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Russia Intensifies Ukraine Offensive Amid Western Countermeasures and Unleashes New Threats

Russian military buildup illustration.

Russia Continues Offensive in Ukraine and Issues New Threats As West Steps up Efforts

Moscow, Russia- In a relentless summer offensive, Russian troops are making gradual advances through Ukraine’s under-equipped and outmanned defenses. This move has prompted the West to propose new strategies and weapons to bolster Kyiv’s position, eliciting further threats of retaliation from Russian President Vladimir Putin against the West, both directly and indirectly.

Probing Offensive by Russia

In the face of U.S. delays in military aid, Russia has seized the opportunity to escalate its attacks in multiple areas along the 600-mile front with the help of its superior firepower. Small units are being deployed to explore the vulnerabilities in Ukraine’s defenses, possibly setting the stage for a larger initiative. Putin recently stated that Russia’s aim was not to claim quick victories but to persist in its current strategy of making slow but steady progress.

Weak Spots in Ukraine’s Defenses

Russia’s offensive began in May near Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, causing alarm among Kyiv’s Western allies. However, after Ukraine reinforced its forces in the area by reassigning troops from other sectors, the offensive seems to have lost traction. Despite these reinforcements, Russia has made consistent, albeit gradual, advances in the Donetsk region.

Impact of the Offensive and the West’s Response

Due to Russia’s increasing attacks on Ukraine’s energy facilities and other critical infrastructure using missiles and drones, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy claimed that the country has lost approximately 80% of its thermal power and a third of its hydroelectric power. The West, in response to the offensive, has extended permission to Kyiv to use Western weapons for limited strikes inside Russia. Yet the extent to which Ukraine can retaliate is still restricted with Washington not authorizing airstrikes deep within Russian territory.

Rising Tensions and Threats of Escalation

There have been increasing calls for more decisive action, including deploying troops to Ukraine, but so far, this has only been supported vocally by French President Emmanuel Macron and the leaders of NATO’s Baltic members, not the U.S. Putin has warned that this would represent a major escalation and he threatened to retaliate by providing weapons to Western adversaries elsewhere in the world. Putin has added further fire to these potential threats by signing a mutual defense pact with North Korea in June, leaving the possibility for arms supplies to Pyongyang open.

The Nuclear Option

Putin has cautioned NATO against assuming that Russia will not resort to using its nuclear arsenal, reaffirming that it will employ “all means” if its territorial integrity and sovereignty are threatened. He has also hinted at potential modifications to the doctrine dictating when Russia would resort to using nuclear weapons. Russia has flexed its nuclear capabilities in military drills that it conducted with Belarus, having deployed some of these weapons to Belarus last year to discourage the West from supporting Ukraine militarily.

Situation on the Ground

Military analysts have noted that Putin’s strategy appears to hinge on wearing out Ukraine’s resources to force it into a peace agreement on Russia’s terms. While nothing significant is taking place on the frontlines currently, it seems that Russia is banking on a war of attrition. Resources are being steadily drained, leaving Ukraine in a vulnerable position. “We must walk the razor’s edge between our victory and a nuclear war,” a Moscow-based security analyst Sergei Poletaev stated in a commentary.


Russia Intensifies Ukraine Offensive Amid Western Countermeasures and Unleashes New Threats

HERE Irmo
Author: HERE Irmo

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