KYIV, Ukraine – As the eastern city of Sivirodonetsk collapses near Russia, military analysts say Ukraine’s armed and unnumbered forces are trying to pull off a more deadly struggle against Moscow.
Russia is using long-range artillery to its advantage by bombing eastern cities from afar, leveling them and killing or repelling civilians, raising the question of whether the lives of Ukrainian soldiers are worth the cost to save the lives of Ukrainian soldiers. President Volodymyr Zhelensky described Sevirodonetsk as a “dead” city.
In Siverodonetsk, analysts say, Ukrainians hope that by dragging Russian forces into street fighting, they will be able to reduce the benefits of Moscow’s heavy weapons for some time to come, as close quarters pose a danger to Russia. Artillery attacks will attack their own soldiers.
“If the Ukrainians try to drag them into house-to-house fighting, they are more likely to inflict unbearable casualties on the Russians,” said Gustav Gressell, a Ukrainian expert with the European Foreign Council.
However, the Ukrainians get a chance by dragging the Russians into street fighting and risking being trapped in the city – especially when the last bridge that allows them to escape so fast is destroyed. Mr. Zhelensky Agrees that The price of a close battle is “based on the number of casualties, the number of casualties.”
But as Western weapons are slowly coming in, Ukrainians now reckon they are worth the risk.
Although street fighting kills large numbers of Ukrainian soldiers – officials estimate that Ukraine loses 200 soldiers daily in the war – it causes more casualties to Russians than random artillery and tank battles in the open.
Prior to the Russian invasion, the Ukrainian military studied high-armored vehicle and artillery combat approaches in cities such as Aleppo during the Syrian war, including lessons learned from the civil war.
In December, military trainers told volunteers preparing to defend the capital, Kay, to fight as close as possible to the engagement limits in urban areas and to prevent the Russians from calling in artillery to strike strikes attacking their own soldiers.
These tactics are not needed inside Kiev because Russian forces were repelled before entering the city. But Ukraine put them to use in the civil war in Mariupol, where Ukrainian fighters facing huge Russian forces were able to deploy enemy forces for weeks.
Mikhail Samos, vice-president of the Center for Military, Transformation and Disarmament Studies, argued that the Ukrainian military’s stalemate in opposition had also bought its troops time, and that they were blocking Russia’s advance into eastern Ukraine because they believed that more exports of Western weapons would come. . He said the goal was to “exhaust or reduce the enemy’s attack capabilities.”
However, it is unclear how long such a strategy could work in the Donbass, where mostly flat plains favor Russian artillery, and long-range weapons from the United States and other Ukrainian allies are slow to arrive. As the death toll in Ukraine rises, Russia says it has more troops to use as “cannon fodder.” Zhelensky agreed.
In A talk At the US Jewish Committee Global Forum this week, he reiterated his call for allies to send more weapons quickly.
“Attacks require powerful weapons, without which the war will drag on and the number of victims will increase,” he said.
Oleksandr Subko Contributed report.