Ukraine refocuses on defense and deep strikes

Failing to secure major advances against entrenched Russian forces, Ukraine is refocusing toward a blend of defensive actions and so-called deep strikes inside Russia. It’s a positive shift in strategy.

At a basic level, the reprioritization of defensive over offensive action allows Ukrainian forces to flip the battlefield script on the Russians. The 2023 summer-winter Ukrainian counteroffensive made only sparse gains at a heavy cost of manpower and lesser but still significant loss of materiel. While Russian forces also suffered heavy casualties, they were able to focus on defensive action, gaining a respite from relentless frontal attacks previously ordered by commanders. Now, however, with Ukrainian forces holding in defense, Russian forces are seeing their own casualties rise in return only for limited territorial gains. This is a problem for the Russian military. The repeated and stark inability of Russian forces to conduct effective combined arms offensives means
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