Ukraine ignores US warnings about attacks on civilians and invasion of Crimea

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Despite the chaotic situation in the Ukrainian cities due to problems with the supply of electricity and drinking water, his army continues to maintain its positions in the south and east of the country. The idea is to prepare an attack towards Popasna in Donbas and cross the Dnieper to drive the Russian troops further south, composed for the most part by mobilized second wave. Although the defensive positions of the invading army seem -finally- well supported on both fronts, Ukraine does not seem to have the intention of falling into the trap of ceasefire and flawed negotiations before a country known for its little respect for peace treaties.

In this sense, we must understand the recent words of Mark Milley, chief of the defense staff of the United States, in which he encouraged Ukraine to continue attacking to the limit of its forces. Milley sincerely believes that Ukraine can win this war as long as it stays in a conventional key, but he is aware that, for this, he will need time and a lot of help. First of all, the one that gives them their own army with HIMARS medium range missiles.

The problem with this type of weaponry in the current situation is twofold. For one thing, its maximum accuracy range is seventy kilometers. If Ukraine wants to push south, it needs to strangle the units defending the entrance to Crimea in very long barricades formed between the Kherson and Zaporizhia regions. For this, it would be essential to start doing now what was done this summer to isolate the capital Kherson, that is, damage rear supply lines as much as possiblethe same ones that supply, on the other hand, the Crimean peninsula itself.

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On the other hand, Ukraine has as a condition to receive weapons that it not use said weapons against Russian territory. What is crimea, exactly? Since 2014, it has functioned in practice as one more province of the Federation chaired by Vladimir Putin. However, kyiv does not recognize its independence nor does the international community. In this sense, the United States has decided to wash its hands: let Ukraine decide what it is worth. If he manages to advance until he is within firing range of the Crimea and considers it opportune to attack, he has carte blanche to do so. Of course, very carefully.

damage to civilians

Because the fact is that here we face a third problem: respect for civilians. The Sergei Surovikin’s strategy since he took command of the troops Russian forces has been to cause the greatest possible harm to the Ukrainian population. He is convinced that the more the people suffer, the easier it will be to reach a good agreement in a negotiation and the clearer the message will be: we are willing to do anything to win this war and that includes killing millions of cold. of people if necessary.

Such savagery has been taken from the Ukrainian side, logically, as a war crime. The same position has been adopted by its allies in NATO, starting with the United States itself. Ukraine not only has to win a war against an army that is in principle superior in numbers and weapons, but also you cannot resort to foul play for it. The scandal over the images of some Russian soldiers shot on the ground when they had already surrendered the position is too recent to add fuel to the fire.

A Ukrainian soldier hugs children in the central square of Kherson, Ukraine.

Oleg Petrasyuk

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If they make a breakthrough across the Dnieper, Ukraine could strangle the supplies of the troops defending the east bank of the river…and strangle Crimea itself. In fact, the blowing up of part of the Kerch bridge It has already meant a decrease in the rate of supply to the inhabitants of the peninsula. Insisting on that path would clearly be effective when it comes to paying the Russians with their own currency, but kyiv would be in a very delicate position and the United States would not allow it. Hunger is not exchanged for hunger or cold for cold.

How and when to cross the Dnieper

In any case, first you have to cross the Dnieper, which is the most complicated part of this whole strategy. In the last few hours, an increase in amphibious attacks on the Kinburn peninsula has been reported, something that has been taking place since the days immediately after the liberation of Kherson. It is true that it is a little protected territory and that can serveIn theory, as a bridgehead to envelop the invading troops and then attack them from the rear, but in practice the terrain makes such an operation almost impossible.

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The Kinburn Peninsula is a leafy, uninhabited area. Advancing around with armored vehicles is extremely complicated and would expose them to guerrilla-type sneak attacks. Ukraine could gain some semblance of control of the area and boast that they have crossed the river at its mouth, but in reality, it would not do much good. To really put the Russian army in trouble, Ukraine needs to cross through Nova Kakhovkasomething that they have been trying for a few weeks, but without apparent success… or do it through Vasiliivka, in which case an amphibious attack as such would not even be necessary, but rather they could surround themselves from the capital Zaporizhia to the south.

The problem, of course, is that the Russians have also come up with that and their defenses, for now, are holding up. Besides, the arrival of cold, snow and frost will make any kind of progress very difficult. Knowing how to play with General Invierno is going to be of vital importance in the coming months, as it is going to shape what can happen in spring. Ukraine may not be able to advance strictly speaking, but if it cuts off supplies to already demoralized troops, it may find itself open as soon as the ice clears.

On the other hand, the risk is clear: giving Russia time is giving it a second chance. Perhaps that is why Milley insisted on the need to continue the attacks before winter invaded everything. for now, Russian strategic expertise has been conspicuous by its absence, but it should not be taken for granted that it will always be like this. In the spring, a new replacement of well-prepared troops will arrive and we assume that they will replace those deployed mainly in the south. By then, Ukraine must have found a way to continue the initiative. And that’s not just a matter of liberating this or that city, but managing to dominate the key positions on the board. A board that definitely includes Crimea, against all odds at the beginning of the Russian special operation. The great jewel in the crown. The only thing that, strictly speaking, Putin cannot afford to lose.

Russia-Ukraine War

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