A Western official told CNN in an article published Tuesday that it’s "extremely" unlikely that Ukraine will make progress in its counteroffensive in the coming weeks that will alter the balance of the war with Russia.
"They’re still going to see, for the next couple of weeks, if there is a chance of making some progress. But for them to really make progress that would change the balance of this conflict, I think, it’s extremely, highly unlikely," an unnamed senior Western diplomat said.
Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) also spoke to CNN about the counteroffensive and said the briefings Congress has received on the assault are "sobering." He said the situation was the "most difficult time of the war."
Leading up to the counteroffensive, the Discord leaks and media reports revealed that the US did not believe Ukraine could regain much territory.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Western officials did not think Ukraine had enough weapons or equipment to dislodge Russian forces. But the Biden administration pushed for the assault anyway, as it rejected the idea of a ceasefire.
Ukraine is struggling to break through multiple layers of Russian defense, most notably vast minefields. The Wall Street Journal quoted a Ukrainian platoon commander in an article published Tuesday who said the Ukrainians are "demining the fields with bodies," demonstrating the massive human cost.
"It’s awful," the platoon commander said. Another Western diplomat told CNN that Ukraine hasn’t even gotten through Russia’s first defensive line."
"Even if they would keep on fighting for the next several weeks, if they haven’t been able to make more breakthroughs throughout these last seven, eight weeks, what is the likelihood that they will suddenly, with more depleted forces, make them? Because the conditions are so hard," the diplomat said.