Ukraine, has the counter-offensive begun? Expert analysis

Has Kiev initiated the attack? The opinion of General Battisti and General Tricarico

“I think it is too early to say that the Ukrainian offensive has begun. To be such, the offensive must be disruptive, it must be sudden and it must be devastating, as happened with the one, again conducted by the Ukrainians in September in southern Kharkiv , which allowed them to surprise the Russian forces and to recover a good part of the territories that the Russians had conquered in the previous months.It seems that Ukraine wants to keep the Russians on the alert, ready to repel this offensive, a way to try to wear them down with these delays and periodic postponements”. General Giorgio Battisti, first commander of the Italian contingent of the ISAF mission in Afghanistan and member of the Atlantic Committee, spoke to Adnkronos.

“Although according to the latest news, both from Ukrainian sources and from Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of Wagner, the Russians have surrendered some quarters of the city of Bakhmut, and the Ukrainian forces have retaken 5 sq km of the city, which may seem small but not are – Battisti points out – I do not think that these counterattacks carried out with determination by the Ukrainian forces can be considered signs of that great offensive that has been announced for weeks and at the same time postponed further and further forward”.

“The postponements, still of a few weeks, which may be linked to the fact that the Ukrainian forces have to complete the last training of the military by the NATO and especially the US and British forces in order to ensure that the Ukrainian soldiers know how to operate with the standards of the Atlantic Alliance and to also receive the latest Western assets that are arriving.Although both the secretary general of NATO and the supreme commander of NATO allied forces in Europe have stated that Ukraine has received the 98 % of the combat vehicles he had requested, equal to about 250 Western tanks and over 1550 protected combat vehicles. And finally – he concludes – they are waiting for the new ‘Storm Shadow’ missiles, supplied by Great Britain, and which have the to reach deep into the Russian lines, up to 250 km thus hitting the rear”.

For General Leonardo Tricarico, former Chief of Staff of the Air Force and current president of the ICSA Foundation, “right from the start, the Russian-Ukrainian conflict seems like a tug of war where no one gives in but there are alternating phases of advance and subsidence. Now, the moment seems to favor an advance of the Ukrainians but a definitive prevalence of the Ukrainian counter-offensive seems unlikely”.

“The new weapons are then, compared to the announcements, largely only on paper or in the intentions of donors and beneficiaries. Or to a much more modest extent than one would like to believe. – adds Tricarico- Before assuming total operational capacity on the more advanced means much more time of hard work must go by. And many more waltzes of Prighozin, he too fluctuating in his demonstrations and announcements”