Zelensky speaks of ‘peace throughout the territory’ while his troops already threaten Crimea by crossing the Dnipro

With its military superiority established – probably even greater than we imagined – Ukraine now faces the great challenge of continuing the offensive in the southern part of the country: crossing the Dnieper River and taking the right bank, where the regiments wait Russians withdrawn from Kherson. In principle, crossing a river under enemy fire in conditions of equality of means is an almost impossible task. What remains to be seen is that these conditions of equality are taking place… and, consequently, that Russia can cover the entire length of the river to prevent the passage of Ukrainian troops.

As we know, the city of Kherson, in the style of Istanbul or kyiv itself, is a network of bridges, most of them in ruins. The capital can be reached from the left flank of the bank, but the objective of the Russian withdrawal was for the river to serve as a natural protection to maintain their scarce territories still occupied on the right flank and whose main, almost sole, function is serve as containment space for the defense of Crimea.

Because, after all, what is at stake right now is that: Crimea. Last weekend, the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskymade it clear that the peninsula was not only his objective, but that he was convinced that soon the flags of his country, “hidden for eight years”, they would fly again in the streets as they were waving in Kherson after eight months of Russian occupation. If his army manages to cross the Dnieper, it will not be to recover a few kilometers – Kherson is a hundred and thirty by road from the border – but to go for the grand prize and return to the borders of 2014.

[Borrell cifra en 8.000 millones la ayuda militar de la UE a Ucrania, el 45% de Estados Unidos]

All this, Russia knows, but does not know what to do to prevent it. Continuous appeals to “negotiation processes” overlap with those tonuclear apocalypse threats no break in continuity. There doesn’t seem to be someone in charge with an awareness of the situation and a plan about it beyond continuing to pile up poorly equipped troops, completely unmotivated and unable to fight against an army that, after all, is fighting for the freedom of its families.

Circling the Russian “Maginot Line”

The Kremlin, or what remains of the executive power in the Kremlin, senses that it can save Crimea in negotiations in exchange for cede the rest of the territory conquered since February 24. Perhaps someone has insinuated it to him because the international community is doing very well in a close peace. Another thing is that Zelenski is going to stay at the gates of the great achievement having the real possibility of entering Sevastopol. He remains, as we said, the challenge of the Dnieper, but he gives the impression that Russia has once again misplanned the defense, that is, that it has wanted to stabilize a front without controlling its flanks.

Residents of Kherson celebrate the reconquest by Ukraine.

Valentyn Ogirenko


We have been hearing for weeks about the fifteen kilometers of “Maginot line” that Russia is building east of the river at Kherson. The idea is to prevent the crossing of the Ukrainian troops at that height of the river, but it does not seem that anyone has realized that the straight path is not the only possible one in an attack. As the Russians did not understand it at the time, they do not understand that Ukraine can now propose options for a frontal attack that, effectively, would have something suicidal.

Now, apart from taking and bravely crossing the width of the Dnieper -approximately one kilometer- in the area where the Russians are waiting, Ukraine has at least two options: do it through Zaporizhia, reaching Kaliivka and from there to Melitopol. That would split the Russian defense in two and would leave both Crimea and Mariupol at a distance from HIMARS as the stable front that Surovikin intends to set up in Kherson. In principle, it seems the most daring option, but also the most effective.

[Putin se atrinchera en Jersón para fijar la nueva línea de defensa en el río Dniéper y proteger Crimea]

The other, much less dangerous but just as effective, is to enter through the kinburn peninsula, which is exactly what the Ukrainian army has done between Sunday and Monday. The images of hundreds of boats calmly crossing the mouth of the river without any opposition to enter territory supposedly controlled by Russia are the images of a new disaster, almost a public mockery for those who were supposed to have withdrawn to improve their defense.

The mystery of Nova Kajovka

Because the point is that taking the Kinburn Peninsula, from a military point of view, is of little or no use. It is a wooded terrain, in many areas burned by the effects of the war, through which it is not possible to advance with guarantees towards the east. Now, the message is very clear: if Russia cannot protect her withdrawal, Ukraine is not going to stop at Kherson, but is going to continue going down and down wherever it can.

Ukrainian soldiers in the Kherson region.


Although in the last few hours speculated with a Russian attack on the Donetsk frontthe problem is that there is no single command that centralizes all the strategies: Eugeni Prigozhin and his Wagner Group They continue to attack Bakhmut without any success and without anyone being able to understand the reason for their performance. Kadyrov and his Chechens form a separate army, and Surovikin’s troops are too varied: veterans of the Donbas war, soldiers from the first wave and mobilized from the second, mostly civilians with no experience in warfare.

So chaotic is it that Ukraine may not even need to encircle Russian troops in the south to move forward. The rumors that come from Nova Kajovka, in this sense, are confusing. Located in the eastern part of Kherson, this city houses the hydroelectric plant that was already destroyed by the Soviets in 1941 in full flight from the Nazi advance. Some say that the Russians would have done the same eighty years later, but it is also heard that the city is about to be taken.

As he said this very Monday Joseph BorrellRussia still has the cability to undermine Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and the possible blowing up of the dam and the power plant would be a good example. Now, if the Ukraine has already managed to cross the Dnieper through there, seventy-two hours after the capture of Kherson, Russia can write off the river bank in the short term. It only remains for him to focus military and diplomatic efforts in trying not to lose Crimea. Be that as it may, it seems that the battle for the peninsula has already begun, however long it may end up being.

Russia-Ukraine War