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The war in Ukraine - a major area battle:

The war in Ukraine – a major area battle:

Long columns of Russian military vehicles, tanks, artillery and other weapons continue to move away from Donbass, and into southwestern Ukraine.

It’s reports British intelligencewhich also claims that more Russian soldiers will be redeployed to Crimea, “almost certainly” to support troops in Kherson.

For several weeks, the Ukrainians loudly announced a counterattack in the southern region. They attacked important bridges and Russian arms depots. The goal is to restore Ukrainian control over the southern region.

If that happens, it would be a major defeat for Russia, according to Tom Rosth, associate professor and principal lecturer in intelligence at the Norwegian Defense Academy, but it would require a lot of Ukrainians.

“It will show that they have initiative in the war, and it will be a strong sign that the Russians are struggling,” Rosth told Dagbladet.

Nevertheless, the Russians positioned themselves well, he believes, and urban warfare here could present a challenge to the Ukrainians.

– But with new weapons, it is not impossible.

A strategically important area

The control of Kherson is strategically important for several reasons:

Whoever controls the region also controls the outlet of the Dnipro River into the Black Sea, which has consequences for the Ukrainian economy. If the Ukrainians succeed in retaking, they will also be able to advance towards Russia-controlled Crimea.

Indirectly, this could also open the possibility of moving forward, to restore the nuclear power plant in Enerhodar, and to threaten the land bridge between Donbass and Crimea, the associate professor explains.

See also  Ukraine: - The struggle for nuclear power plants
Strategically significant: That's what Tom Rossyth at the Norwegian Defense Academy thinks.  Photo: Norwegian Armed Forces

Strategically significant: That’s what Tom Rossyth at the Norwegian Defense Academy thinks. Photo: Norwegian Armed Forces
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He refers to the Battle of Kherson as a “battle for initiative,” with two relatively unknown factors:

Ukraine has kept its cards close to its chest in terms of its defensive capabilities. Nor do we know to what extent the Russians will prioritize the defense of themselves in this region, and to what extent they will redeploy from the Donbass, or use the newly recruited and inexperienced forces from Russia.

– There are x factors that determine the timetable for any Ukrainian success. If Moscow has to give priority, as it has in the past, Kherson’s priority may be lower than Donbass.

Røseth believes he is seeing indications that the Ukrainian attack on Kherson is underway. Forewarning is not believed to be a diversion maneuver.

On the other hand, he considers it a wise operational move

– If they make the opponent spread their powers, they will not be able to penetrate into one place easily. Earlier in the war, he says, the Russians fought a very wide front.

They can also mobilize their population against a specific military objective, which is important at a critical point they are now in, as well as show their international supporters that they are successfully using the weapons they have acquired.

missile: Speaking at the annual celebration of the Navy in St. Petersburg, Vladimir Putin presented a plan for the new Tsirkon missile, a “superweapon.” Video: Associated Press/Reuters
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British intelligence: the front is moving

to me British intelligence The war is about to enter a new stage, when the most intense fighting will move to a front line of about 350 kilometers from Zaporizhia and southwest towards Kherson.

The Ukrainian General Staff claims that in recent days Russian forces have bombed the civilian and military infrastructure in the region with artillery, in addition to several air raids.

The Ukrainian forces are said to have attacked Russian military positions and weapons depots in Kherson and Zaporizhzhya.

– It is quite possible that we will see major battles in this region, but whether it will go beyond the Donbass remains to be seen, says Rosth.

The associate professor highlights the many differences between the fighting in Donbass and Kherson.

While the occupied areas of Donbass are under tight control by pro-Russian and Russian forces, Ukrainians enjoy significant popular support in the southern region, where Vandals and informants play an important role.

The Russian forces in the Donbass are also stronger. They have artillery buildup, shorter supply lines, and better air support. Restoring the regions there is much more difficult for the Ukrainians.

Rosth also believed that new alternatives to the Russians at a higher military level could play a role in the Battle of Kherson.

– Indicates that Moscow is not satisfied, but the alternatives are not positive either for the administration or the control of the leadership on the Russian side.