May 21, 2024

Western-Trained Ukrainian Troops Are Abandoning US Tactics: Report

  • Ukraine has made only modest gains in its summer counteroffensive against Russia. 
  • Troops are abandoning US tactics because they’ve proved ineffective, The NYT reported. 
  • Russia formed deep defensive lines over the winter, protected by miles of landmines. 

Western-trained Ukrainian troops are abandoning US tactics in their counteroffensive to seize back territory from Russia, The New York Times reported. 

Ukraine had hoped to punch through Russian positions and make sweeping gains comparable to their counteroffensive in the summer of 2022 when it seized back several strategically important cities.

But the counteroffensive is making slow progress, with troops encountering heavily defended Russian positions, protected by minefields, helicopter gunships, and artillery fire. 

Ukrainian units are now ditching plans to attack Russian positions head-on using complicated Western maneuvers and are instead wearing the enemy down with artillery and missile barrages, The Times said.

Analysts told the Times that Western allies of Ukraine had pushed for the Ukrainian military to adopt more aggressive offensive tactics. 

Western allies believe that a protracted conflict would further deplete Ukrainian ammunition supplies and play into Russian hands, the report said.

But having received only weeks of training, it said Ukrainian forces were reverting to more familiar methods. 

“The problem was in the assumption that with a few months of training, Ukrainian units could be converted into fighting more the way American forces might fight, leading the assault against a well-prepared Russian defense, rather than helping Ukrainians fight more the best way they know how,” Michael Kofman, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace told The Times.

Some Western equipment is also proving ineffective. Insider previously reported that Western battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles gifted to Ukraine were not able to get through the rows of Russian mines on the front lines, slowing down their much-anticipated counteroffensive.

Analysts believe Russia wants a protracted conflict that will enable it to wear down Ukrainian resistance and international support for Ukraine. 

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