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Ukraine - Superthread

brihard

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Amazing if this plays out to be accurate. I’m seeing similar accounts of empty (previously?) Russian checkpoints all over the Oblast. If Russia has abandoned the right bank and the city is retaken without a fight, that’s amazing.

With the assumption that there is in fact a Russian withdrawal from the right bank: Concerningly, this would mean someone on the Russian side has both the power and the guts/boldness to make a big call that will NOT go over well but probably makes military sense. This shortens their lines (though also frees up lots of Ukrainian troops) Are we going to see the Russians try to heavily dig in everywhere and freeze the conflict here? Also, it’s telling that, if this was a withdrawal, it appears to have been accomplished without turning into a rout. That’s twice in the Kherson AO.
 

TacticalTea

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Are we going to see the Russians try to heavily dig in everywhere and freeze the conflict here?
I find that likely. Expanding novorossiya to the Crimean landbridge has long been an objective of Putin's.

As long as the Ukrainians don't reach the Azov's shores, I think VVP can sell the SMO as a success.

A stagnant conflict might also prevent Ukraine's admission to NATO. Another victory ("neutral" Ukraine).
 

KevinB

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I find that likely. Expanding novorossiya to the Crimean landbridge has long been an objective of Putin's.

As long as the Ukrainians don't reach the Azov's shores, I think VVP can sell the SMO as a success.

A stagnant conflict might also prevent Ukraine's admission to NATO. Another victory ("neutral" Ukraine).
Ukraine at this point won't accept a stagnant conflict however.
 

Good2Golf

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Or.

Did they pull out their troops in advance of dropping something dirty?
And UAF stays back for a bit because why run into a trap, then Russia only has civilians to take out…not that that’s stopped them before.
 

brihard

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I’m doubtful. Ukr won’t need to concentrate much if they’re holding a defensive line on a river bank with an elevation advantage. A nuke is still just a really big explosion. You need something worth big exploding. Short of a big nuke that takes out the whole city, I doubt Ukr will concentrate sufficiently that a tactical nuke’s effects would be worth unbottling the genie.

Ukraine at this point won't accept a stagnant conflict however.

Concur. ‘Stagnant’ just means Russia will be back for more later.

Tangential: at this point, the west will really need to incentivize Ukraine not developing its own nuclear weapons capability. Ukraine is likely a threshold nuclear state, technically capable of developing nuclear weapons relatively quickly. Clearly the Budapest security assurances are pretty worthless. Ukraine will need to reassess what it needs to guarantee its sovereignty. Obviously this would have wider proliferation implications. This may be a lever Ukraine can use to ensure ongoing Western support.
 

KevinB

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I’m doubtful. Ukr won’t need to concentrate much if they’re holding a defensive line on a river bank with an elevation advantage. A nuke is still just a really big explosion. You need something worth big exploding. Short of a big nuke that takes out the whole city, I doubt Ukr will concentrate sufficiently that a tactical nuke’s effects would be worth unbottling the genie.
I suspect that E NPP would be the likely location of the Russians to do the dirty.
They shelled it again today - and honestly I tend to wonder exactly what they expect to get there.
Concur. ‘Stagnant’ just means Russia will be back for more later.

Tangential: at this point, the west will really need to incentivize Ukraine not developing its own nuclear weapons capability. Ukraine is likely a threshold nuclear state, technically capable of developing nuclear weapons relatively quickly. Clearly the Budapest security assurances are pretty worthless. Ukraine will need to reassess what it needs to guarantee its sovereignty. Obviously this would have wider proliferation implications. This may be a lever Ukraine can use to ensure ongoing Western support.
Agreed, I suspect that any eventual ceasefire will demand very robust security provisions for the Ukraine - like 2 US Armored Divisions garrisoned near the border.
 

TacticalTea

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Ukraine at this point won't accept a stagnant conflict however.
But will need all the macroeconomic and military aid it can get to maintain offensive operations and pierce through a hardened Russian frontline.

The West cannot relent.

@brihard Agreed on both points.

Next offensive: Zaporizhzhian front?
 

MilEME09

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Towards Melitopol would seem to make sense. That puts them in a position to move up the left flank of the Dnipro into the rest of Kherson oblast, and to cut off Crimea.
Tokmak before Melitopol, it's the E/W/N/S rail cross road. All rail traffic from Donetsk or Crimea goes through there.
 

brihard

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Tokmak before Melitopol, it's the E/W/N/S rail cross road. All rail traffic from Donetsk or Crimea goes through there.
Makes sense. I was just speaking to a general axis. I don’t know what the specific objectives would necessarily be. Tokmak would appear to put the whole land bridge into HIMARS range.
 

TacticalTea

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@brihard My sense as well. I'd just word it as moving down the left bank of the Dnipro.
Straight south along the east bank of the Inhulets river to Darivka.
Thinking in a post-Kherson-city scenario.
Tokmak before Melitopol, it's the E/W/N/S rail cross road. All rail traffic from Donetsk or Crimea goes through there.
Inevitably, yes. It's on the way there.

But your highlight does bring to fore why an advance on that front would be so important, in my view. Cutting off South-Kherson's eastern GLOC, forcing it to rely on the already-degraded Crimean bridge would substantially facilitate further advances in that region.

That's before even talking about the opening of the eastern flank on South-Kherson once AFU gets past Melitopol (which might permit southbound crossings from North Kherson across the Dnipro as RU diverts forces), and without mentioning it would also end Russian shenanigans around ZNPP at Enerhodar.

Winter is coming, but this is Southern Ukraine. Winter averages slightly warmer than Toronto.
 

brihard

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@brihard My sense as well. I'd just word it as moving down the left bank of the Dnipro.

Thinking in a post-Kherson-city scenario.

Inevitably, yes. It's on the way there.

But your highlight does bring to fore why an advance on that front would be so important, in my view. Cutting off South-Kherson's eastern GLOC, forcing it to rely on the already-degraded Crimean bridge would substantially facilitate further advances in that region.

That's before even talking about the opening of the eastern flank on South-Kherson once AFU gets past Melitopol (which might permit southbound crossings from North Kherson across the Dnipro as RU diverts forces), and without mentioning it would also end Russian shenanigans around ZNPP at Enerhodar.

Winter is coming, but this is Southern Ukraine. Winter averages slightly warmer than Toronto.
Sorry, I typed ‘flank’ and meant ‘bank’. I understand the left/right downstream orientation.

The side that has more Russians and that will have Russians longer.
 
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