NewsUkraine gears up for 2024 counteroffensive. President Zelensky seeks large-scale military mobilization

Ukraine gears up for 2024 counteroffensive. President Zelensky seeks large-scale military mobilization

Will this be the year of Ukraine's victory? New strategy for 2024.
Will this be the year of Ukraine's victory? New strategy for 2024.
Images source: © Getty Images | Oksana Shufrych
9:04 AM EST, December 20, 2023

"The Economist" reported in November that Ukraine could only push the front line approximately 11 miles in five months of counter-offensive. This effort has undermined the West's expectation for an effective expulsion of Russians from occupied territories. The objective to persuade Vladimir Putin that he cannot win the conflict and force him into negotiations has also been unsuccessful.

General Valeriy Zaluzhny, the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian army, acknowledges that the war with Russia is at a standstill. Breaking this blockade would demand a substantial technological breakthrough, which seems unlikely.

According to German news service Die Welt, Zaluzhny was not in favor of the ambitious total summer armored counteroffensive planned for 2023; instead, he would have preferred this to occur in 2024.

Reports suggest that the Ukrainian commander was pressured into this position by politicians - largely from Western countries who were eager to see immediate returns on their investments in provided weapons and ammunition.

Zaluzhny wasn't supportive of initiating an offensive, as he believed success unlikely without sufficient air support, and only agreed to it due to political pressure, says Nico Lange, former head of the German Defense Minister's office.

Zaluzhny's wariness proved justified as Russia learned from past mistakes, diminishing signs of the unskilled army seen at the onset of the war in 2022.

Ukraine eyes victory in the coming year

Ukraine is planning another counteroffensive attempt in 2024. The army has already requested the mobilization of an additional 450-500 thousand people.

On December 6th, in addition to the weapons that Kyiv has already secured, Volodymyr Zelensky submitted a wish list for further weapons to the United States. This list, according to Reuters, includes additional air defense systems, fighter jets, Apache attack helicopters, Abrams tanks, drones, and ammunition.

While the United States Congress continues to block the next stage of large-scale aid, Ukraine received weapons and equipment worth nearly 200 million dollars, including ammunition for HIMARS and 155 mm artillery, at the start of December.

There has been a significant shift in Ukraine's fighting strategy. The Ukrainian army, instead of trying to maintain their positions as done previously in Bahmut, has now reduced their military losses. Everyone on the frontline eagerly awaits 2024.

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