From the very start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Kyiv’s military has performed above expectations just as much as Moscow has surprised military analysts with its lack of planning and organization. Perhaps that’s why, in recent weeks, there have been high hopes for what Ukraine could achieve in its much-anticipated counterattack on Russian forces—so much so that Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov found it necessary to downplay expectations.
But has Ukraine’s counteroffensive already begun? The signs are there: Ukrainian forces have reportedly taken back kilometers of territory in Bakhmut, a besieged city in the country’s east, among several other advances in neighboring parts. And it comes as President Volodymyr Zelensky visited London, Rome, Paris, and Berlin in the past week, winning promises for more arms and aid.
FP’s Ravi Agrawal spoke with an astute military expert on FP Live to find out more. Dara Massicot is a senior policy researcher at the Rand Corporation and was previously a senior analyst at the Pentagon, where she focused on Russia’s military capabilities. Watch the full discussion or read an edited and condensed transcript, exclusive to FP Insiders.
What has surprised military analyst Dara Massicot the most about Russia’s handling of the war in Ukraine?
Russian military dynamics expert Dara Massicot explains how long Russia can sustain the war in Ukraine. The answer, she says, is bad news.
Dara Massicot, a Russian military analyst, discusses the Wagner Group’s role in the Ukraine war and what to make of recent videos of the group’s leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Senior policy researcher, Rand Corp.
Dara Massicot is a senior policy researcher at the Rand Corp. Before joining Rand, she served as a senior analyst for Russian military capabilities at the U.S. Defense Department. She specializes in Russian military strategy, combat operations, and escalation dynamics
Editor in chief
Ravi Agrawal is the editor in chief of Foreign Policy, the host of FP Live, and a regular world affairs analyst on TV and radio. Before joining FP in 2018, Agrawal worked at CNN for more than a decade in full-time roles spanning three continents, including as the network’s New Delhi bureau chief and correspondent. He is the author of India Connected: How the Smartphone Is Transforming the World’s Largest Democracy.