Ukraine war ‘cannot be won on battlefield’ as soldiers fear defences too strong

Ukrainian soldiers and observers have begun to openly doubt the likelihood of a military breakthrough given the rising toll caused by Ukraine’s counteroffensive.

Heavy losses on the battlefield have left them questioning whether Russia’s heavily hardened defensive lines — built and upgraded during the winter — might be an impassable barrier.

There are many soldiers and professionals who vehemently disagree, arguing the ongoing counter-attack, which has been running for a month and was painstakingly organised, will eventually succeed in breaking Russian lines.

They assert that the initial stage of the operation is going as planned and that the active front line, which extends over 1,000 km (620 miles) in a rough arc from the Black Sea Coast to Ukraine’s northeastern border with Russia, was never intended to be quickly penetrated in the manner of the rapid advances made by Kyiv’s forces last year.

Kyrylo Potras, a Ukrainian marine who lost his lower left leg due to a Russian mine in 2020 but has since returned to the frontlines, expressed his concern about the situation.

READ MORE: Russia ‘sets up firing positions’ around Ukraine nuclear plant

He told the BBC that without more assistance from Western allies, there is a risk of losing the battle. Potras emphasised that the extensive presence of Russian minefields posed a significant obstacle.

Potras said: “Without more [Western] help, I think we might lose this game.”

According to him, the Russian forces are numerous and equipped with a substantial arsenal of anti-tank guns and missile systems. Potras highlighted the formidable challenges posed by the Russian military in the ongoing conflict.

On another point along the front, a wearing combat medic complained to the BBC that Russia had plenty of time to strengthen its defences and had a sizable number of troops due to the rising number of losses in Ukraine.

They came to the conclusion that although Ukraine could be able to move the frontline back, possibly by several tens of kilometres, it would be difficult to considerably reduce Russia’s overall strategic control over eastern and southeastern Ukraine.

The medic told the BBC: “I think this war will not be resolved in the battlefield. It will end with a political deal.”

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Meanwhile, Russia has fired cruise missiles Thursday (July 6) at a western Ukraine city far from the front line of the war, killing at least six people in an apartment building in what officials said was the heaviest attack on civilian areas of Lviv since the Kremlin’s forces invaded the country last year.

Emergency crews with search dogs went through the rubble of the building after the nighttime attack destroyed the roof and the top two floors. At least 36 people were injured, according to authorities.

The youngest of the people who died was 21 years old and the oldest was a woman of 95, Lviv province governor Maksym Kozytskyi said.

Kozytskyi said: “This woman survived the Second World War, but unfortunately she didn’t survive”Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

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