Yesterday, SOFREP covered the latest updates on the Ukraine-Russia war as Russia tries to defend Crimea and how Luhansk is implying they are open to joining Russian forces. However, with Ukraine’s 24/7 warfare, targeting weak Russian positions and strategic outposts, it is undeniable at this point that Zelensky’s troops have made a massive dent in the war.

One of the most significant tipping points was the Battle of Kharkiv, which felt impossible initially. However, Russian forces who pushed too far on the Donetsk region left Kharkiv with weak defenses. As Ukrainian forces continued to shell (with the help of NATO-grade artillery and HIMARS) Russian logistical centers, the “invaders” had no other option but to fall back.

Still, even as the world celebrated Kharkiv’s liberation, the war will not end here, just as the battle of Saratoga did not end the American Revolution, as noted by Gian Gentile, the deputy director of the Rand Corporation’s Army Research Division.

Gentile and Raphael S. Cohen (director of the Strategy and Doctrine Program at the Rand Corporation’s Project Air Force) wrote that there are similarities with the Battle of Saratoga. Aside from lost ammunition, the Russian forces were already experiencing stark morale dips.

“Like Saratoga, the Ukrainian victory in eastern Kharkiv oblast marks a significant military achievement…Like the British after Saratoga, Russian forces suffered a major shock to their confidence with their defeat in Kharkiv. Judging by the scathing commentary in Russian Telegram channels and the shift of tone in the Kremlin-controlled media, Russians are in the process of losing the last remaining glimmers of their perceived military might.”

What the Kharkiv success has shown the world is that Ukrainian victory is possible. This allowed the US to push and expedite the transfer of weapons and other donations to the region to maintain a consistent stream of weapons supply to the troops in Ukraine.

Russian military vehicles
Russian military vehicles marked with the V symbol were bombed by Ukrainian troops (Source: Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine/Wikimedia)

“The Russian military has performed worse than I would have ever imagined,” said Ben Hodges, a former commanding general of the US Army in Europe. “It’s too early to plan a victory parade here, but I think the Ukrainians are at a point of achieving irreversible momentum so long as we, the West, stick with them.”

Moreover, Ukraine’s ability to launch a two-front offensive has put a lot of trust in its military’s abilities to scale short-term and long-term strategies. (See our story on how Ukrainians are developing repair centers that enable them to move faster and become more agile than their Russian counterparts).