Russia’s efforts to massively shell cities in Ukraine, as well as the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of reservists represent a significant escalation in the war unleashed by Russian President Putin, but this unlikely will change the dynamics, which is now characterized by a growing success of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the battlefield.

These are the assessments of Western intelligence and military experts published by the Washington Post on Saturday, Oct. 15, Ukrinform reports.

“The missile strikes alone have little strategic value, although they are inflicting widespread human misery and have disrupted lives in cities that have been relatively untouched by the fighting,” the assessments say.

As a result of the strikes, which were apparently aimed at energy infrastructure facilities, residential areas of some cities plunged into darkness and created additional threats to the civilian population before the winter period. Nevertheless, conditions on the battlefield continue to favor more highly motivated and better armed Ukrainian military, which seems likely to retain the advantage over Russia’s lumbering, poorly equipped and exhausted army, at least for the foreseeable future.

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“I expect that Ukraine will continue to do everything it can throughout the winter to regain its territory and to be effective on the battlefield,” U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters in Brussels this past week, adding Ukraine’s Armed Forces demonstrate efficiency and success both in the east and in the south.

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According to military experts, the winter period can reduce the dynamics of the development of events on the battlefield, but, for now “the Ukrainians maintain the initiative and the momentum”. However, no longer is there an expectation that Russia will be in a position to seize significantly more territories.

“So dramatically has Ukraine turned the fight around that the only outstanding question is how much more territory Ukraine will be able to take back — not whether Russia will be able to achieve its goals,” said Rob Lee of the Philadelphia-based Foreign Policy Research Institute.

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