US spies and analysts behind Ukraine’s withered counterattack architecture


Washington. – These last months, Senior Ukrainian officials share intelligence with US alliesAs part of the preparations for reprisals, which have enabled them these days to recover large parts of the occupied territory in the east of the country, thanks to Relevant information on the weak points of the Russian army, provided by the United States.

Since the start of the war, The United States provided Ukraine Information on the location of command posts, armories and ammunition depots and other key points Russian military lines. This real-time intelligence sharing allowed the Ukrainians to target Russian forces, kill their top generals and force them to move their arms supply lines away from the front lines.

FILE – Ukrainian troops occupy positions in Donetsk region, Ukraine, Saturday, July 2, 2022.

Until recently, however, US intelligence officials claimed to have a better understanding of Russia’s military plans than Ukraine. Fearing that sharing their operational plans exposes their vulnerabilities and discourages US support, The Ukrainians are keeping their preparations secret while the Americans continue to gather specific details about Kremlin orders and Russian commanders’ plans.

But when Ukraine presented its counter-attack plan, the Kyiv government decided that Sharing more information with the United States will help them get more helpUS officials say.

US officials declined to provide details of the retaliatory plan Ukraine shared with them or what kind of advice they gave Ukrainians. But an officer said The Americans were in “permanent exchanges” with the Kiwis. The best way is to stop Russian advances in eastern Ukraine.

The Americans say the victory in the Northeast, the recapture of Izium, a major rail hub, is Ukraine’s most significant progress to date.

An abandoned Russian BTR-89 armored vehicle in Kupiyansk on September 10, 2022.Juan Barreto – AFP

The strategic importance of these victories in the overall picture of the war is still unclear, but according to military experts, there are indications that The current Ukrainian offensive may have been the initial impetus to push back the Russian front line considerably.

,For months I believed that by the end of the year, Ukraine would be able to push Russia to the front line before the February 23 invasion.says retired Lt. Gen. Frederick B. Hodges, former Commander-in-Chief of the United States Army in Europe. “When you look at Russian logistics, you realize that for them it is simply untenable because of the problems with discipline and low morale of their troops, as well as the problem of obtaining reinforcements.

But Hodges says Ukraine’s recent successes have forced him to revise his estimates that land reform could be advanced in the south and east, and setting the stage for an attempt to reconquer Crimea next year. And many experts agree that the wind could be on Ukraine’s side.

,Ukrainian military reprisals move faster and gain more ground than expected“, says Mick Mulroy, former official of the Pentagon and current agent of the CIA. “It is time for the Ukrainian military to seize every opportunity to degrade and destroy Russia’s post-war capabilities.”

Wreckage of combat vehicles on a road in Balaklia, September 10, 2022.
Wreckage of combat vehicles on a road in Balaklia, September 10, 2022.Juan Barreto – AFP

US officials from current and previous administrations have praised the sophistication of Ukraine’s preparedness to retaliate. Ukraine’s decision to declare its counter-offensive in the south before attacking in the northeast is a standard diversionary technique used by US special operations troops, which have been training Ukrainians since the annexation of the Crimea in 2014. .

,Special Operations have been training him for 8 yearssays Evelyn Farkas, who was the Pentagon’s top official for Ukraine and Russia during the Obama administration. “Our intelligence operatives taught them forms of deception and psychological operations, known as irregular warfare.”

Although the message about a Ukrainian attack in the south may be a little distracting, officials say the attack is also significant. Thanks to these advances from the South, however modest, It would be more difficult for the Russian military to capture the port city of Odessa, one of President Vladimir Putin’s war targets.

While current US officials remain cautious, it’s too early to tell whether Ukraine’s military will be able to follow last week’s momentum.

The offensive will test the Ukrainians, Which suffers from a shortage of supplies, especially artillery ammunition. His army also suffered heavy losses., Going on the offensive is more difficult to maintain than a defense. Some U.S. officials believe the more successful Ukraine gets in the coming days, the stronger Russia’s counterattack will be.

But the new offensive has shown that the Russian army is not resolved. underlying issues who were laid bare in the early days of the struggle.

The Russian military is still unable to solve its military problems or guarantee secure lines of communication, and according to US officials, it has also been unable to increase its industrial production to meet the demands of the war. . Ukrainian anti-aircraft security remains a threat to Russian aircraft and prevents the Kremlin from unleashing the full potential of its armed forces.

Ukrainian soldiers in a trench in Kherson, southern Ukraine, September 5, 2022.
Ukrainian soldiers in a trench in Kherson, southern Ukraine, September 5, 2022.Jim Huylebrock – NYTNS

The Kremlin could reconsider its decision not to impose massive levies to strengthen its ranks and relaunch its war in Ukraine. Putin can also Use different tactics and start a new phase of the war, especially if he feels Ukraine’s morale is improving after their successful counterattack. Officials in Kyiv believe Russia could use cyberattacks against a wider area of ​​Ukraine.

Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation Georgy Dubinsky predicted that in the coming months, with the onset of boreal winter, Russia will try to attack the Ukrainian power grid or cut the pipelines.

“In the next phase, they will try to attack our energy and financial sector,” Dubinsky said. “We’ve seen this scenario before.”

In 2015, Russia attacked Ukraine’s electricity infrastructure. But this time, Ukrainians believe Russia will use more targeted phishing attacks to destroy parts of the energy grid, or resort to a combination of cyberattacks with a kinetic bombing campaign.

by Julian E. Barnes and Helen Cooper

Jaime Arrambide. translation by


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