Ukraine’s top commanders are refusing orders to advance against Vladimir Putin’s forces on the frontlines as their troops suffer from a lack of equipment and manpower.
As winter approaches, both sides are looking for an advantage on the battlefield with Russia launching bloody offensives on the eastern front.
Since June, Ukraine has been fighting fiercely in a counteroffensive which has failed to liberate large swathes of territory.
One of Volodymyr Zelensky’s top aides said: “We’re not moving forward.”
He claimed that some top Ukrainian commanders were refusing orders to advance, some of which came directly from Zelensky.
Speaking to Time, the aide said: “They just want to sit in the trenches and hold the line. But we can’t win a war that way.”
However, a senior military officer told the outlet that many commanders could not advance even if they wanted to.
The officer said: “They don’t have the men or the weapons. Where are the weapons? Where is the artillery? Where are the new recruits?”
Although weapons and ammunition are a constant concern on the front, some units don’t even have the men to use them, according to Zelensky’s aide.
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Kyiv has refused to release official casualty counts but US and European intelligence suggest figures over 100,000 on each side.
The average soldier serving in Ukraine’s armed forces is now 43 years old as draft offices have been forced to call up older men.
More than twenty months into the fighting, a fifth of Ukraine’s territory is still under Russian occupation.
While Russia will not outright win the war, a Ukrainian victory is becoming less and less likely.
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