Russia’s gameplan for Ukraine: where it has failed

Russia’s gameplan for Ukraine: where it has failed

Russia’s gameplan for Ukraine: where it has failed

The early capture of the cities of Melitopol, Berdyansk and Kherson allowed the Russian military to look like a template for the declared goals of the war – reiterated on Wednesday by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov – of “demilitarization” and “rejection”. Ukraine.

Russia's gameplan for Ukraine: where it has failed

Anti-tank barriers line a deserted street in the center of Odessa, Ukraine.

Russia’s invasion of Russia is not planned anywhere in Ukraine, but a combination of geography, improved troops, short supply lines and weak opposition means that Moscow’s campaign has advanced so far south that President Vladimir Putin’s at least What is the intention

The early capture of the cities of Melitopol, Berdyansk and Kherson allowed the Russian military to look like a template for the declared goals of the war – reiterated on Wednesday by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov – of “demilitarization” and “rejection”. Ukraine.

On Wednesday, both sides also indicated they were moving toward a possible cease-fire deal even as major differences remained and Putin called Russia a “self-cleansing” of current events. Gave a televised speech about Shakti, which offered little clear reason for hope.

After initial gains, the Russian army’s southern advance faced resistance at Ukraine’s easternmost port city of Mariupol and Odessa’s gateway to the west at Mykolaiv, where the wide Bug River estuary forms a natural defensive barrier.

Nevertheless, a Russian success to take the entire coastline “would be a disaster for Ukraine, as 70% of our exports go by sea, 90% of our grain,” said Hanna, Odessa-based director of security programs at the Foreign Policy Council. Shelest said. “Ukrainian Prism”.

Beyond the economic and political significance of controlling Ukraine’s access to sea ports, Russia may also secure a land bridge from Crimea – the peninsula Putin annexed from Ukraine in 2014 – to the Russian mainland, open rail for logistics. connections and could free up enough manpower to support military targets elsewhere.

No less important is the area’s political and propaganda significance. Novorossia, or New Russia – the imperial-era name for southern and eastern Ukraine – is central to Putin’s rhetoric that the two countries make up a Russian nation.

In the first days of the invasion, Russian hopes seemed to be fulfilled. Its forces broke through with little opposition from Crimea on the morning of 24 February and advanced for the next 10 days about 500 km (311 mi) of coastline.

“The Russian army that came from Belarus in the north is essentially the B team, while the more elite bits of the army that came from the northeast of Kyiv and the south fared better,” said General Richard Barons, who retired. Commander of the Joint Forces Command of the UK in 2016. “They were also in easier more open ground and had the big advantage of shorter supply lines with a stronger foothold on the ground in Crimea.”

On 26 February, Russian troops entered Melitopol, about 130 km northeast of Crimea. A day later it was Bardiansk 120 km further to the west. On 3 March it was the turn of Kherson, 130 km northwest of Crimea, and with a population of 280,000 is the only major Ukrainian city to have Russian troops to this day.

The behavior of these cities, as well as some of the smaller towns in the south, seems to have followed a pattern. First, they were secured by the army. Next, units from Rosgvardia—a well-armed Gendarmerie that played a similar role to the Soviet-era Special Police—moved in. Russian flags replaced Ukrainian ones in the main administrative centers.

In Melitopol, elected mayor Ivan Fedorov was kidnapped by soldiers and marched through the city square, according to fixed camera footage released by the office of President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Fedorov was replaced by Haleena Danilchenko, a local politician willing to cooperate. In a video address, she asked citizens to accept the “new reality” and stop “extremist” acts, an apparent reference to the protests.

In Kherson, local politician Serhi Khlan said house-to-house searches were being conducted to search for pro-Ukraine security officials, journalists and activists, Shelest said that Kherson’s friends had also told him.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said Russia was trying to hold a referendum to declare the “Khersan People’s Republic”, which is further east of the separatist Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. Russian officials have yet to confirm such a proposal.

On Wednesday, Putin said a “special military operation” he ordered in Ukraine was about to be planned, but that even in the south it seems unlikely. Far from hanging up their own Russian flags, thousands of people gather daily in Kherson to protest the occupation. In Burdiansk, small crowds were shouting “go home”. In Melitopol, protesters clashed with Russian troops on March 14 as they demanded Fedorov’s return.

On Wednesday, Ukraine’s presidential office said a special operation had freed Fedorov. It then released a video clip of Zelensky purportedly speaking to the Melitopol mayor in an audio call.

Mariupol, meanwhile, risks achieving totem status of Vukovar or Sarajevo during the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s, the destruction and brutality of which sparked outrage across much of the world and, ultimately, contributed to more powerful international intervention. Thousands of civilians have fled Mariupol this week. A city theater used by hundreds of people as a bomb shelter was destroyed on Wednesday. Russia denied responsibility and said it does not target civilians.

Odessa will present an even greater challenge to the Russian commanders, as it occupies a special place in the Russian historical and cultural imagination. So far, perhaps as a result, it has survived aerial bombardment by few other cities.

The city, traditionally just over 1 million, has a huge pro-Russian population, but if this support remains, it has yet to show itself. Instead, Mayor Gennady Trukhanov, who held a Russian passport until 2017, has been vocal in condemning the Russian attack and has instructed volunteers to fill sandbags and build tank traps.

“He really hoped that Odessa would raise the Russian flag,” Shelest said. “Now it has to be an attack and it’s not easy for them to bear, either psychologically or militarily.”

First the Russian army would need to cross Mykolyev and move the remaining 130 km to Odessa. So far many attempts to break up or stop the city have failed.


Volunteers fill bags of sand at a beach in Odessa, Ukraine.

And while Russian landing craft have gathered several times over the past two weeks off the Black Sea coast of Odessa as if to attack, landing at sea will be difficult. Shellest said suitable beaches have been mined and defended. Upon reaching the city, there is every indication that the Russian troops will have to fight their way out.

Sealing Ukraine from the Black Sea in the south will remain a major strategic objective for Russia as long as the fighting continues, according to Baron, president of Universal Defense and Security Solutions, a strategic advisor to former military officers. Although Russia is still wary of shelling, it doubts that something like Putin’s original plan for Ukraine is still achievable.

“This is a business that will never work,” Barons said, and Putin’s reasons to seek off-ramp are increasing. He said the question for Odessa and other cities is how far a frustrated Putin would be willing to go to control Ukraine, including options like chemical weapons or ethnic cleansing.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by UttarPradeshLive.Com staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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