Ukrainian soldiers walk across a destroyed bridge in the town of Irpin, outside Kiev, Ukraine. Photo/REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
KIEV – Most of Ukraine’s counteroffensive operations were carried out without the use of vehicles, according to Head of Ukrainian Military Intelligence Kirill Budanov in an interview with the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
The confession was published on Thursday (28/9/2023). “Unfortunately, most of our attacks are now carried out on foot,” Budanov said.
He emphasized the use of “minimal” heavy armor. Budanov likened it to the battle in the city of Artyomovsk, also known as Bakhmut, where he said Russian troops also waged war on foot.
As the WSJ notes, the Ukrainian military no longer seems to believe tactics taught by the West can work on the modern battlefield.
Washington and its allies have encouraged Ukrainian commanders to use combined arms maneuvers, which include using large numbers of armored vehicles and tanks to make quick breakthroughs.
However, the proliferation of modern combat drones, which can detect and destroy targets in minutes, may have made the tactic obsolete, according to military experts.
“The days of massed armored raids, capturing kilometers at a time, like we did in 2003 in Iraq, those are gone because drones have become so effective now,” retired US Army Sergeant First Class Bradley Crawford told the WSJ.
Not only that, Kiev’s supporters in the West have repeatedly expressed frustration over the slow pace of Ukraine’s heralded counteroffensive, which was launched in early June and is expected to turn the tide of the conflict.
Throughout the summer, Kiev forces ultimately failed to make significant territorial gains and suffered heavy casualties as they tried to break through Russian defenses consisting of extensive minefields, as well as heavy artillery and swarms of drones.