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Western arms delays allow Russia to adapt and complicate it for Ukrainian Armed Forces - ISW

Western arms delays allow Russia to adapt and complicate it for Ukrainian Armed Forces - ISW Illustrative photo (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

Ukrainian military officials continue to underscore that the fragmented and delayed arrival of new Western armaments could allow Russian forces to adapt to them, neutralizing the potential operational advantages these systems could provide to the Ukrainian Defense Forces, citing a report from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

The report references Politico, in which anonymous senior Ukrainian officers noted that the new Western systems are arriving too late and in insufficient quantities to have a maximally effective operational impact on the battlefield. According to them, Russian troops have swiftly adapted to the marginal advantages provided by Western weaponry.

Furthermore, officers state that the military aggressors are already optimizing the Russian air defense network to counteract the F-16 fighter jets expected to arrive in Ukraine in the summer of 2024.

Russian forces have demonstrated the ability to adapt to combat operations in Ukraine through both massive and incremental, albeit uneven, operational, tactical, and technological changes.

"The Russian military’s demonstrated ability to adapt, even if uneven or relatively slow, means that Ukrainian forces have a limited window of opportunity to maximally effectively use new Western systems to achieve operationally significant impacts," the ISW report states.

Analysts at the Institute note that individual systems pose specific challenges to Russian forces, and if the Armed Forces of Ukraine could employ multiple new systems simultaneously on a wide scale, Russians would find it harder to adapt as easily and quickly as they have done previously.

"The arrival of new Western systems in a timely manner would likely allow Ukrainian forces to significantly degrade Russian forces and prevent even marginal Russian tactical gains while also providing Ukraine with capabilities necessary for operationally significant counteroffensive operations," the ISW report states.

Challenges with US aid to Ukraine

For several months now, Ukraine has not received any new armaments from the US. This is due to Congress's inability to approve a package of funding for our country's defense needs.

Recently, the US Senate passed a bill allocating $60 billion in aid to Ukraine. However, the document is stuck in the House of Representatives due to Speaker Mike Johnson's reluctance to bring it to a vote.

Johnson wants aid to Ukraine to be provided on a credit basis rather than on a grant basis. Therefore, he and his Republican colleagues are preparing an alternative bill.

Meanwhile, according to Bloomberg, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin hopes for a reduction in support for Ukraine and plans to prolong the war of attrition.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Russia is preparing for a new large-scale offensive in late May or June.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg believes that the delay in US aid to Ukraine has consequences on the battlefield.