New Weapons, New Confidence - The New York Times

New Weapons, New Confidence – The New York Times

Hello. This is your Russia-Ukraine War Briefing, a weeknight guide to the latest news and analysis about the conflict.

Ukraine’s requests for weapons have become so frequent that some in the West have tuned them out as unrealistic background noise. But this week, Ukrainian officials have been backing up their pleas by citing triumphs on the battlefield.

Ukraine is pointing to successes it’s had since the U.S. provided it with new long-range artillery, and is making the case that it can eventually beat Russia, my colleague Andrew Kramer writes.

“Russia can definitely be defeated and Ukraine has already shown how,” Oleksiy Reznikov, the defense minister, said this week.

Recent wins in the south include a strike on a key bridge that Russia uses for supplies and a strike on a Russian ammunition depot, using U.S.-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS.

Today the Ukrainian military said that it used attack helicopters and jets to carry out 10 airstrikes against Russian ammunition dumps and other positions in and around the region of Kherson.

No one can say yet whether Ukraine will prevail against a Russian military with superior numbers and weaponry — or even what winning will look like.

But Ukraine says that using HIMARS has given it an advantage, and the U.S. said yesterday that it would send four more of the weapons, bringing the total provided by Washington to 16. The truck-mounted, multiple-rocket launchers fire satellite-guided rockets with a range of more than 40 miles, a greater distance capability than any weapon Ukraine possessed.

Ukraine’s stepped-up attacks are consistent with preparations for a ground offensive, analysts say.

“It’s important, I think, for the Ukrainians themselves that they demonstrate their ability to strike back,” Richard Moore, the head of MI6 British foreign intelligence service, told the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado.

“To be honest, it will be an important reminder to the rest of Europe that this is a winnable campaign, because we are about to get into a pretty tough winter,” he said.

Moore added that Ukrainian forces would have an opportunity to mount a counteroffensive in the coming weeks. The Russian military is “about to run out of steam,” he said, and will be forced to suspend its offensive.

In the east, the Ukrainian military claimed a small but important victory recently when it recaptured the village of Pavlivka, my colleague Carlotta Gall writes.

It marked a welcome turnaround in the region for Ukrainian troops, who have been on the back foot for months.

It also gave them a close-up view of the enemy, and what they saw gave them confidence.

“They were well-spoken, educated and well-equipped,” Kryha, who led Ukraine’s 53rd Brigade in seizing the village and who goes by a code name, said of the Russians taken prisoner. “But they were all tired and lacked motivation.”


Follow our coverage of the war on the @nytimes channel.

Prior to the 2022 war in Ukraine, I would not have been able to fill in a map of the countries bordering Russia and the other European countries nearby. I could not have placed Ukraine accurately on the map and knew little of the country. This all changed when Russia invaded Ukraine. I quickly learned not only the geography but the names of the leaders of these countries, and began watching the stances they took. I was surprised to learn that Russia had attacked Ukraine in 2014 and seized Crimea, as well as other land. My worldview is a lot more well-rounded now. — Caroline Canavan, Detroit

My recognition of the extreme interconnectedness of the world economy has been altered. I knew we were connected. But the connections are deeper and more complex than I had imagined. — Jes Mason, Athens, Ga.

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Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow — Yana

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