Two complementary fights
According to our interlocutor, it is important to analyze the war choices made by Ukraine while maintaining an overall view of the situation. In fact, the two current fronts – Robotin and the Bagmouth zone – are key points in the Ukrainian strategy. On the Bagmouth front, we have been talking about the Ukrainian victories for a week, which made it possible to recover two villages in particular: Andreevka and Klichivka. Since only 300 to 500 people live in these two small villages, this breakthrough should be presented as a major military victory and not a tactical, and not a strategic, step in the Ukrainian operation. “Of particular importance to Ukrainian forces is maintaining or increasing pressure on this front to ensure that Russian troops cannot mobilize on other fronts, the most important of which is in the Robotyn region in the southeast of the country.Chris Kwanton explains.
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A few weeks ago, the Ukrainians managed to break through the first defensive line of the Russian army in the Robotyn region. Since then, a breach has been created, which the Ukrainians are trying at all costs to expand and maintain. According to information released by Kiev, the troops managed to break through the second defense line, near the village of Verbov, east of the breach, which is important, according to the professor, because they will now face the troops. Less well made and therefore more fragile. “The objective was to advance the counterattack towards Dokmok, a key road center on the road to Melitopol, with the aim of cutting the land link between the Russian forces north and south towards the sea. Asov’s”. According to the Wall Street JournalCapturing Werbo could deliver to the Ukrainians “An alternative route to the city of Berdyansk on the Azov coast could force Russia to disband its troops.”
According to Kris Kuanton, despite the criticism expressed by the West, the Ukrainian strategy is to expand its forces on different fronts rather than to unite them, and to be more assertive. The best proof of these successes? The Kremlin’s reactions in recent times have shown a great deal of nervousness. “Putin reportedly ordered Defense Minister Shoigu to stop the Ukrainian advance. He would have set early October as an ultimatum. This is somewhat surprising, since so far Putin has presented this counterattack as a complete failure. This is evidence of a certain panic in Russia following Ukraine’s victory. Judge Chris Kwanton.
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Direct and indirect approaches
On Friday September 22, Ukraine announced that it had killed the commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, Viktor Sokolov, along with thirty-three officers, after an attack in Crimea. “The Crimean Peninsula is the primary center of gravity for Russian military operations. It is not for nothing that the Russians installed modern anti-aircraft weapons of the S300 and S400 type there. This is where all the logistics for the Southeast Front are located. Lines of communication go there, the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet and the entire operational command are located there.”, explains the expert. According to him, Ukraine’s recent attacks on Crimea should be understood as part of an indirect Ukrainian strategy. The Bagmut and Robotine fronts would lead to victory, and it was important to disrupt key points of the Russian forces. “Crimea’s goal is to complement the Russian air force by deploying large numbers of drones to counter their missiles. At this chaotic moment, the Ukrainians send missiles like Storm Shadow, Neptune. This is the key to success: indirect action on Crimea, which should create the conditions for the success of frontal attacks.”, he continues. What’s more, Viktor Sokolov’s death, if confirmed, will have a significant impact on the Russian Navy, as it will take some time to replace him and train a new commander with no field experience, especially if other ranking officers also die. All this will take time, but “Time is of the essence in military operations”. Following Russia’s release of images showing Commander Sokolov alive, Ukrainian officials announced in a telegram that their services would clarify the information.
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Arrival of ATACMS
Over the weekend, US President Joe Biden reportedly told Ukrainian officials US is going to deploy long-range cruise missiles (ATACMS). Capable of striking at a distance of 300 kilometers. These missiles are launched from Himars (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) rocket launchers. Currently, the missiles available to Ukraine have a range of 80 km unlike the ATACMS, which has a range of 300 km. It will be able to reach the entire territory of Crimea by carrying out more accurate and rapid attacks. The second advantage, which according to Chris Kwanton is not insignificant, is that the trucks from which these missiles are launched need two minutes to reactivate after a shot. In times of war, following an artillery barrage, systems are in place to detect where the gunfire is coming from and respond. But because this system allows for better mobility and minimal reaction time, it is practically impossible for the Russians to detect the trucks responsible for these attacks, which have plenty of time to move. Moreover, the Russian aviation system is already saturated by the Ukrainian strategy. Add to this these powerful rockets and the impact will be enormous.
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However, we must be alert to the potential reaction from Russia in the event of an “invasion” of Crimea by Ukrainian ground forces. Indeed, according to our interlocutor, it is unlikely that Russia will respond with a nuclear threat even if we are not there yet. “I amI do not believe that retaking Crimea is in the immediate intentions of the Ukrainian military, because they do not have the means to do so. That is why they chose an indirect strategy aimed at neutralizing Crimea, but not recapturing it. Although Zelensky has publicly declared his desire to retake the entire region, the Ukrainians are far more realistic in their military tactics for now.”, concludes Chris Kwanton.
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