Ukraine counteroffensive – analysis

Article published in The Daily Express, 6 October 2022. © Richard Kemp

Ukraine’s counteroffensives in the east around Kharkov and in the south around Kherson have thrown Russian forces on the defensive, routing them from territory that Putin pledged a few days ago would be Russian ‘forever’.

How has Ukraine’s David sent Russia’s Goliath reeling? Moscow sent in inadequate force numbers, with Putin underestimating Ukraine’s capability while overestimating his own forces’ fighting prowess.

As Russia’s war has gone from bad to disastrous, militarily incompetent Putin has worsened matters by micromanaging and issuing orders direct to low-level units.

The invaders have been confronted by highly motivated Ukrainian soldiers defending their homeland. But their stunning success would not have been possible without weapons, ammunition, intelligence and planning guidance from Britain and the West.

A humiliated Putin knows he must prevent further losses to his newly annexed territory. He may not be bluffing when he threatens to lash out with nuclear weapons. Ukraine would not be able to counter that and it is up to America and Britain to react with devastating force if the crunch comes.