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Ryan Robertson

Anchor, Investigative Reporter

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International

Ukraine is delaying its counteroffensive, for now

May 11, 2023

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Ryan Robertson

Anchor, Investigative Reporter

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MediaMiss™This story is a Media Miss by the right as only 24% of the coverage is from right leaning media.

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Center 39%

Right 24%

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Ukraine’s much anticipated spring counteroffensive is on hold. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his nation doesn’t have enough weapons to succeed against Russia without losing too many soldiers.

For months, the world has been waiting for Ukraine to strike back against Russia. Most military analysts assumed the assault would be centered around Zaporizhzhia, in the southern part of Ukraine, and would take place as winter transitions to spring.

But this has been one of the wettest springs on record in Ukraine, which makes maneuvering heavy machinery difficult. The weather is no doubt a contributing factor in the timing of Ukraine’s eventual attack on Russian defensive positions.

Lack of Western weapons, though, is the main reason Zelenskyy cited to European broadcasters when announcing the counterstrike delay. The Ukrainian president said his country could go forward and be successful, but without the proper armaments the number of casualties would be too great a price to pay.

Shortly after Zelenskyy made his announcement, Great Britain announced it would send Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine. Storm Shadows are conventionally armed weapons and will give Ukraine the ability to strike deeper behind enemy lines. The Storm Shadow has an effective range of about 150 miles, triple that of the HIMARS currently in use in Ukraine.

Ahead of the counteroffensive, the United States is also sending more artillery and HIMARS ammunition to Ukraine in its latest aid package. While Western aid continues to flow into Ukraine, Vladimir Putin’s missile stockpiles may be shrinking faster than we thought.

Speaking to Breaking Defense, analysts from a U.K.-based weapons tracking organization said they found evidence Russia is using cruise and other types of missiles a month or two after they’ve been built. The analysts said the new discovery implies Moscow isn’t able to keep up with the new pressures of production.

U.S.-imposed sanctions on the import into Russia of the materials needed to construct new weapons is seen as one of the main reasons Russia can’t make missiles fast enough.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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UKRAINE’S MUCH ANTICIPATED SPRING COUNTEROFFENSIVE IS ON HOLD. UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY SAID HIS NATION DOESN’T HAVE ENOUGH WEAPONS TO SUCCEED AGAINST RUSSIA WITHOUT LOSING TOO MANY SOLDIERS.

FOR MONTHS, THE WORLD HAS BEEN WAITING FOR UKRAINE TO STRIKE BACK AGAINST RUSSIA. MOST MILITARY ANALYSTS ASSUMED THE ASSAULT WOULD BE CENTERED AROUND ZAPORIZHZHIA, IN THE SOUTHERN PART OF UKRAINE, AND WOULD TAKE PLACE AS WINTER TRANSITIONS TO SPRING.

BUT THIS HAS BEEN ONE OF THE WETTEST SPRINGS ON RECORD IN UKRAINE, WHICH MAKES MANEUVERING HEAVY MACHINERY DIFFICULT. THE WEATHER IS NO DOUBT A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR IN THE TIMING OF UKRAINE’S EVENTUAL ATTACK ON RUSSIAN DEFENSIVE POSITIONS.

LACK OF WESTERN WEAPONS, THOUGH, IS THE MAIN REASON ZELENSKYY CITED TO EUROPEAN BROADCASTERS WHEN ANNOUNCING THE COUNTERSTRIKE DELAY. THE UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT SAID UKRAINE COULD GO FORWARD AND BE SUCCESSFUL, BUT WITHOUT THE PROPER ARMAMENTS THE NUMBER OF CASUALTIES WOULD BE TOO GREAT A PRICE TO PAY.

SHORTLY AFTER ZELENSKY MADE HIS ANNOUNCEMENT, GREAT BRITAIN ANNOUNCED IT WOULD SEND STORM SHADOW MISSILES TO UKRAINE. STORM SHADOWS ARE CONVENTIONALLY ARMED WEAPONS AND WILL GIVE UKRAINE THE ABILITY TO STRIKE DEEPER BEHIND ENEMY LINES. THE STORM SHADOW HAS AN EFFECTIVE RANGE OF ABOUT 150 MILES, TRIPLE THAT OF THE HIMARS CURRENTLY IN USE IN UKRAINE.

THE UNITED STATES IS ALSO SENDING MORE ARTILLERY AND HIMARS AMMUNITION TO UKRAINE IN ITS LATEST AID PACKAGE. WHILE WESTERN AID CONTINUES TO FLOW INTO UKRAINE, RUSSIAN MISSILE STOCKPILES MAY BE SHRINKING FASTER THAN WE THOUGHT.

ANALYSTS FROM A UK-BASED WEAPONS TRACKING ORGANIZATION SAID THEY FOUND EVIDENCE RUSSIA IS USING CRUISE AND OTHER TYPES OF MISSILES A MONTH OR TWO AFTER THEY’VE BEEN BUILT. THE ANALYSTS SAY THE NEW DISCOVERY IMPLIES MOSCOW ISN’T ABLE TO KEEP UP WITH THE NEW PRESSURES OF PRODUCTION.

U.S. IMPOSED SANCTIONS ON THE IMPORT INTO RUSSIA OF THE MATERIALS NEEDED TO CONSTRUCT NEW WEAPONS IS SEEN AS ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS RUSSIA CAN’T MAKE MISSILES FAST ENOUGH.

WE HAVE PLENTY MORE UNBIASED, STRAIGHT FACT REPORTING ON THE WAR IN UKRAINE AT STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS DOT COM.