Wednesday, November 30, 2022
HomeTOP NewsAfter the Russian retreat, the Ukrainian army plans its next move

After the Russian retreat, the Ukrainian army plans its next move

KHERSON, Ukraine (AP) — The Ukrainian sniper adjusted his scope and fired a .50 caliber bullet at a Russian soldier across the Dnieper. Earlier, another Ukrainian used a drone to search for Russian troops.

Two weeks after withdrawing from the southern city of Kherson, Russia is pounding the city with artillery as it digs across the Dnieper.

Ukraine is responding to Russian troops with its own long-range weapons, and Ukrainian officers say they want to capitalize on their momentum.

The Russian withdrawal from the only provincial capital it has won in nine months of war was one of Moscow’s greatest battlefield losses. Now that its troops hold a new front line, the army is planning its next move, the Ukrainian military said through a spokesman.

Ukrainian forces can now strike deeper into Russian-held territory and possibly push their counteroffensive closer to Crimea, which Russia illegally captured in 2014.

Russian troops continue to establish fortifications, including trench systems near the Crimean border and in some areas between the Donetsk and Luhansk regions to the east.

In some places, new fortifications lie up to 60 kilometers (37 miles) behind the current front lines, suggesting that Russia is preparing for further Ukrainian breakthroughs, according to the British Ministry of Defence.

“The Ukrainian Armed Forces took the initiative in this war some time ago,” said Mick Ryan, military strategist and retired Major General in the Australian Army. “They have momentum. There’s no way they want to waste that.

Crossing the river and pushing the Russians back would require complicated logistical planning. Both sides blew up bridges over the Dnieper.

“That’s what cut the Russians’ supply lines and that’s also what will make any further Ukrainian advance beyond the left bank of the river more difficult,” said Economist analyst Mario Bikarski. Intelligence Unit.

In a key battlefield development this week, Kyiv forces attacked Russian positions on the Kinburn Spit, a gateway to the Black Sea basin, as well as parts of the southern Kherson region still under control Russian. Reclaiming the area could help Ukrainian forces push into Russian-held territory in the Kherson region “under far less Russian artillery fire” than if they crossed the Dnieper directly, the Institute for the Study of War said. , a Washington-based think tank. Control of the area would help Kyiv mitigate Russian strikes on southern Ukrainian seaports and allow it to increase its naval activity in the Black Sea, the think tank added.

Some military experts say the weather may harm ill-equipped Russian forces disproportionately and allow Ukraine to take advantage of frozen terrain and move more easily than during the muddy autumn months, the official said. ‘ISW.

Russia’s main task, meanwhile, is to prevent any further retreat from the wider Kherson region and strengthen its defense systems over Crimea, said Bikarski, the analyst. Ryan, the military strategist, said Russia would use the winter to plan its 2023 offensives, stockpile munitions and continue its campaign targeting critical infrastructure, including power and water plants.

Russia’s daily attacks are already intensifying. Last week, a fuel depot was hit in Kherson, the first time since Russia’s withdrawal. This week, at least one person was killed and three injured by Russian shelling, according to the Ukrainian president’s office. Russian airstrikes damaged key infrastructure before Russia left, creating a serious humanitarian crisis. Coupled with the threat of attack, this adds a layer of stress, say many of those who have resisted Russian occupation and are leaving or considering doing so.

Ukrainian authorities this week began evacuating civilians from recently liberated parts of the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions, fearing that lack of heat, electricity and water due to Russian bombardment could make winter unlivable.

Boarding a train on Monday, Tetyana Stadnik decided to leave after waiting for Kherson to be released.

“We are leaving now because it is scary to sleep at night. Shells fly over our heads and explode. It’s too much,” she said. “We will wait for the situation to improve. And then we’ll come home.

Others in the Kherson region decided to stay as they lived in fear.

“I’m scared,” said Ludmilla Bonder, a resident of the small village of Kyselivka. “I always sleep fully clothed in the basement.”

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