March 07, 2023

Season of Offensives: What to Expect from the Spring Campaign in Ukraine

Source: Kyiv Independent

Journalist: Francis Farrell

In conversations with the Kyiv Independent a few days before publication, renowned U.S. military experts Michael Kofman and Rob Lee shared their thoughts on the coming campaign after visits to front-line areas.

“To be honest, they (Russians) are probably doing the Ukrainian forces a really big favor right now,” said Kofman.

“The best thing Russian forces could have done is to launch an offensive with low likelihood of success, use up a lot of their artillery ammunition, and exhaust themselves.”

In the personalist dictatorship that is Putin’s Russia, a clear drive of territorial gains above all is observable in these attacks.

Having replaced the more cautious Sergei Surovikin as overall commander of Russian forces in Ukraine, General Staff chief Valerii Gerasimov is speculated to have been tasked with delivering an attacking victory to Putin.

“I think that Surovikin was more competent,” said Kofman, “his strategy was more focused on defense and force constitution, and his vision was likely to let Ukraine attack first in the spring.”

“Putin likely got impatient and Gerasimov thought they could attack now, but they don't have the force quality or the munitions to come out of this vulnerable period and have real offensive potential.”

Read more from The Kyiv Independent.


  • Michael Kofman

    Former Adjunct Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

    Michael Kofman serves as a Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Naval Analyses' Russia Studies Program, and a Fellow at the Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson Internation...