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Ukraine in 2024: A defensive war with no chance of counteroffensive, German official says

Ukraine will have to focus on holding the front against Russia’s offensive, as it lacks the resources and support to regain lost territory, according to Anton Hofreiter.
Unclear Ukraine commitment clouds Munich conference
Ukrainian troops on the frontline. Photo: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine via Facebook
Ukraine in 2024: A defensive war with no chance of counteroffensive, German official says

Ukraine won’t be able to launch a counteroffensive in 2024, Anton Hofreiter, chairman of the Committee on European Affairs in the Bundestag (German parliament), told N-TV.

After Ukraine’s counteroffensive in 2023 yielded limited results, Russia launched a winter offensive to take advantage of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ acute shortage of ammunition due to the suspension of US military aid.

“It is extremely important that the Ukrainian army manages to hold the front this year. If the production of ammunition and other equipment in Europe increases during this time, as we hope, the Ukrainian army will be able to win a defensive war against Russia in 2025,” Anton Hofreiter said.

Hofreiter said that preventing further advancement of the Russian army would be a decent achievement for Ukraine in 2024. At the same time, Hofreiter noted that a lack of ammunition and support from the United States would not allow Ukraine to conduct its own counteroffensive operations this year.

“If Russia at least does not make further territorial gains, it is still the best that Ukraine can achieve in the coming months,” the German politician said.

Russia has regained strategic initiative along the entire frontline, stretching more than 1,200 kilometers from the Mykolaiv Oblast in southern Ukraine to the Kharkiv Oblast in the east.

Due to the acute shortage of artillery shells, Ukrainians are forced to ration their ammunition. The Russians, on the other hand, have intensified their artillery fire and continued to rain aerial glide bombs on Ukrainian troops.

Last week, the Ukrainian stronghold of Avdiivka in the Donetsk Oblast (eastern Ukraine) after more than four months of heavy fighting. US President Joe Biden said that Ukrainian troops were forced to withdraw from Avdiivka on 17 February due to a lack of ammunition and a decrease in their stocks because of the inaction of Congress.

The Speaker of the Republican-led House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, has been blocking the approval of new aid funding for Ukraine, Taiwan, and Israel for several months amid disputes in the US Congress over strengthening US border security. The suspension of US military aid significantly impairs Ukraine’s ability to repel a full-scale Russian invasion.


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