One defense expert describes the annexed peninsula as a “military center of gravity” – and believes Ukraine is trying to project power.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine last February, Kiev has had a stated military goal of retaking Crimea.
Now the Ukrainian attacks are increasing in strength and scope.
The Russian Defense Ministry claims that Ukraine launched 73 drones over Crimea in the past 24 hours, and that it has stopped them all.
– This sounds like an escalation, Tor Bokvall of the Norwegian Defense Research Institute (FFI) tells VG.
No injuries or deaths were reported in connection with the attacks.
He states, among other things, that Ukraine destroyed one of Russia’s advanced facilities S200 air defense system.S200 air defense system.The S-200 is a Soviet-era long-range anti-aircraft missile used by both Ukraine and Russia, according to NTB.
– Pokvall says Russia doesn’t have many of these weapons, so this is a big victory.
– It is the newest and most expensive type, on which the Russian defense has spent a lot of resources, as he explains.
Russia already annexed Crimea in 2014. The peninsula has great symbolic, political and military importance for both sides.
- During an international conference earlier this week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the authorities were working to make this happen “De-occupation” of Crimea.
- On Thursday of this week, Ukraine celebrated Liberation Day. On the same day, Ukrainian forces said they had planted the Ukrainian flag on the peninsula as part of a “special operation”.
Pokvol mentions that the Ukrainian Minister of Defense, Valery Zaluzny, defined Crimea as the so-called “military center of gravity.”
– This means that if you are going to win the war, instead of destroying everything the opponent has, you can go after what is crucial to the opponent’s ability and will, and then the rest will be arranged.
– In this way, there is a military and political meaning behind the attack in Crimea, he explains to VG.
From a military point of view, the situation is clear, Boucfol believes:
– A significant part of the supplies of the Russian forces passes through the Crimea. And if Ukraine isolates Crimea, it will be difficult.
If Ukraine succeeds, the researcher notes, they will also have an important bargaining chip in any talks.
– And this is also painful politically, because it will be difficult for Russia to come to terms with the fact that it does not control Crimea.
Believes that Ukraine will show the “Russian impotence”
Ukraine has not commented on the Russian Defense Ministry’s allegations about the drones. However, Ukrainian intelligence has released images of what supposedly show some of the drone attacks.
It’s private, Buckfall says:
Special operations are usually something that happens in secret, but the fact that the Ukrainian authorities have gone ahead with them suggests there is a political purpose for it — a form of force show, he says.
On the Ukrainian side, one might think that all actions that show Russia’s helplessness will erode Russia’s will to wage war.
– How is the situation now?
– Almost the same as it was a month ago. Pokvall says progress is being made in the Ukrainian counter-offensive, but it is slow.
He explains that the Ukrainian forces have reached the village of Robotin and are heading towards Tokmak.
– What Ukraine can hope for is to reach the Sea of Azov before the autumn rains. They should also consider whether they want to try another attack when winter comes or wait until spring, says Buckfall.
The Russian dilemma
In the opinion of the defense expert, Russia is now in trouble:
– They have to decide whether or not to mobilize more people, because if they continue as they are doing now, they run the risk of losing large parts of what they have occupied, says Böckfull.
There have been no attempts at peace talks. Until then, he says, this is still a war between two sides that each believe they can win militarily.
“The Joker is still wondering if something happened in Moscow:
Perhaps a change of leadership there, or Putin being forced to back down, is the only thing that can stop the war and keep it from continuing for many years. After all, we have seen that violent things can happen quickly in Moscow.
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