Only 2 points of contact, in Bakhmut and Zaporizhzhia: the defense density is higher than that of the attack and there is no maneuver
On a 1,600 kilometer front in Ukraine, for two months there have been only two points of contact between the sides: Bakhmut and Zaporizhzhia. “The rest is already a de facto armistice line,” a Western military analyst on the war between Ukraine and Russia explains to Adnkronos.
The forces, both Russian and Ukrainian, “are at a standstill”. Because in the hot spots of the front, “the density of defense is higher than that of the attack and there is no maneuver”. The forces are there but they are so thin as to not allow a breakthrough. The image evoked to describe this tired front is that of two boxers knocked out in the ninth round.
The soldiers proceed on foot. They don’t use tanks anymore. The concentration of ‘weapons against armour’, against tanks, is such that the real average life of a vehicle is very low, just a few hours. The same goes for helicopters and planes. Which consequently are not used. In speaking of defensive power, we are talking about mines, their density on the territory, old anti-tank weapons and drones. “There is therefore a paradigm shift underway.” Operated with a mix of old and new weapons. And their concentration.
The southern front, the situation
The Russian defense line in the south is crossed by the Ukrainians on foot. No demining trucks. It is the soldiers who advance ten meters on all fours with the hoe at night and at dawn they turn back, “like the Arditi on the Carso”.
“Positional warfare is maneuver warfare, in which you exploit movement, mobility with firepower to gain the upper hand. But if you can’t concentrate enough mass to overcome the defense density, you stand still, which is what is happening right now on the front in Ukraine”, he explains.
The image is that of a cavalry squadron charging: if there are infantrymen in front, some horses are killed but in the end the squadron overwhelms them. But if the infantrymen have machine guns, the defensive weapon blocks the maneuver and the knights have to dismount. And in this case, the machine gun is the density, the quantity of systems deployed.
“In the last 12 months, a few square kilometers have been exchanged from one side to the other in total, 20 to be precise. And it is irrelevant to specify in favor of whom. Compared to 100 thousand men, perhaps more lost on each side”, the analyst underlines.
This stalemate situation will be resolved “suddenly” by a moment of distraction on the part of one of the two sides which will allow the other to win. So no new generation super weapons. But the exhaustion, the collapse of one of the contenders. “Here we are at the First World War.”
Or, in a situation where the rear is not ‘played’, Russians and Ukrainians who have demonstrated the ability to resist, as is the front, demography will decide. “If we continue in this way, in a year Ukraine will reach the situation in which Italy was in 1917, when 17-year-olds, the ‘kids of ’99’, were called to fight. In Russia things are no better: the base demographic is larger, but they don’t fight to defend their home.”