BBC from the front lines in Ukraine: It's bad, counteroffensive failed
The British broadcaster says in a field report that Russia's drone capabilities has ensured that the progress of Ukraine's counteroffensive is even slower and harder.
Ukraine's long-discussed counteroffensive is nearing its end without any significant progress, BBC concluded in a field report conducted at the east front lines in Ukraine.
"The BBC has secured rare access to the 24th Mechanised Brigade, who have been fighting in the east," said the British broadcaster on Wednesday.
In a bid to regain lost ground, Ukraine launched a much-anticipated counteroffensive in early June. The operation fell short of meeting its objective, as per US officials, while major media outlets went as far as calling it a failure.
Despite the massive military support to Ukraine, media outlets on Kiev's side confirmed earlier that the West and NATO failed to "outgun Russia," which continues to repel Ukrainian attacks, as well as destroy and capture their foreign-provided hardware.
Discussing ariel capabilities, the BBC correspondent said, citing Ukrainian soldiers, that Russia's drone capacity exceeds that of Ukraine in terms of numbers. This gave the Russian forces the ability to continuously target Ukrainian positions and vehicles nonstop, which forced Ukraine's soldiers to remain cautious and seek hideouts, in turn slowing down ground progress even more amid weak air defense capabilities as well.
"The Ukrainians say [Russia] has far more drones, which makes camouflage and remaining unseen vital. So, we were expecting a fire mission within 5 minutes, and then word came down on the radio to stand down because a Russian drone has been sighted somewhere near here," the reporter said.
If Ukrainian forces fail to shelter away from sight, Russia's military will certainly target them and their hardware.
"This is typical of what has been taking place: a constant battle of wits, a deadly battle of wits. This Russian video shows what happens if you get it wrong: Ukrainian self-propelled guns destroyed."
Many Ukrainian soldiers live in imminent stress, which is made worse given that troops don't know for how long they would have to stay at the front lines.
"No date has been set for their demobilization. It's extremely hard to live with that. Just how hard we saw at the medical center, where one casualty was being brought in. It was described as a panic attack and even armed presence was setting people on edge," the correspondent emphasized.
"The summer counter-offensive in Ukraine is drawing to a close without making the breakthroughs Ukraine and its allies had hoped for," the report found.
Not a movie
The goal of the counteroffensive was to seize the city and cut Russia's access to Crimea via land, and despite the billions of dollars put toward Kiev, minimal territorial gain has been achieved.
Last week, Ukrainian General Oleksandr Tarnavskiy, who is leading the operation in the south, told CNN that Kiev's troops managed to make some breakthroughs in Russian defense lines.
However, the field general acknowledged that the progress had not been as swift as hoped, cautioning against unrealistic expectations akin to portrayals in "Second World War movies."