The term ‘War of attrition’ has been used repeatedly by journalists in the past week. Attrition warfare is a military strategy by which one side attempts to wear down the enemy to the point of collapse by accepting huge losses in personnel and equipment.
The situation in Ukraine is not a war of attrition. A war of attrition is static. A General decides that he has more men and materiel than his opponent and sacrifices all he has in the belief that eventually he will be left with enough to claim victory while his enemy is destroyed.
Although there has been little change in the past week the current static nature is tactical on the UA part. Ukraine is holding the Russians in place as more materiel arrives from the west. Ukraine is not pouring men and machines into mass attacks against a numerically superior enemy. Ukraine has not and will not be locked into a single focal point that will decide victory or defeat.
Ukrainian Generals withdraw, advance outflank and generally adjust to the situation as it develops. This preserves their forces so that they can take advantage of changes on the field of battle. In the meantime they build their strength. Summer is coming the ground will dry out, movement will be easier but anti-tank defences have reduced Russian ability to launch an armoured assault from Donbas.
Time is on the side of Ukraine, every day that Russia has to fight comes at a cost in men, machines and money. Time is not on Russia’s side. They need victory quickly and it will not come.
Russian soldiers are unhappy, Russian commanders are repeatedly replaced or killed. While Ukraine prepares for victory Russia struggles to find a way not to lose.
Movement will return to this war as soon as an opening can be exploited. I think that Kherson will be the crack that opens up the south and Crimea.
Only time will tell.