A tactical shift in Ukraine could make it more difficult for an already faltering Russia to make any headway in the war

  • Ukraine is investing millions in new defense fortifications.

  • This is likely to make it more difficult for Russia to achieve victories, a Russian expert told BI.

  • It has been harder to attack than to defend in this war, so Ukraine has a new advantage.

A tactical shift by Ukraine is likely to make it more difficult for Russia to gain new territory in its invasion, one expert told Business Insider.

Ukraine last month Announce It was investing nearly $500 million to build fortifications. New York times mentioned These will be along its Russian border and in the eastern Donbas region.

Riley Bailey, a Russia analyst at the Institute for the Study of War, told BI that Ukraine’s defenses would make it “difficult for Russian forces to directly attack fortified positions,” adding: “They have already demonstrated routine difficulty in doing so.” this.”

The problem for Russia is that attacking a region in this war is more difficult than defending it. Russia has already struggled to make progress, and these fortifications will likely make achieving its goals more difficult.

Attacking is difficult in Ukraine

Attacking is often harder than defending in ground war, but experts say that’s especially true in this conflict. This is at least partly due to the flat terrain and the sheer number of drones in the sky It makes the whole surprise impossibleBailey previously told BI.

A Ukrainian soldier holds a gun as he walks in a brown field "Dragon teeth" Concrete triangles and barbed wire behind himA Ukrainian soldier holds a gun as he walks in a brown field "Dragon teeth" Concrete triangles and barbed wire behind him

A Ukrainian military engineer with the call sign “Lizard” walks near fortifications outside Kobyansk, Ukraine, in December.REUTERS/Thomas Peter TPX Photos of the Day

Patrick Burry, a military analyst at the University of Bath in the UK, previously told BI that defense was easier because both countries have similar weapons and both suffer from weapons shortages.

He said that although it might be different if more NATO weapons were used, “defense seems to be on the rise, certainly between these two militaries.”

Other experts AgreedUnder the pretext that Ukraine needs more advanced weapons to penetrate it.

Ukraine struggled to make significant progress in its counteroffensive the following summer Russia spent months putting up defences Including mines, dragon’s teeth and trenches. He. She Frustrated advanced Ukrainian weapons Like tanks.

Russia has struggled

However, Russia struggled to seize new territory.

It first failed to seize the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, and then focused its efforts in the east. Despite its superiority in manpower and artillery, it… It made almost no progress in its offensive in the winter of 2022 It did not achieve any major victories in the offensive it began in October.

Russian vehicles in a smoking field with a large explosionRussian vehicles in a smoking field with a large explosion

A collision with Russian vehicles in the Ukrainian town of Avdiivka in October.110th Separate Mechanized Brigade

Bailey said additional fortifications would make Russia’s decision-making process more difficult. Without deep Ukrainian defences, Russia can push forward after seizing a position. But a stronger defensive line stops that, limiting where he can go even after a win.

That would likely prompt Russia to question how it “goes about seizing territory,” Bailey said.

“Ukraine has done better in attacks than Russia has done overall. Russia has done much worse overall,” William Alberk, who directs the arms control program at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, told BI.

But now so is Ukraine Shortage of ammunition and weaponsRussia has much greater firepower.

Ukrainian lieutenant He said This harms his soldiers’ ability to attack: “Now we don’t have enough equipment, enough people to attack.

“So the main goal at the moment is to maintain the position we have.”

Ukraine is still fighting

Bailey said Ukraine did not want to give up on its goal of regaining territory: “I don’t think this is an indication that Ukraine intends to stay on the defensive for a long time.”

Ukrainian officials said they wanted another counterattack this year.

Bailey said the limiting factor is the type of weapons Ukraine can obtain from its allies.

When a major attack is launched, “these defensive positions provide a convenient location from which to launch such operations,” Bailey added.

“Ukraine needs to create these defensive lines just in case and set up traps wherever possible to destroy as much of Russia’s offensive capability as possible and then hit back somewhere,” Alberki said.

The fortifications could free up Ukrainian soldiers to do things like train, says Jack Watling, a ground warfare expert. He told Reuters.

Other experts agree. Ukraine does not appear to be abandoning the offensive. One of them said that Ukraine’s goal was Possibly “active defense” It is still attacking while maintaining defensive lines, searching for Russian weaknesses.

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(Tags for translation)Ukraine

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