The United States has warned Ukraine to take advantage of the momentum and vacate the Russian-occupied territories in the south before winter, so that worsening weather conditions prevent Russia from gaining a foothold in the occupied territories. Financial Times writes about it.
As the newspaper notes, Ukrainian troops need to recapture the south as quickly as possible, because the land in the region has not frozen through the last three years, which means that the area is likely to become very dirty. In such an environment, you may encounter difficulties in maneuvering and will have to use the main roads that are not protected from enemy attacks.
Democratic Senator Chris Murphy said that Ukraine should continue to use its advantage. In his opinion, «the source of vitality» for Ukraine is access to Odessa.
«The fighting season is ending. The Ukrainians have gained an advantage and they need to continue their offensive. In the long term, it will be a disaster for Ukraine if Russia can cut off its access to the water area from Mariupol to Odessa. The lifeblood of Ukraine is tied to access to Odessa. Therefore, it is important to maintain an offensive position, and not just be on the defensive in the south,” Murphy said.
According to the FT, Western allies see the liberation of occupied Kherson as a decisive test for Ukraine. According to military officials and analysts, the Armed Forces of Ukraine can release Kherson before mid-November. A US Department of Defense spokesman said that the Ukrainian military had already advanced northeast of the city and secured a foothold on the Dnieper River.
According to the publication, Ukraine agreed that the coming weeks will be crucial for the campaign to de-occupy the territory in the south. At the same time, the NATO representative said that Russia had already strengthened its position in the south: «It took the Russians a lot of effort and a lot of time to dig in a little differently than they did in the east. They were able to move the armor, they were able to build a basic defense».
Ukraine's Western allies are closely monitoring the UAF counteroffensive in the Kherson region, according to the FT, looking for evidence that the Ukrainian military can use the received weapons for a comprehensive and a multilateral attack on deeply entrenched positions in the urban environment.
- Head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell believes Putin is counting on the difficulties of the winter to exacerbate the Western world's war-weariness in Ukraine.