While Ukraine’s expected spring offensive against Vladimir Putin’s brutal war machine has long been predicted, Ukrainian officials are trying to make it as surprising as possible.
– Ukrainians will do their best to mislead about where, when and how the attack will come. You and I will be surprised, says Geir Hågen Karlsen, Headmaster of the Norwegian Defense Academy’s (FHS) Staff School, to Dagbladet.
He was supported by retired Lt. Gen. Arne Bart Dalhag, former chief of the defense forces. Both experts have reservations, but still point to the same two options when asked where the Ukrainian offensive is can Come on:
- South of Ukraine, in the direction of the Sea of Azov.
- Northeast of Ukraine, towards Luhansk District.
– Can threaten Crimea
Karlsson and Dalhag say there are two main advantages to launching an offensive in the south of Ukraine, in the direction of the Sea of Azov.
1) By moving south towards the Sea of Azov, Ukraine could cut off Russia’s most important supply route to the Crimean Peninsula.
The supply line passes over the occupied land bridge in southern Ukraine, which connects the Crimean peninsula, which is annexed by Russia, to the Russian mainland.
– And then retired Lt. Gen. Talhac tells Talkblade that Ukraine can immediately threaten Crimea.
Even without a military advance on the peninsula, a Ukrainian offensive to the south would affect Russian combat capabilities.
– Cutting straight south would cause major supply problems for Russian forces in Crimea and Russian-occupied areas in southern Ukraine, says Lt. Col. Hagen Karlsson.
– expresses Russian fears
2) The distance between the front line and the Sea of Azov is relatively small.
From today’s front line south of the city of Zaporizhzhia to the Russian-occupied city of Melitopol, a few kilometers north of the Sea of Azov, it Just 75 kilometers.
The big downside is that Russia is aware of this possibility and has taken action:
– If you analyze the Russian defense positions built in the last six months, it is in this area that the positions are most developed. I explain that the Russians also think that this is a current attack from the Ukrainian side, Dalhag says.
– No examples
Another option Dalhaug and Hågen Karlsen mention is an attack against Luhansk, a district that together with Donetsk County is known as the Donbas region.
– The advantages of entering Luhansk are that it will be easier to break through Russian defense lines, says Talhac, who has specific knowledge of Luhansk and the Donbass region.
Between 2016 and 2019, the retired lieutenant general was a civilian observer of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Ukraine.
– The disadvantage is that the Ukrainians have to go through a bad terrain, Dalhag says, which will not bring results.
Because if Ukraine launched an attack on Luhansk, for example, on the front line west of Chivzerodonetsk, they would have to fight 110 kilometers to the north and east before reaching the Russian border, and 200 kilometers to the south before reaching the Sea of Azov.
If Ukraine goes south, they will eventually reach the front line from 2014, which the Ukrainian army has not been able to break through in the past.
But wherever Ukraine chooses to mount its long-awaited offensive, the front lines are now less porous and fortified than they were when they retook Kharkiv in a blitzkrieg last September.
– In practice, the contact line in Ukraine has remained unchanged since November. This means Russia will have half a year to build defensive positions. Retired Lt. Gen. Talhac says that we have not had better examples of any party breaching such fortified positions before during the war.
– diversion maneuver
Experts believe that it is uncertain when the attack will come.
In this question as well, Hagen Carlson highlights the importance of an element of surprise.
– It may take a few weeks, and it may be more over time. Before Ukraine recaptured Kharkiv, they launched a small offensive against Kherson as a diversionary maneuver. Then they suddenly attacked the city of Kharkiv, says Lt. Col.
Jakub M., a Russia researcher at the Norwegian Foreign Policy Institute (Nubi). Dzhymirsky believes that an attack cannot actually be expected to come.
Revealed via audio recording: “Killing Him”
– Many believe an attack will come this side of the summer holidays, but Godzimirski tells Docplodet that any attack is still uncertain.
Dalhag, like Dzhymirsky and Hagen Karlsson, points to the importance of good preparations on the part of Ukraine.
– If Ukraine starts attacking, they will surely win. The question is whether they will progress enough to turn the tables. Nothing will change without a real blow to Russia. Ukraine has previously shown that it has the ability to wait things out. Dalhag says they will do it now.
“Music geek. Coffee lover. Devoted food scholar. Web buff. Passionate internet guru.”
Such is the weather this summer
Teen gets 16 points on his driver’s license – NRK Westfold and Telemark – Local News, TV and Radio
Farmers prepare for dry summer – NRK Sørlandet – Local news, TV and radio