Media: Ukraine's attempt to return Crimea will be bloody and difficult

Media: Ukraine's attempt to retake Crimea will be bloody and hard

Ukraine's attempt to retake Crimea would be militarily costly and lead to a split with the allies. The Economist writes about it.

As the newspaper notes, military operations in Crimea, as a rule, end in thousands of dead: in the last century alone, hundreds of thousands have fallen, primarily in the Russian civil war and World War II, not to mention the huge casualties during the Crimean War of the 1850s. . The capture of the peninsula usually required the crossing of narrow, open lanes or swampy areas.

Military experts, who know the peninsula's terrain well, note that the topography of the peninsula should give Ukraine pause.

Admiral Nikolai Zhibarev, who provoked in 1992, the collapse of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, having declared its frigate Ukrainian, now says that diplomacy is the most promising way to return the disputed territory.

Andrey Ryzhenko, a retired Navy captain born in Crimea, says there is a lot of work that needs to be done right for a successful operation. «There is a real prospect that everything will end in bloodshed. This is an operation that Ukraine does not need».

It is noted that Ukraine's Western partners fear that the operation to return Crimea or Donbass (from a military point of view, perhaps an easier proposal) may push Russia to escalate and even to the use of nuclear weapons.

Former Commander of the Airborne Assault Forces of Ukraine Mikhail Zabrodsky said that the operation to return the Crimea is not only possible, but was also being prepared for 2023.

However, he found it difficult to say exactly when this operation could begin.

Zabrodsky also insists that Ukrainian military planners have developed a tactic that could work.

According to him, Ukraine does not intend to engage in a senseless frontal assault on Crimea: «There are other«interesting» opportunities for maneuver by general military forces, using ground forces, amphibious assaults and air attacks».

Russian naval and air dominance can be thwarted with «asymmetric tricks».

He added that attacks by Ukrainian drones on the Black Sea Fleet at the end of October, damage to the flagship «Admiral Makarov» and the destruction of part of the Kerch bridge became examples of Ukrainian thinking: «We will surprise people – and many times – again».

Political leaders in Kyiv privately admit that it will be more difficult to return the Donbass and Crimea.

They admit that a significant part of the population there remains hostile to Kyiv.

The operation to return the Crimea, likely to face guerrilla resistance from pro-Russian forces.

Ukrainian commanders are reticent about their next steps.

Ukrainian sources say «nothing is out of the question» , including transactions in the territory occupied by Russia before February 24.

Roads leading to Crimea are now within range of Ukrainian firepower, including «Himars», which have complicated Russian logistics.

Russian-appointed authorities in Crimea are preparing for a ground attack, issuing construction orders new fortifications and trenches, as well as declaring an emergency level of threat in several parts of the peninsula.

Local residents of Dzhankoy report that trenches are being built near the air base.

The top priority for Ukraine remains the destruction of the Crimean bridge, connecting the Russian mainland with Crimea.

The Russian military understands this too and has designed and manned defensive lines accordingly.

A military intelligence source is confident that Ukraine’s structural advantages, above all, its ability organizing highly mobile surprise attacks and disrupting supply lines will prevail.

«We have demonstrated at every stage that our tactics and emphasis on logistics are correct. We'll show it again», — source says.

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