Russia is not Winning, Ukraine is not Losing
The Crimea bridge carrying water and logistics for occupying Russian forces is vulnerable
Putin's 'partial mobilisation' ensures all trains, planes and automobiles are fully booked to escape Putin's repressive regime. The annexation of sovereign Ukrainian lands is illegal. Putin's threat of nuclear weapons (which can be interdicted) ensures Russia will be inundated with nuclear radiation because winds are westerly during autumn/winter. Putin is cornered and dangerous.
Ukrainian armed fces struck Russian army front line defences this week, September 1, from Mikolaiv and Krivoi Rog with Russian lines breached in three places. Preparatory strikes on food, ammunition and fuel dumps and the targeting of the bridge over the Dneper ensures the Russians will not leave the area of Kherson in military order. This area was taken by Russia from Crimea without opposition, so, Russia will not be able to defend this outlying area far from regular supplies 24,000 Russian troops may have to surrender. This offensive is not a repeat of massed armoured columns, however, the targeting of supply dumps emphasises the weak logistics of outlying Russian forces pushed against the Dneper with retreat from Kheson the only option. The 49th Combined Arms Army (CAA) has been transferred to Kherson.
Ukrainian forces crossed the Inhulets river on a broad 50 mile front with another 50 mile front from Mykolaiv, this the battle of the bridges, Antonovsky bridge with the M14 highway and the Daryivka bridge with the P47 highway both impassible to military traffic. Russia's 49th CAA is augmented by the 35th CAA a total of 24,000 troops. Russian forces would have a difficult retreat from Kherson. Russian ground forces are very short of troops and are being fought to a standstill everywhere. A Ukrainian win in Kherson ensures Putin will be under tremendous economic pressure, this winter is crucial for western support for President Zelensky.
Territory gained by Ukraine to the north east at Kharkhiv, within one week exposes Russian armed forces as incapable of defence in depth with the threat of encirclement very real. The capture of Kupjiansk 100km from Kharkhiv ensures the Russian chain of command collapses with Russian thugs, Chechens, criminals, jihadists and frightened recruits running for their lives, abandoning tanks and heavy equipment. This is a humiliating reversal for Putin who opened a Ferris Wheel at the All Russian Exhibition Centre in total disregard for the rout of his troops. Ukraine declared a offensive in the south and struck an unprepared Russian army in the north east to take territory 100km in depth. This is a war changing move.
Putin has many disparate groups against him:- mothers of Russia; Dissatisfied Russian soldiers facing daily corruption; Russians perceiving the invasion of Ukraine as showing Russian forces as weak and ineffective; Daily protests against the war are growing; Putin cannot declare war on Ukraine because he must retain the status quo that supports him.
Putin is unsettled by the seemingly impossible distances that Ukraine is surmounting in attacking the Black Sea Fleet and Russian air bases in Crimea. Equally, Russian civilians are fleeing Crimea because they do not feel safe. Putin made a major tactical blunder and a serious military mistake in invading Ukraine, flowers and chocolates did not appear, however, anti-tank weapons stalled invading columns of tanks which were restricted to main roads with major casualties an inevitable result. Tactics are discussed by amateurs. Logistics, professional soldiers discuss, requires swift delivery of fuel, food and ammunition is a war winning factor which Russia cannot master
No one wins a war. No one wants a war. Putin, objecting to the Dugan car bomb killing in Moscow, this act exposes the ineffectiveness of Russian State Security, whose regime poisons and murders - Anna Politkovskaya, Litvinenko, Boris Nemtsov along with the Skripal poisoning in Salisbury - and the killing of some 13 oligarchs in England opposing him has no moral authority and is propelling his country into serious economic decline, Putin has no vision for the future for his country, only more repression, young professionals fleeing, billionaires leaving en masse.
Stalemate with the Ukraine threatening, Crimea, the southern coast and the Dneper river line ensures Putin's army of convicts, Chechens, thugs and rapists is an undisciplined rabble rarely taking orders from threatened front line officers.
Putin and chaos rule hand in hand. Russia suffered 45,000 casualties they admit 6,000. A war of fire and manoeuvre with Russian forces incapable of stopping will end this illegal invasion of sovereign territory.
Sources: Irish Times; Sunday Times, radio and