KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's armed forces are taking up a more defensive posture, a military analysis said Wednesday, after their summer counteroffensive failed to achieve a major breakthrough against Russia's army and as winter weather sets in after almost 22 months of the war.
“In recent weeks, Ukraine has mobilized a concerted effort to improve field fortifications as its forces pivot to a more defensive posture along much of the front line,” the U.K. Ministry of Defense said in an assessment.
The Kremlin's deep defenses held firm against Ukraine's monthslong assault, using Western-supplied weapons but without essential air cover, along the around 1,000-kilometer (600-mile) front line.
Most fighting in recent weeks has focused on artillery, missile and drone strikes as mud and snow hinder troop movements.
“Russia continues local offensive options in several sectors, but individual attacks are rarely above platoon size,” the U.K. analysis said. “A major Russian breakthrough is unlikely and overall, the front is characterized by stasis.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin is hopeful that Kyiv's Western allies will grow weary of financing the costly Ukrainian war effort, allowing the Kremlin's forces to make a new offensive push next year against a weaker foe. He has put the Russian economy on a war footing to prepare for that.
But Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Tuesday that…