EDF Colonel: Ukraine is in a war of attrition

Colonel Eero Rebo.
Colonel Eero Rebo. Source: ERR

In the run-up to the one-year anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, hostilities have intensified but Russia has not achieved a breakthrough, experts said on Thursday. It is a war of attraction, Estonian Defense Forces' Chief of the General Staff Col. Eero Rebo said.

Russian troops have taken the initiative but are making slow progress, "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported, while making a summary of the current situation in Ukraine.

"There is a war of attrition. We are also seeing that the Russian attempts to switch to a broad-based offensive have not had much success," said Rebo.

The question is who has the staying power — Russia, Ukraine or the West. U.S. newspaper the Washington Post doubts Congress will give Ukraine another extensive aid package, similar to the one it granted in January. The Pentagon could urge Ukraine's forces to choose a line of attack rather than exhaust forces in defensive battles, it suggested.

Indrek Kannik, director of the International Center for Defense Studies, said the U.S. is still involved with Ukraine.

Indrek Kannik on Wednesday's edition of 'Otse uudistemajast'. Source: ERR

"The Americans are actually still involved in military planning with the Ukrainians, and they know the situation on the front quite well. The reality is that it will take the Ukrainians a couple of months from the time the new equipment arrives, which they have been promised perhaps at the end of March, April, to learn to use it properly. We can expect a potential Ukrainian offensive in June-July," he said.

Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in an interview with the Financial Times that it will be almost impossible for Russia to achieve its goals on the battlefield this year. However, Ukraine would win if the Russian army collapses. 

"I think Ukraine will be under some pressure this spring and summer to make progress on the front," Kannik said.

Rebo told AK: "It's not so much a question of who goes on the offensive first, but who can prepare that offensive properly and create the conditions for it, and then move their units so that they go through and gain freedom of movement in the depths of the enemy's defenses, where there are no troops directly in front."

Speaking about equipment, Rebo said the battlefield will be changed by the side that keeps their equipment in working order. The Ukrainians have support but delivery times are long.

Little is known about how Russia repairs and maintains its weapons.


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Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright

Source: Aktuaalne kamera

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