Arestovich: There will be a counter-offensive, but the war will not end with it
Military observer and former adviser to the Office of President Aleksey Arestovich made a summary of this future counterattack, during a conversation with Russian opposition and human rights activist Mark Feygin on YouTube
“First. There will be a counter-offensive. Second, it will surprise everyone. Third, it will be successful. But the war will not end with it. No matter how successful it is, no matter how far it goes, sooner or later we will run out of supplies, and we will stop. We saw this in the Kharkiv operation, in the Kherson operation. We will stop, and the question will be, what is the front line: how much will we take, and how much will remain?
However, regardless of this, the situation will change radically. The question is the degree of radicalism. But change in favor of Ukraine. First of all, the political situation.
For example. Assume that as a result of this counter-offensive, the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the defense forces will stand on the coast of Crimea, enter the northern coast of the Sea of Azov, and the enemy will retain territories for February 24 – that is, part of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, and Crimea. This is a significant moral victory because this is how this war began. The liberation of all territories, or almost all, that Russia has captured since the start of the war. The aggressor has already lost.
Now attention. Keeping these areas, which will be shot through by Ukrainian long-range weapons, will be extremely difficult. Even if we exhaust our offensive potential to enter Crimea with tanks, we will definitely be able to shoot at infrastructure facilities, such as airfields or the Crimean bridge. We can only imagine what this picture will look like.
It will become obvious to everyone, even to the last propagandist, that the war has been lost miserably. And then, a domestic political crisis begins in Russia. It will not be a national crisis. It will be a crisis for the elites. It will become national after some time if the economy is problematic.
That is, the summer will be decisive. Perhaps they will retain part of the territory. Then, in order for us to release them, we need another cycle of preparation, a process of armament, and a second series of counter-offensives. How long it will take is unknown. We now see that it takes six months.
In any case, it will not be the same war as it was. In the sense that the actions will be moved far to the South and East. And it will not be a war when we expect something from the enemy. This will be a takedown. This will be the finishing phase and everyone understands this very well.
This is a lost war, a destroyed Russian economy, sanctions, no Chinese aid, huge losses, prisoners, burned tanks. And they will cling to a piece of land and try to hold it, driving tens of thousands of newly mobilized people there. And we will mix them all with the ground. Before tanks and artillery enter there, Himars and so on will work. This is what this phase will look like.
Will the war end? – No. Is it clear to everyone where it’s all going? – Yes. Will the mood change? – radically. Will the strategic situation change? – radically. Will the political situation within the Russian elite change? – radically.
Everything will be much better for us. For the Kremlin, everything will be much worse. It will be a war to finish off the loser.
Now they still have illusions that they will be able to keep the occupied territories and annex them into Russia. But since nothing mainly sounded from the Chinese leader, since they are not going to refuse to recognize the entire territorial integrity of Ukraine. The retention of these territories is a black hole for resources: military, financial, etc. There is no diplomatic support, and they were left without allies, except for Syria.
Now they can still justify the loss of 150 thousand people for the territories. And when the territories return, the question will become: Why did these people die? It will turn out to be a snake biting its own tail: we ran a full circle, lost a lot of people, became vassals of China, destroyed the economy, cut off development options, since the future is technology. Lost the gas market in Europe. They probably lost all the Russian Empire’s conquests from the times, Peter the Great. And they returned to where they started.
My summary of this counterattack is this. The defeat will be terrible for the enemy. And the war will continue for some time if Putin remains in power and continues to kill tens of thousands of Russian conscripts to hold on to scraps of land that we may not take the first time. The outlook is clear and very sad for the Kremlin.“