“The next week or two will be even more interesting,” the Ukrainian officer told the newspaper.
At the same time, the Ukrainian army in the Kherson Oblast appears not to have launched a full-fledged counter-offensive yet.
Ukrainian fighters complain about the lack of manpower and ammunition. So far, Ukrainian forces lack the threefold superiority in manpower and equipment on the southern axis military experts say is necessary for a successful offensive.
However, a Ukrainian intelligence official with the call sign “Banderas” told The Economist that the situation in southern Ukraine could change dramatically if more Western missile systems were sent there. Only a few M777 howitzers are currently deployed there.
The Russian invasion force troops have built a network of fortified underground passages in the oblast, Ukrainian soldiers told The Economist.
And Serhiy, a territorial defense fighter, said that when Ukrainian forces try to kick the invaders out, instead of ten soldiers, a hundred come to their position. One village can be guarded by four air defense units.
Local residents who did not flee from the invaders also hamper the Ukrainian army’s operations, with the Russian troops using them as human shields.
Another problem for the counteroffensive of the Ukrainian army is the open landscape of Kherson Oblast, where troops are vulnerable to artillery strikes.
During the previous week, the General Staff announced the liberation of two villages in Kherson Oblast – Potemkino and Ivanivka. Operational Command South said that the Ukrainian army is slowly pushing the Russian invaders back.