Posts Tagged ‘Ukraine-Russia War’

BY RICHARD MARTIN

Here is my current assessment of the situation post liberation of Kherson.

See the diagram I’ve attached (map courtesy of Institute for the Study of War’s interactive map; hand drawn markings are mine).

The thick green line shows where the Russians have apparently developed extensive defensive positions on the left bank of the Dnipro. Open sources claim they have built three lines of defence, which is classic Soviet doctrine.

The thick red circle around Donetsk is where the Wagner Group has been active over the last several months, with many failed attacks against the small city of Bakhmut. The Ukrainians have successfully held them off over at least 2 months. It’s not clear to me what the Russian intent is, but I believe the aim is to fix Ukrainian forces so they can’t redeploy to other parts of the front while keeping them as far away from Donetsk as possible, and possibly even push them back. Donetsk is very important and symbolic for the Russian attempt to conquer and annex Ukraine.

The thick red oval east of Kharkiv shows a number of small scale Russian attempts at attacks and reconnaissance in force missions. I suspect the intent is also to fix Ukrainian forces while buying time to build up the defences of Svatove, a major communications hub.

The thin blue circles show the areas of major Ukrainian partisan activity. As you can see, it is extensive in the area of Melitopol with a lot also in Berdiansk and Mariupol, and also in the eastern area north of Lysichansk.

I believe the Ukrainian main effort will move to the centre, east of the Kakhovka Reservoir and into Zaporizhzhia Oblast. They might make for Melitopol and even Berdiansk and try to cut the lateral lines of communication near the coast. I don’t think they will try an assault crossing on the lower Dnipro because of the Russian defences on the left bank and the fact they have had several weeks to prepare, not to mention the fact that it would take significant bridging and amphibious capabilities by Ukrainian forces.

© Richard Martin

Source: Institute for the Study of War Interactive Map (https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/36a7f6a6f5a9448496de641cf64bd375) accessed 12 November 2022. Hand drawn additions by Richard Martin.