Some EU nations supporting Ukraine have started to doubt whether Kiev will be able to recapture large swathes of territory this year, Bloomberg has reported. Even a modest advance would likely result in heavy casualties among Ukrainian personnel and require considerable amounts of ammunition and hardware, the outlet claimed, citing anonymous EU officials.
In an article on Friday, Bloomberg alleged that the high hopes prevalent among Ukraine’s backers late last year, after Kiev’s troops managed to regain a large area, have now mostly dissipated. Fewer people in Western capitals are counting on a decisive push in 2023, with the fighting expected to continue well into next year.
The news agency quoted unnamed European officials “involved in efforts to support Ukraine’s military” as predicting that a realistic goal for Kiev would be a 30 km (20 mile) advance. This, if successful, should set the stage for a deeper counteroffensive in 2024, the sources predicted.
To support such a push, Ukraine’s Western backers would need to step up their military production capacity, Bloomberg said. According to the outlet, further large-scale deliveries could, however, run into political opposition in some countries.
An unnamed European official cited in the report also warned that any such operation would be a costly endeavor, both in terms of manpower and weapons, as Russian forces have had time to dig in, with minefields, ditches, and concrete anti-tank pyramids in place.