LONDON, September 29. /TASS/. Ukraine’s counter-offensive proceeds slowly because Russia’s defensive lines turned out to be stronger than the West expected, the chief of the UK defense staff, Admiral Tony Radakin, was quoted as saying by The Times.
In his opinion, observers should not expect successes of the Ukrainian counter-offensive in the short-term perspective. Radakin believes that "a visceral war" is now being waged, and winning it would require both military and economic might.
"It’s the military that wins battles, but it’s the economics and that sustainability that tends to win wars," he added.
Radakin went on to say that Ukraine’s operations are hampered by the lack of military training for the country’s mobilized soldiers. He also explained the lack of progress by "the wide variety" of military vehicles and equipment in service with the Ukrainian troops, who now have to use both Soviet-made and Western weaponry. Moreover, he hinted that the Kiev government was probably too late in launching its counter-offensive.
"When you look at the start of the counteroffensive, there were points where Ukraine wanted to assure itself of a bit more equipment, more ammunition, then it went into a bad period of weather and that impacted [it]. Then you’ve done some of the wargaming and made assessments about Russia and then in actuality some of those Russian defences have been stronger than first anticipated," the UK admiral said after visiting Kiev with the country’s Defense Secretary Grant Shapps.
Ukrainian forces have been making unsuccessful attempts at an offensive since June 4. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on September 12 that Ukraine had lost 71,500 servicemen and about 18,500 tanks and other armored vehicles by that time. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on September 26 that Ukraine's losses had exceeded 17,000 people over the past month alone, while the "counteroffensive" had failed to make any significant gains.