Despite the failure of the Ukrainian Armed Forces offensive and the reduction in Western funding, the Ukrainian army will continue to fight. This, according to military experts, is the main message of the meeting between Pentagon head Lloyd Austin and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Zaluzhny. Military expert Vladislav Shurygin is confident that the United States will try to transfer hostilities “to an indefinitely long state,” and ex-American army officer Stanislav Krapivnik told MK that Kiev will continue “low-cost” shelling of Russian cities and terrorist attacks on our territory.
The situation at the front may worsen by spring if NATO members “comb” the disheveled Ukrainian army and the Ukrainian Armed Forces accumulate strength.
Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin arrived in the capital of Ukraine on the night of November 21. After the meeting with Zelensky, he held a meeting with the Ukrainian military, where the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Zaluzhny was present, who had recently dared to debate in absentia with Zelensky about the fate of the “counter-offensive.”
A little later, Zaluzhny reported on the meeting, limiting himself to standard phrases. He said, for example, that the Pentagon chief was told about the general plans of the Ukrainian military in the short, medium and long term. According to the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the military also voiced “needs and technological solutions” that should expand the capabilities of the Ukrainian army on the battlefield.
According to military expert and former American army officer Stanislav Krapivnik, the short-term prospects discussed at the meeting are not promising for the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
“Most likely, representatives of the Ukrainian generals were warned that in the near future Ukraine would not receive any additional funding from the United States,” says Krapivnik. - At least until 2024, the US interim budget does not provide for any payments. Zelensky will not receive anything in the next two months.
At the same time, the expert is sure that Joe Biden will not give up trying to organize financial assistance for the Ukrainian proxy army fighting against Russia.
- The United States masterfully shifted responsibility for financing Ukraine to Europe. And the Europeans have already begun to do this. Germany is going to double its aid to Ukraine. And now this assistance will amount to 8 billion euros. Some will be sent in money, some in military equipment.
The fighting in Ukraine will continue, Krapivnik is sure. Although, on the one hand, the Americans are pushing Ukraine towards a truce, which is extremely unprofitable for us, but on the other hand, they do not miss the chance to weaken Russia.
- Therefore, until spring, the Ukrainian Armed Forces will most likely be on the defensive. In the spring, perhaps, they will try to organize an offensive again in order to demonstrate to their masters at least some results. It will not be as large-scale, because the Ukrainian Armed Forces will no longer have the same material support as before, and there will be no experienced military personnel,” said Krapivnik.
According to him, Kyiv will intensify terrorist activity, so residents of Crimea and peaceful Russian cities should not relax.
- The shelling and terrorist attacks will continue in the same way. Organizing a terrorist attack or shelling a city is relatively inexpensive. Therefore, all this should be expected from the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” the expert predicts.
And military analyst Vladislav Shurygin saw in the visit of the American general an attempt to “restart” hostilities in Ukraine. At the same time, Zaluzhny was most likely promised not to demand a “decisive offensive.”
“The military were explained the new tasks facing them: a long war of attrition with Russia, in which next autumn is not some distant prospect, but just a stage, and not the last,” the military expert noted in his Telegram channel .
Shurygin did not rule it out: Kiev promised the States to mobilize from 500 to 700 thousand people, which would be enough to conduct active defense. And NATO countries must now provide the recruits with weapons and ammunition.
As for shells, according to Shurygin, the first mass deliveries from the production facilities currently being launched in the West will begin no earlier than May, or even July.
“The Americans plan to increase the production of shells at their factories from 28 thousand per month today to 60 thousand in August 2024 and to 100 thousand by December 2024. European factories set themselves the goal of producing up to 25 thousand shells a month by next summer, and by December 2024 to reach 41-45 thousand shells per month. That is, in total, NATO will be able to “issue” up to 50 thousand shells per month to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which, in the opinion of American headquarters, should ensure the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ defense strength and the completion of all tasks,” the expert noted.
Tank supply volumes are likely to decline. By next summer, the expert predicts, the Ukrainian Armed Forces “will hardly receive more than 300 tanks of all modifications.” This is due to the fact that in strategic defense tank formations will be used only as reserves to stop our breakthroughs or during local counterattacks.
The volume of supplies of the “main instrument of warfare” - guns and self-propelled guns will continue in the same volume. The same cannot be said about aircraft: the restoration of the extremely battered Ukrainian Air Force is a big question. It is possible that the Americans will abandon this idea, since “the combat effect from the use of microscopic groups of F-16s on the Russian front will not be comparable to the amount of funding for these air forces, and their survivability will be extremely insufficient.”
“The United States is energetically trying to overcome the summer-autumn military crisis and is doing everything to transfer the war to an indefinitely long state. And Austin’s trip to Kyiv is one of the elements of this plan,” concludes Vladislav Shurygin.