The US and the UK (as well as Russia) guaranteed Ukraine's territorial integrity in 1994 and then did nothing when Putin brazenly violated it in 2014. The next guarantees must be genuine," the article emphasises.

Recall that there is a lot of discussion about the upcoming counter-offensive of the Ukrainian army. According to forecasts, the first day of the counter-offensive will play a crucial role, as the chosen strategy will ultimately determine the army's victory or defeat.

Thus, according to expert Franz-Stephan Gadi, there is only one possible scenario for Ukraine to avoid a war of attrition: if the first hours of the counter-offensive have the effect of surprise and cause panic among Russia's military leadership and ordinary soldiers. The most successful counter-offensive will be if Russian troops flee from the Ukrainian army without much fighting.

As reported by OBOZREVATEL:

- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he was "confident" in Ukraine's readiness to recapture new territories as it prepares for the expected counter-offensive. The current goal of the Alliance is to ensure that Ukraine defeats Russia's unprovoked invasion, and after the war is over, Kyiv will have "deterrence to prevent new attacks."

- Estonia believes that the main factor in the success of the Ukrainian counter-offensive is the combat training of the Defence Forces. According to him, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are now preparing to liberate our territories from the occupiers.

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