February 13, 2024

Institute for the Study of War:  U.S. Senate bill would provide $60 billion in military aid to Ukraine

Institute for the Study of War

The US Senate passed a supplemental appropriations bill that would provide roughly $60 billion of security assistance to Ukraine, the vast majority of which would go to US companies and personnel. The Senate passed a $95.3 billion aid package for assistance to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, $60.6 billion of which is for Ukraine, by a 70-29 vote on February 13. Roughly 16 percent of the Ukraine-related appropriations in the bill would go directly to support the Ukrainian government and economy whereas the remaining 84 percent of the appropriations are specifically marked for US manufacturers and US or allied government entities supporting Ukraine.

Ukrainian military observer Kostyantyn Mashovets reported that Russian forces are attempting to restore maneuver to the battlefield through Soviet deep battle theory but are struggling with implementing Soviet deep battle so far due to current Ukrainian capabilities. Mashovets stated that Russian forces are attempting to implement Soviet deep battle theory for operational planning to rapidly break through Ukrainian defenses but are failing to achieve the effects of Soviet deep battle operations. Deep battle theory is a product of Soviet operational art developed in the 1920s and 1930s that was designed to restore maneuver to battlefield after World War I by engaging the enemy on multiple fronts and in depth at the tactical and operational levels by attacking enemy assets at all echelons with artillery, airstrikes, and attacks against the enemy’s rear in concert with frontal attacks to penetrate the enemy’s defensive lines. Deep battle theory also posits that successful operational design includes sequenced plans for successive operations to prevent the defender from re-establishing coherent defensive positions following a penetration and its exploitation. Deep battle theory’s key operational tenets are still valid in modern war, and the Russian military could restore maneuver to the battlefield and overcome Ukrainian defenses if it could successfully plan and execute operationally sound campaigns using deep battle theory. Ukrainian forces could also use deep battle theory to restore maneuver to the battlefield to their advantage if their Western supporters properly resourced them.

Mashovets, however, noted that Russian forces’ current limited capabilities, specifically in conducting effective counterbattery fire, striking targets at operational depth, concealing force concentrations from the enemy, and combating Ukrainian technological parity, are preventing Russian forces from achieving the operational level surprise necessary to break through Ukrainian lines and conduct deep battle operations. Mashovets stated that the Russian military command is failing to implement certain technological innovations into operational planning, including remote mine laying; large scale drone operations; command-and-control; and communications using modern technology.

Key Takeaways:  ≈

  • The US Senate passed a supplemental appropriations bill that would provide roughly $60 billion of security assistance to Ukraine, the vast majority of which would go to US companies and personnel.
  • Ukrainian military observer Kostyantyn Mashovets reported that Russian forces are attempting to restore maneuver to the battlefield through Soviet deep battle theory but are struggling with implementing Soviet deep battle so far due to current Ukrainian capabilities.
  • The current Ukrainian battlefield capabilities that are denying Russian forces the ability to restore maneuver to the battlefield on Russian terms largely depend on the provision of Western military assistance in key systems, many of which only the US can provide at scale.
  • Ukrainian forces will not be able to retain these advantages and deny Russian forces the ability to restore maneuver to the battlefield on Russian terms without further assistance from the United States and its partner countries in the near and medium term.
  • Russian sources are purposefully exaggerating Ukrainian casualties in a Russian strike near Selydove, Donetsk Oblast on February 13.
  • The Kremlin appears to be asserting the right to enforce Russian Federation law on officials of governments in NATO member states over actions taken in the performance of their official duties within the territories of their own countries.
  • US sanctions are reportedly constraining Russian efforts to skirt the G7 oil cap amid continued indications that India may be rethinking its growing position as a customer of Russian oil.
  • Russian forces recently made confirmed advances near Kreminna and in western Zaporizhia Oblast amid continued positional engagements along the entire frontline.
  • The British International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) think tank stated on February 12 that Russia is likely able to sustain its current rate of vehicle losses for at least two to three years by producing new vehicles and reactivating vehicles from storage.
  • The Kremlin continues efforts to solidify control of occupied Ukraine through institutionalizing social benefits and services

 For full report:  https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-february-13-2024

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