WSJ: use of cluster munitions along with a new tactics encouraged AFU counteroffensive
Cluster munitions transferred to Ukraine by the United States have encouraged Ukrainian Defense Forces' counteroffensive operation. They cover a larger area than conventional artillery shells, strike clusters of Russian infantry, groups of vehicles and other targets and clear the way for the advance of ground troops.
The Wall Street Journal reports, "Cluster bombs destroy trees completely in three shots." It is said by a military officer Oleksandr, adding that "even if you miss a little bit," these munitions will still work.
As the WSJ noted, the occupiers' wide minefields and predominant aviation were a problem for the Ukrainian counteroffensive and slowed the Ukrainian military's advance. U.S.-provided cluster munitions, combined with a change in tactics, allowed Ukrainian forces to advance within range of Russia's main defense lines in some places.
At the same time, captain and commander of the reconnaissance company Anatoly Kharchenko emphasized that the cluster bombs are quite effective, but the Russians "burrow deep and learn quickly." According to him, enemy trenches can be more than 2 meters deep and the occupiers adapt by dispersing their troops to avoid heavy losses.
According to media reports, the Ukrainian army used cluster shells in the area of Robotyne in Zaporizhzhia. Our fighters came under heavy fire from the Russians and were asking to withdraw when the command decided to approve the use of this weapon. Chaos was heard on Russian radio channels after that.
"They were shouting that they had many wounded and needed evacuation. They also said they were to retreat", the Ukrainian military officer said, adding that the platoon then moved forward to capture the Russian positions.
As the publication noted, Ukraine has yet to reach Russia's strongest defenses, including a series of trenches, tank traps and other barriers. Military experts say Ukraine will likely need Leopard-2 tanks and other Western armored vehicles to break through these lines.
To preserve the equipment already available, the Ukrainian army changed tactics in June. Now infantry, reinforced by reserves drafted from other units, is leading the offensive through the minefields on foot. Thanks to strategic changes, the Ukrainian Forces now believe they have a chance for a breakthrough, the journalists noted.
The United States announced a new aid package to Ukraine with cluster munitions on July 7. Ukraine has asked for it multiple times because they allow to destroy enemy infantry and equipment. US President Joe Biden explained the need to transfer cluster munitions to Ukraine after the announcement of the new package. He noted that it was not "an easy decision, but a very important one".
As reported by OBOZREVATEL:
- A representative of the Eastern Group of Troops of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Serhiy Cherevaty confirmed that the Ukrainian Defense Forces use the entire line of ammunition provided to the Ukrainian army by Western partners on the battlefield on July 25. For example, cluster munitions were used to strike enemy troops in the Bakhmut direction;
- The Ukrainian army finally got the opportunity to use them on the battlefield after numerous discussions on whether or not to provide Ukraine with cluster munitions. Military expert and reserve colonel Petro Chernyk said that this weapon saves expensive artillery and high-precision shells and has up to 25% more damage to enemy manpower and equipment.