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US Spies And Analysts Behind Ukraine’s Withering Counter-attack Architecture


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Washington. – In recent months, Senior Ukrainian officials share intelligence with their US alliesAs part of the preparations for the retaliation, which these days allowed them 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 military, supplied by the United States.

Since the beginning of the war, The United States has supplied Ukraine Information about the location of command posts, armory and ammunition depots and other key points of Russian military lines. That real-time intelligence sharing allowed Ukrainians to target Russian forces, kill their top generals and force them to move their weapons supply lines away from the front lines.

FILE – Ukrainian troops occupy positions in the 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 would expose their vulnerabilities and discourage US support, The Ukrainians kept their preparations a secret while the Americans continued to collect precise details of the Kremlin’s orders and the plans of the Russian commanders.

But when Ukraine outlined its counterattack 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 the kind of advice they gave to Ukrainians. But one officer said The Americans were in “permanent exchanges” with the Kiwis. The best way is to stop Russian progress in eastern Ukraine.

Americans say the victory in the Northeast, recapturing Izium, a major rail hub, is Ukraine’s most significant progress so far.

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

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 significantly push back the Russian front line.

,For months I have believed that by the end of the year Ukraine will be able to push Russia to the front line before the invasion on 23 February.”, says retired Lieutenant General Frederick B. Hodges, the former top commander of the US military in Europe. “When you look at Russian logistics, you realize that for them it is simply untenable because of the problems of discipline and low morale among their troops, as well as the problem of obtaining reinforcements.”

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

,Ukrainian military retaliation moves faster and gains more ground than expected”, says Mick Mulroy, a former Pentagon official and current CIA agent. “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

U.S. officials from current and previous administrations alike 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 diversion technique used by US special operations troops, who have been training Ukrainians since the annexation of Crimea in 2014. .

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

While the message about a Ukrainian attack in the south may be kind of distracting, officials say the attack matters too. Thanks to these advances in 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 goals.

While current US officials remain cautious, it is too early to say whether the Ukrainian military will be able to keep up with the momentum this past week.

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

But the new offensive showed that the Russian army is not resolved. underlying problems who lay bare in the first 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 it prevents the Kremlin from unleashing the full potential of its armed forces.

Ukrainian soldiers in a trench in Kherson, southern Ukraine on September 5, 2022.

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

The Kremlin may review its decision not to impose massive levies to strengthen its ranks and restart its war in Ukraine. Putin can too Use different tactics and start a new phase of the war, especially if he believes that Ukraine’s morale is improving after its successful counter-attack. Officials in Kyiv believe Russia may be resorting to cyberattacks against a wider area of Ukraine.

Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation Georgy Dubinsky predicted that in the coming months, with the arrival of the boreal winter, Russia will try to attack Ukraine’s power grid or cut oil 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 electrical infrastructure. But this time Ukrainians believe that Russia will use more targeted phishing attacks to destroy parts of the energy grid, or resort to a combination of cyber attacks with a kinetic bombing campaign.

by Julian E. Barnes and Helen Cooper

Jaime Arrambide. translation by