「中英」有关乌克兰反攻,你应该知道的几件事

周三,乌克兰士兵在顿涅茨克地区设置火箭发射器。 Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

Even President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine now says so: The country’s long-awaited counteroffensive to retake Russian-occupied territory has begun. After months of defending against a barrage of airstrikes, Ukraine is on the offense, looking for vulnerabilities along the 600-mile front line and even launching strikes on Russian soil.
就连乌克兰总统泽连斯基现在也这么说:为了夺回俄占领土,该国期待已久的反攻已经开始。几个月来,乌克兰一直在抵御空袭,现在它开始进攻,在将近1000公里的前线寻找漏洞,甚至在俄罗斯领土上发动袭击。
But after days of sometimes intense battles, it has been difficult to figure out the state of play in Ukraine. Why do we not have a better idea of whether the counteroffensive is succeeding? It’s complicated, for a number of reasons related to how wars are fought. Here’s why.
但在经历了几天时而激烈的战斗后,很难弄清乌克兰的状况。为什么我们对反攻是否成功没有更好的认识?这很复杂,有很多原因与战争的打法有关。以下就是缘由。
Offense is harder than defense.
进攻比防守更难。
Military history has long shown that it is much harder to take territory than it is to defend it. This is partly why Russian troops did not make it to Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, last year after President Vladimir V. Putin sent them across the border.
军事史早已表明,夺取领土比保卫领土困难得多。这就是去年普京总统派遣俄罗斯军队越过边境后,未能抵达乌克兰首都基辅的部分原因。
Their convoys got bogged down and became sitting ducks for Ukrainian troops armed with shoulder-fired missiles. Their air force largely cowered at the border because of Ukraine’s mobile air defenses, and their inability to conduct combined arms warfare (when all parts of the military know what the others are doing and coordinate) meant Mr. Putin’s plans to take the entire country have not come to fruition.
他们的车队陷入困境,成为配备肩扛式导弹的乌克兰军队的活靶子。由于乌克兰的机动防空系统,俄罗斯空军在很大程度上蜷缩在边境,而且它们无法进行各兵种联合作战(只有当军队的所有部门都知道其他部门在做什么并进行协调才能实现),这意味着普京占领整个国家的计划没有实现。
But he did manage to take territory in eastern and southern Ukraine. Since then, Russian troops have been using their time as occupiers to dig in and build fortifications to defend.
但他确实设法占领了乌克兰东部和南部的领土。在那之后,作为占领者的俄罗斯军队一直在挖掘和建造防御工事。
Now it is Ukraine that is counterattacking, and the Russians have been preparing.
现在是乌克兰在反击,俄罗斯人也一直在为此做准备。
“Russian fortifications in Ukraine are the most extensive defensive works in Europe since World War II,” the military analysts Seth G. Jones, Alexander Palmer and Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. wrote in a paper released last week by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “The Russian military has constructed trenches, minefields, dragon’s teeth and other barriers to slow Ukrainian forces during offensive operations.”
“俄罗斯在乌克兰的防御工事是‘二战’以来欧洲规模最大的防御工程,”军事分析人士塞思·琼斯、亚历山大·帕尔默和小约瑟夫·贝穆德斯在战略与国际研究中心上周发布的一篇论文中写道。“在进攻行动中,俄罗斯军方建造了战壕、雷区、龙牙桩和其他障碍物,以减缓乌克兰军队的行动速度。”
This means that advancing Ukrainian troops need to look for areas where Russian defensive lines are weak and poorly reinforced before trying to punch through, military experts say. At the same time, Ukrainian troops must try not to let weak spots coax them into venturing too deep behind enemy lines before they have adequate reinforcements.
军事专家表示,这意味着前进的乌克兰军队在突围之前,需要寻找俄罗斯防线薄弱且加固不足的地区。与此同时,乌克兰军队必须尽量不让薄弱点诱使他们获得足够增援之前冒险深入敌后。
Dragon’s teeth?
龙牙桩是什么?
During World War II, Germany used reinforced concrete pyramids to repel Allied tanks. The general idea was that rows of the evenly spaced structures — some with land mines nestled between them — would force tanks into positions where they could be more easily targeted.
第二次世界大战期间,德国使用金字塔形状的钢筋混凝土结构来逼退盟军的坦克。大致的构想是,一排排均匀间隔的结构——其中一些结构之间隐藏着地雷——将迫使坦克进入更容易成为标靶的位置。
The pyramids were called dragon’s teeth because, at about three to four feet tall, they resembled a fanged mouth.
这种金字塔结构被称为龙牙,因为它们大约有1米到1.2米高,像长满獠牙的嘴。
Satellite imagery showed this year that Russian forces had erected dragon’s teeth barricades between anti-tank ditches and trenches through eastern Ukraine and toward Crimea.
卫星图像显示,今年俄罗斯军队在乌克兰东部和克里米亚方向的反坦克壕沟和战壕之间竖立起了龙牙路障。
Will Ukraine suffer a lot of casualties in the counteroffensive?
乌克兰是否会在反攻中出现大量伤亡?
That is already happening. U.S. officials have confirmed that Ukrainian troops have suffered casualties and equipment losses in the early fighting. Little information is available on Russian losses, but the officials pointed out that attackers typically suffer heavier initial casualties than dug-in defenders, for the reasons outlined earlier.
这种情况已经出现。美国官员证实,乌克兰军队在早期的战斗中有人员伤亡和装备损失。关于俄罗斯损失的信息很少,但官员们指出,由于前面提到的原因,在最初阶段,攻击方通常比掘壕固守的防守方伤亡更大。
On D-Day, for instance, German casualties were estimated to be 4,000 to 9,000 killed or wounded, while Allied casualties were documented at about 10,000, with 4,414 confirmed dead.
例如,在诺曼底登陆日,德军的伤亡人数估计在4000至9000人之间,而盟军的伤亡人数约为1万人,其中4414人确认死亡。
Videos and photographs posted last week by pro-war Russian bloggers, which were verified by The New York Times, showed that at least three of the Ukrainians’ German-made Leopard 2 tanks and eight of their American-made Bradley fighting vehicles had been recently abandoned or destroyed.
支持这场战争的俄罗斯博主上周发布的视频和照片显示,乌克兰至少有三辆德国制造的豹2型坦克和八辆美国制造的布拉德利战车最近被遗弃或摧毁。《纽约时报》核实了这些视频和照片的真实性。
Does that mean the counteroffensive is failing?
这是否意味着反攻失败了?
No. Two U.S. officials said on Monday that the main thrust of the counteroffensive had probably not begun. The bulk of the nine Ukrainian brigades that were trained over the past year and a half by American and allied countries have yet to engage in the fight, one of the officials said.
不。两名美国官员周一表示,反攻的主要力量可能还没有开始。其中一名官员表示,在过去一年半的时间里,美国及其盟国训练了九个乌克兰旅,其中大部分尚未参与战斗。
“When we see large, armored formations in the attack, then I think we’ll know the main attack has really started,” Frederick B. Hodges, a former top U.S. Army commander in Europe, said in an email. “To date, I don’t think we’ve seen those large armored formations, i.e. several hundred tanks and infantry fighting vehicles.”
“当我们在进攻中看到大型装甲编队时,我想我们就知道主攻真的开始了,”前美国陆军驻欧洲最高指挥官弗雷德里克·霍奇斯在电子邮件中说。“到目前为止,我认为我们还没有看到那些大型装甲编队,也就是几百辆坦克和步兵战车。”
He added that a Ukrainian tank battalion was intended to have 31 tanks, and an armored brigade would have some 250 armored vehicles of different types. Such a large fighting formation would be easily spotted by satellite imagery.
他还说,乌克兰的一个坦克营计划配备31辆坦克,一个装甲旅配备大约250辆不同类型的装甲车。如此庞大的战斗编队很容易被卫星图像发现。
“When we see two or three of those brigades focused on a narrow front somewhere, then I think we can say that the main attack has started and where,” General Hodges said. “But even then, that is not certain. The Ukrainian General Staff will want to keep the Russians guessing about the location of the main attack for as long as possible.”
“当我们看到两三个旅集中在一个狭窄的战线上时,我认为我们就可以说,主要的进攻已经开始,以及开始的地点,”霍奇斯将军说。“但即便如此,这也不是确定的事情。乌克兰总参谋部希望能让俄罗斯人尽可能长时间地猜测主攻地点。”
The Allies did the same thing on D-Day, keeping secret the whereabouts of Operation Overlord and misdirecting the Germans, who thought the offensive was more likely to happen in the north of France, near Calais, than in Normandy.
盟军在诺曼底登陆日也做了同样的事情,对“霸王行动”的地点保密,并误导德国人,让他们认为进攻更有可能发生在法国北部的加莱附近,而不是诺曼底。
Could Ukraine use an element of surprise?
乌克兰可以出其不意吗?
Possibly, but it would be hard. Modern warfare comes with satellite imagery available to adversaries. Ukraine cannot sneak 150,000 troops to Russian lines, as the Allies did in Normandy.
有可能,但是很难。现代战争中,对手可以获得卫星图像。乌克兰不能像盟军在诺曼底所做的那样,将15万军队偷偷送到俄罗斯的防线上。
“The Germans would have been able to see that through satellites” if such technology had been available, Mr. Jones, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said in an interview. “So you don’t have that option.”
如果当时有这样的技术,“德国人当年就能通过卫星看到这一点,”战略与国际研究中心的琼斯在接受采访时说。“所以你没有这个选项。”
What Ukraine does have, he said, is what it is doing right now: launching attacks in various sites, looking for weaknesses but also forcing the Russians to try to defend in multiple places.
他说,乌克兰所拥有的就是它现在正在做的:在各个地点发动攻击,寻找弱点,但也迫使俄罗斯人试图在多个地方进行防御。
What’s more, Mr. Jones said, Ukraine has its own satellite imagery.
此外,琼斯说,乌克兰也有自己的卫星图像。
“What we’re seeing right now, I think, is the Ukrainians testing for the weak spots in the Russian lines,” he said. With some poorly defended areas, “there definitely is the possibility for the Ukrainians to punch through crappy fortifications and poor Russian forces that are defending those areas.”
 “我认为,我们现在看到的是乌克兰人在试探俄罗斯防线的薄弱环节,”他说。在一些防御薄弱的地区,“乌克兰人绝对有可能冲破防守这些地区的那些蹩脚的防御工事和糟糕的俄罗斯军队。”

Helene Cooper是一名五角大楼记者。她此前曾任时报编辑、外交记者以及白宫记者,是2015年因报道埃博拉疫情获得普利策国际报道奖的团队成员之一。欢迎在Twitter上关注她:@helenecooper

翻译:晋其角

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