Ukraine reacts loudly: “This is a really important change”

In the south, around the city of Kherson, Ukrainian troops had been trying to gain ground for about a week. This is now also happening in the region around the cities of Kharkiv and Izyum. “Ukraine would already have gained an area of ​​about 700 square kilometers,” says defense expert Dick Zandee of the Clingendael Institute.

air support

Professor of war studies Frans Osinga also sees the unique situation in Ukraine. “This is a very important change. What really stands out is that Ukraine dared to deploy air support. This means that he is convinced that the Russian air defenses are badly damaged and can launch an attack and then respawn. No match so far, nor Russians. It was very dangerous.

The latter is largely due to the large number of rocket attacks that Ukraine has been able to carry out with the help of the West. Long-range missiles and so-called HIMARS missiles have recently fallen repeatedly on Russian strategic targets. “Then you have to think of ammunition storage centers, but also bridges and other logistics points, and therefore of anti-aircraft guns and radars.”

Among other things, the village of Balaklija was liberated by the Ukrainians. You can see the reaction of the overjoyed residents in the photos below:

fast progress in the north

In the south, the war continues slowly. “This is how the Ukrainians announced it,” Osinga said. But how different it is now in the north. “Suddenly they go there at 50 km/h. A truly surprising attack. It’s risky, but now it looks like they can cut off the main supply lines to the Russians. This naturally increases self-confidence and motivation enormously. The West will also respond positively.”

Very good news for Ukraine, but how will Ukraine find the strength and confidence to try to take back the country? Zandee and Osinga see a variety of explanations that create an advantage for Ukrainians.

1. Staff shortage among Russians

The two men say previous Ukrainian attacks near Kherson forced the Russians to disperse. It is not known exactly how many people were sent this way, but it makes the situation in the north even more difficult. “The Russians became more vulnerable later on,” Osinga said. They had to withdraw their troops from Kharkov to defend Kherson,” he says.

Then you would say: get new men from Russia. But it’s not that easy. Zandee: “There is almost no offer.”

2. I ran out of ammo

Zandee also says that the Russians are becoming more selective in the use of their ammunition. They used most of them to bomb cities like Mariupol.

Proof of product scarcity is Russian “shopping” in North Korea. Zandee: “This is an ammunition depot. And of course this country can benefit financially from that.”

This effect is enhanced when the supply lines are cut. “In the south, Ukraine now occupies several places around the city of Kherson. They do not want a bloody battle in the city, but in this way the supplies of the Russian troops in Kherson can no longer be replenished, and if you besiege them. They cannot step back.”

3. Morality

The last factor is often mentioned: Russian morale. Zandee said reports were circulating that Russian troops had withdrawn and surrendered, even though they were not confronted by large numbers of Ukrainians.

Zandee says the current situation is only putting more pressure on morale. Osinga sees that too, but the question remains whether the Russians can recover. “They will undoubtedly counterattack.”

Already planned for 2023

The coming period will therefore be very interesting. “For the Russians there is a danger of being caught off guard, losing the confidence of the armed forces and fleeing or surrendering. It depends on their organization and the strength of their leadership.”

But a quick victory for Ukraine is by no means certain. In fact, Ukrainian military policymakers are planning attacks in 2023, Osinga said. “There is also only a 6-8 week period when the weather conditions are good enough to gain ground quickly. After that it is still possible, but slower.

Meanwhile, dissatisfaction within the Russian army is growing. “Even those who support the war are tired of the lies,” says researcher Bob Deen of the Clingendael Institute. Russian channels reported that no Ukrainians entered the city of Kuyansk. Many Russians went wrong, as you can see in the message below.

Source: RTL