Russian forces are gaining an advantage in eastern Ukraine by learning from mistakes made during the early stages of their invasion of the country, including better coordination of air and ground attacks and improved logistics and supply lines, two US officials with direct knowledge of US intelligence assessments told CNN.
The United States does not expect the new weapons systems recently supplied to Ukrainian forces, including the HIMARS multiple rocket launcher system, to immediately change the situation on the battlefield, in part because these systems are so far sent both with a limited range and a limited number of rockets to ensure they are not fired into Russian territory. Additionally, Russian forces were able to destroy some of the new weapons supplied by the West, including M777 howitzers, in targeted attacks.
US assessments, which increasingly face a long and arduous battle in eastern Ukraine, come as the months-long war has reached a pivotal moment in recent days. Ukraine’s military is burning Soviet-era ammunition that matches older systems, and Western governments are facing a tough decision on whether to continue increasing aid to the country.
US assessments paint a bleak picture for the future of the war, with high personnel and material losses on both sides. US officials believe Russian forces plan to maintain intense attacks in the east, characterized by heavy artillery and missile strikes, with the intention of wearing down Ukrainian forces and NATO resolve over time. time.
Russia’s progress has been highlighted in recent days after Ukraine’s defense of Lysychansk – the last town in the Luhansk region it still holds – became much more tenuous. Over the past two days, the Russians have advanced through several villages south of Lysychansk, not without suffering casualties from Ukrainian artillery fire.
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