US military officials are recognizing this as a pivotal and perhaps crucial phase Ukraine A war is brewing in the eastern part of the country, where Russian troops may encircle Ukrainian forces, hoping to bludgeon them in an epic, long-range ground battle reminiscent of the last century.
New US shipments of heavy artillery and artillery counter-artillery radar, tactical drones, armored vehicles and other equipment are being rushed to Ukraine before tens of thousands of troops making up up to half of Ukraine’s army are trapped in a so-called “double envelopment” maneuver ‘, which would attack them simultaneously from two sides.
Ukrainians are in a north-south crescent between deep Russian lines in the south-eastern Donbass region and a potential
Pincer movement to the west.
A Russian success in the southern port city of Mariupol, where its forces have been battling Ukrainian resistance for weeks, would free thousands of Moscow’s troops to move north and potentially meet additional Russian forces moving south from the Kharkiv area of the country pull northeast.
“I think it’s true that the next few weeks are going to be very, very crucial…for the outcome of this fight that’s coming up,” Joint said
Chief of Staff General Mark Milley, who met with European commanders on Monday.
The fight is expected to be fought remotely.
The Russians are using fewer tanks than before, without the lightning strikes that characterized some of their earlier forays into Ukraine, and are returning to their more traditional doctrine of using artillery and other long-range fire.
Their front line in Donbass is heavily fortified with surface-to-air missiles, which from a Western perspective underscores the belief that supplying Ukrainians with fixed-wing aircraft with more crews – despite their appeal to planes – would not improve their prospects.
Where the front line of Russian forces ends after what is expected to be a grueling battle lasting weeks if not months will go a long way in determining future Western troop positions in Europe.
If the Ukrainians can’t hold their positions – let alone push back the Russians – there would be little to stop Russian forces turning their full attention back to the central parts of the country and perhaps beyond.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who initially indicated that he wanted to control most or all of Ukraine, has reworded his public goal to claim the East.
But Western officials are unsure of his ultimate goal or a deadline he has set for it.
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/decisive-battle-for-the-east-as-russians-attempt-to-surround-ukrainian-forces-41591432.html Decisive Battle of the East as Russians attempt to encircle Ukrainian forces