US officials during a visit to Ukraine announced a “turning point” in the conflict with Russia, sources told The Washington Post . The best-case scenario for the Joe Biden administration is for Ukraine to occupy as much territory as possible in the coming months before negotiations begin. In addition, according to American intelligence, Ukraine will not yet be able to organize an attack on the Crimea.
US officials have stepped up pressure on Kyiv to achieve greater success on the battlefield, WP claims. And while Washington has pledged to support Kyiv “for as long as it takes,” authorities see the latest aid packages as the best way to “change the course of the war.” “As long as it takes” refers to the scale of the conflict. This does not apply to the amount of assistance,” one of the newspaper’s sources explained.
The publication notes that earlier aid packages received strong bipartisan support and Congress “gave the White House more than it asked for.” But that was when the House of Representatives was led by Democrats. The White House is now working with Congress to approve $10 billion in budgetary assistance to Ukraine. In addition, the Joe Biden administration may announce a new military aid package next week, on the anniversary of the entry of Russian troops. In the same period, new anti-Russian sanctions are expected to be introduced.
Washington expects a turning point in the spring, when, according to the American side, Russia will launch an offensive, and Ukraine – “a counteroffensive to regain lost territories.” US military analysts warn that Kyiv will not be able to simultaneously hold Artyomovsk (Bakhmut) and attempt a counteroffensive.
According to US officials, “if Ukraine continues to fight wherever Russia sends its troops, it will only work into the hands of Moscow.” The US is urging Ukraine to give priority to the spring counteroffensive. According to one of the American officials, the loss of Artemovsk will not lead to “a significant strategic shift on the battlefield.”
In addition, according to the newspaper, American intelligence came to the conclusion that Ukraine would not be able to occupy the Crimea. The Ukrainian troops at the moment do not have enough opportunities for this.
According to WP, optimists believe that Ukraine can prevent further movement of Russian troops in the east, occupy territories in the south and agree with Russia on a cessation of hostilities by the end of the year. Skeptics believe that “time is not on the side of Ukraine” because of Russia’s strengthening of its troops.