Ukraine’s Uncertain Future: The Challenges of 2024

25 December 2023

As the war in Ukraine enters a new phase, the country faces resource limitations and the need for innovative tactics to counter Russian aggression.

Nearly two years after Russia’s invasion, the war in Ukraine has reached a stalemate. Both sides have suffered heavy losses and depleted ammunition, leading to a static front line. However, the fighting continues, with Russia launching renewed offensives and Ukraine bolstering its defenses. As the war enters a new phase, Ukraine faces challenges in conducting a large-scale counteroffensive due to resource limitations. Smaller-scale offensive actions and irregular tactics may be the key to Ukraine’s success in 2024.

The aftermath of Ukraine’s 2023 counteroffensive:

– Ukraine’s summer counteroffensive faced numerous challenges, including delayed delivery of Western weapons and tensions with NATO allies.
– Ukrainian troops encountered fortified Russian defenses, filled with landmines, trenches, and anti-vehicle barriers.
– Changing tactics, Ukraine began moving forward on-foot and launching sporadic attacks to shock Russia and impress the West.
– Attacks included unmanned surface vehicle (USV) drone boat attacks in the Black Sea, strikes on critical Russian bases using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and special operations raids in Crimea.
– These irregular tactics inflicted pain on Russia and secured wins for Ukraine, showcasing its skill and reach.

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Continuing irregular tactics in 2024:

– Ukraine’s next challenge is to reconstitute its forces and regenerate combat power while exerting pressure on Russia.
– Precision strike campaigns using long-range cruise missiles, drones, sabotage, and USVs will be crucial in keeping up the heat.
– Russia’s offensive efforts will likely force Ukraine to prioritize its defenses, using weaponry like US Abrams tanks.
– Major offensive operations like the 2023 counteroffensive are unlikely due to depleted resources, manpower, and opportunity.
– Ukraine may resort to guerrilla, unconventional, and irregular operations in Russian-controlled territory to hinder Russian military operations.

Conclusion: Ukraine’s future in the war against Russia remains uncertain. The country’s reliance on Western support and aid has empowered it but also made it dependent on fickle partners. Without continued support, Ukraine may struggle to hold out against Russian aggression. As the war enters a new phase in 2024, Ukraine’s success may lie in smaller-scale offensive actions and innovative tactics that keep up the pressure on Russian forces. However, the outcome will ultimately depend on the level of support Ukraine receives from the West.

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