A diversion or a real goal? At the moment it is difficult to express certainties, but surely the Ukrainian counter-offensive that is expected for this well-developed spring has a central element in the Crimea. There are signs. The most recent statements by Volodymyr Zelensky ‘s government show how the Black Sea peninsula, annexed by the Russian Federation after its occupation in 2014, is still fully part of Kiev’s political plans, to the point that in the most maximalist segments there has been talk of a sort of de-Russification to be implemented as soon as the reconquest of the territory is completed.
Signals in the Crimea
Even the head of Ukrainian intelligence Kyrylo Budanov spoke of the possibility of troops entering Crimea with the aim of restoring the 1991 borders, since Ukraine “will never agree to cede any part of its national territory”. While the fire at the fuel depots in Sevastopol , the base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet and Moscow’s strategic hub for the whole region, was described by the spokeswoman for the southern Ukrainian command, Nataliia Humeniuk , as “preparatory work for the wide large-scale offensive that everyone is waiting for”.
Precisely this latest attack is read by many observers as an important signal on the southern Ukrainian front, and almost a definitive warning of the beginning of the Kiev counter-offensive. The governor of Sevastopol , Mikhail Razvozhaev, immediately spoke of a Ukrainian drone , and the burning of 10 tanks seems to have been confirmed on the Russian side. In recent days, also in Crimea but in Simferopol , the Russian Security Service claimed to have thwarted an attack on the city’s hospital. While fortification works have been started throughout the region, in particular for the area that joins the Crimea to the continent.
I movement around Kherson
The signals also reach further north, in the Kherson region . As we said in a previous article, the photos that showed the removal of vehicles from a base north of the Crimea would confirm Moscow’s fears of an assault on that line. The crossing of the Dnipro river by some elite units could also be a last detail on the fact that Kiev would be trying to strike the Russians even in that war theater, despite – it should be remembered – the enormous complexities that such an advance would involve, not only due to the conditions of the ground (largely mined) but also because the Russians, in addition to bombing the area, are also well positioned and able to defend the course of the river.
The other attacks along the front
Meanwhile, Kiev’s forces, in addition to striking in occupied territory, are also striking in Russia. In the Bryansk region, some people were killed in the village of Suzemka by a Ukrainian rocket attack. Sources speak of at least two deaths, but some believe there are four. In the same hours, the Russians bombed several Ukrainian centres, causing civilian casualties as demonstrated in the case of the city of Uman , where children also died.
The absence of fixed points behind the Ukrainian moves
The hypothesis, according to some analysts, is that Kiev is not preparing a massive counter-offensive on a single route, but several smaller assaults capable of giving no firm points to the Russian forces. Mouths in Ukraine are more than sealed on numbers and strategies, especially after the documents that have come out of the Pentagon . Someone questioned its veracity both in Moscow and in Kiev. For the Russians, it was a way to distract or give false information about the Ukrainian forces or the situation on the ground.
For the Ukrainians, the US intelligence news would not be entirely reliable. In any case, what is certain is that we don’t have a clear idea of what could happen in the coming days. The arrival of Western tanks (Challenger and Leopard in particular), the training of Ukrainian forces in NATO bases, the delivery of air defense systems – the latest being the new German aid package with the Iris-t – confirm the arrival of means deemed sufficient to start the advance . An idea also certified by the declaration of the Atlantic Alliance on the arrival of 98% of the vehicles destined for the Ukrainian troops.
Whether this will prove to be sufficient to hit the Russian troops in a profound way is not known. In the ranks of Moscow, a statement by the head of Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin , is once again recorded on the counter-offensive, which the leader of the mercenaries considers a “tragedy”. The “Putin’s chef” reiterated the lack of ammunition and fear after the heavy losses at Bakhmut . But even in this it is impossible to say whether it is Prigozhin’s way of hitting the Russian commands, to consolidate his “leadership” among ultranationalists and the military, or to sidetrack Ukrainian initiatives.
Source: Inside Over