Note on the Ukraine offensive

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By CAIO BUGIATO*

The Ukrainian offensive failed. Which is terrible for Zelensky, who is racing against time and rain to please his sponsors

At the beginning of June 2023, the Ukrainian armed forces launched an offensive to recover the territories occupied by Russian forces. After providing training and around US$100 billion in aid from NATO countries, the promised Blitzkrieg It is an attempt to take over insignificant territories without significant advancement. The maps below, from June 01st and August 31st, show that practically nothing has changed. The occupied portion (in red and black) remains the same.

Map 1 – June 01st

Source: Institute for the Study of War

Map 2 – August 31

Source: Institute for the Study of War

The Ukrainians come up against the Russian defense lines, the most extensive fortifications in recent history, built for months in response to Kiev's intentions. In the coming autumn, the region has a typically rainy season. This means that unpaved roads will turn into mud, making progress difficult or almost impossible.

The West is disappointed and worried. Western leaders are dissatisfied with President Volodymyr Zelensky. Former Prime Minister of Ukraine Nikolai Azarov further stated that the West is now looking for someone who does not have such an anti-Russian stance to replace Volodymyr Zelensky. The Western press is assuming that the offensive is a suicide and a complete failure of the West. Amid cases of corruption, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov fell.

The main guarantor of the war, the United States, has elections in 2024. A new war financing bill is being prepared by the Joe Biden government, which will probably be ready to be considered by the Republican-majority Congress by the end of year. Donald Trump, who may or may not be the Republican nominee, is critical of NATO and has warned that Joe Biden's stance on Ukraine could lead to World War III and a nuclear conflict. For Donald Trump, war is not US business. Which is terrible for Volodymyr Zelensky, who is racing against time and rain to please his sponsors.

* Caio Bugiato Professor of Political Science and International Relations at UFRRJ and at the Graduate Program in International Relations at UFABC.


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