The gaps in information on the state of Ukraine’s military forces and the government’s strategy in the Donbas have created blind spots for the United States.
Photo: The New York Times
NATO was overly optimistic about the Ukrainian military’s ability to regain ground before its summer counteroffensive, The Times reported, citing an unnamed US officer. The British newspaper noted that officials in Kyiv had begun blaming their Western backers for their supposed lack of resolve.
In its article penned by Mark Galeotti, the author of more than 20 books on Russia, The Times quoted an anonymous US army officer involved in the training of Ukrainian service members. “NATO expected miracles, and the Ukrainians promised them,” he said, adding that “you can’t run a war on optimism.”
Another US official told the media outlet that “we haven’t quite closed the book on 2023, but we are ramping up our thinking about 2024.”
The report claimed that neither Russia nor Ukraine can make any decisive advances at present, with the latter now touting the capture of individual villages as a sign of success.
The author estimates that Kyiv has two months at most to turn the tide before autumn rains start making the ground impassable for military hardware in November.
Strong defense fortifications and extensive minefields set up by Russian forces in southern Ukraine were among the reasons for the apparent underperformance of Kyiv’s counteroffensive, the report claimed.
Against this backdrop, officials in Kyiv have recently begun criticizing NATO for not doing enough, with one describing the US-led military bloc as “gutless,” according to the newspaper.
With neither side willing to compromise, the conflict is likely to continue for the long haul, the report concluded.
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