The Washington PostThe Washington Post

U.S. intelligence says Ukraine will fail to meet offensive's key goal

By John Hudson and Alex Horton

18 Aug 2023 · 5 min read

informed Summary

  1. The U.S. intelligence community predicts that Ukraine's counteroffensive will not reach the key southeastern city of Melitopol, a crucial gateway to Crimea. This is due to Russia's effective defense of occupied territory through minefields and trenches.

The U.S. intelligence community assesses that Ukraine's counteroffensive will fail to reach the key southeastern city of Melitopol, people familiar with the classified forecast told The Washington Post, a finding that, should it prove correct, would mean Kyiv won't fulfill its principal objective of severing Russia's land bridge to Crimea in this year's push.

The grim assessment is based on Russia's brutal proficiency in defending occupied territory through a phalanx of minefields and trenches, and is likely to prompt finger pointing inside Kyiv and Western capitals about why a counteroffensive that saw tens of billions of dollars of Western weapons and military equipment fell short of its goals.

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