Ukraine-Russia War Latest: ‘Big Fire’ As Russia Strikes Port City With Ballistic Missile | World news

About a year has passed since Ukraine last prepared for a spring counteroffensive against Russia.

The goal was to break through the Russian lines and return a large part of the occupied territory. But despite increased military support from the West, the counteroffensive did not live up to expectations and Ukraine was unable to push back Russian forces.

Our military analyst Sean Bell says that since then, Ukraine has provided an “incredibly strong defense” but has been “hurt” by a long delay by the US Congress in passing a multibillion-dollar aid package to Kiev.

“Ukraine has lost its place on the front line and Russia has momentum, which has affected Ukrainian morale and cost lives,” he explains.

So, will the US decision to give $60 billion in military aid backfire in Ukraine’s favor? These are among the topics Bell discusses This week’s Red Matrix podcast.

Russia could make a breakthrough this summer

Bell says momentum is vital in war, and Russia has plenty of it after using Ukraine’s widespread weapons shortages to target its energy infrastructure, cities and front lines.

Despite Russia’s heavy toll, Bell says Vladimir Putin wants to seize the opportunity to inflict more damage on Ukraine “before US military aid arrives.”

“Many military analysts believe that Russian advances in key sectors of the front line are likely to resume this summer as there is growing evidence that Russia is preparing for a large-scale summer offensive,” he says.

Putin’s long game

Bell says Mr. Putin is preparing for a long war that will eventually erode Western support for Ukraine.

“Russia has more troops, has tripled the size of its defense industrial base to create a sustainable supply of weapons… and can finance the war with huge and sustainable oil revenues,” he explains.

At the same time, Ukraine is “critically dependent” on Western aid.

Despite the contrast of military forces, Bell does not expect a strategic breakthrough for Russia – Moscow’s success on the battlefield is “not a foregone conclusion”.

He points to recent comments by Volodymyr Zelensky, who said Western allies could defend Ukraine in the same way they defended Israel from the latest Iranian attack.

“Why shouldn’t we give Ukraine the same level of support?” says Bell.

Western hesitancy encourages Putin

The West “has the military power to stop a Russian invasion in its tracks,” Bell says, but so far it has been hampered by escalating Russian rhetoric.

But the more he “tolerates” Russia’s actions, the more emboldened Mr Putin will become, making him a “more dangerous threat” to the West in the coming years, he adds.

Despite a huge US military aid package for Ukraine, Mr Zelensky and his forces are facing “a very difficult spring and summer”, Bell said.

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