The Guardian: The third stage of the war in Ukraine will surpass anything the world has seen since the 1980s
The third stage of the war in Ukraine, which is about to begin, will be a full-scale battle using combined arms units – motorized infantry, artillery, aviation and, possibly, amphibious assault. The world has not seen anything like it since the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, and Europe has not seen anything like it since World War II, The Guardian predicts.
A “full-scale battle” could unfold in eastern Ukraine (in Luhansk and Donetsk regions) or in the south, the newspaper believes.
Luhansk and Donetsk directions may be the most likely directions for major offensives from both sides in the spring, writes edition. However, the outcome of the war will be decided by events in the south, where the Armed Forces of Ukraine will inevitably have to send their forces if they want to return the Kherson, Zaporozhye regions and Crimea, the author of the article, Julian Borger, editor of The Guardian's international relations department, believes.
The offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the southern front may begin in the Melitopol area. A more daring option with forcing the Dnieper is not ruled out. Between the units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Russian army, there is already a struggle for control over the islands of the Dnieper.
On the southern and eastern sectors of the front, Russian troops can also launch an offensive. Russia may be preparing for an offensive in the Velyka Novoselka area (near the Zaporozhye region), according to Ukrainian intelligence. “This is a strategically important point. If the Russians succeed and capture this area, they will be able to move north, and our troops in the Donetsk region may be trapped, ”the source of the newspaper in Ukrainian intelligence believes.
One of the possible directions of the new offensive of the Russian army is also called the north of Ukraine. Indirectly, this may be indicated by the transfer to Belarus of a large number of mobilized soldiers. However, most military analysts consider a major offensive from the north unlikely.
The UAF strategy may be to create the appearance of an offensive in one of the directions in order to actually arrange a breakthrough in the other direction. Several offensive operations can be expected from the Ukrainian command at once, Oleksiy Melnik, co-director of foreign policy and international security programs at the Razumkov Center in Kyiv, is sure.
“I think that it will try to play the same way as before, preparing the battlefield for possible operations in different directions, and then striking where conditions are most favorable, ”he notes.