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Defense year ahead, but with one condition: Expert's outlook on 2024 frontlines

Defense year ahead, but with one condition: Expert's outlook on 2024 frontlines Photo: An expert assessed what to expect at the front in 2024 (Getty Images)

This year is likely to be a year of defense on the front lines. In a favorable scenario, there may also be localized actions with minor tactical successes, according to the RBC-Ukraine article titled "Defense or victory: Anticipating Ukraine's third year of war."

The head of the Center for Military Law Researches, Olexandr Musiienko, noted that it is difficult to predict changes on the front line because it is unclear how long the issue of funding from the United States will be delayed.

Overall, he believes that in 2024, Ukraine will be on the defensive.

"With the understanding that we're on the front lines, we realize that we simply won't have enough time to prepare for a large-scale offensive to reclaim significant territories earlier. The only thing we can count on, under a favorable scenario, is if the US assistance is voted on shortly, we'll receive packages for the second half of 2024. And then, there may be localized actions with minor tactical successes. But considering recent trends, I believe this year could indeed be a year of defense," he said in an interview with RBC-Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Western media outlets and the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense, Kyrylo Budanov, suggest that Ukraine will only be able to seize the initiative on the front line in 2025.

For instance, The Wall Street Journal wrote that Ukraine needs time to recover, so attention is currently focused on building fortifications to deter Russia and gain time.

"If Ukraine can fight a smart defensive, weakening Russian forces while simultaneously restoring its own, it will be able to launch a new counteroffensive against a weakened enemy in 2025," Budanov said in a recent interview with WSJ.

For more details on why the Ukrainian Armed Forces are forced to fight defensively and what is needed to break through, read this material.

Frontline situation

In the summer, Ukrainian military forces launched a counteroffensive in the east and south of Ukraine. They succeeded in liberating over a dozen settlements in Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions.

However, Russian occupiers have intensified assaults on the front line. In particular, aggressors seized Avdiivka after months of heavy fighting.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that the capture of Avdiivka is Russia's biggest achievement in 9 months of war. The head of state also noted that Ukraine will not stand still but will prepare for a new offensive in the future.