The counterattacks of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the south are crucial. Right now we are laying the foundation for a strategic victory over the enemy
The Donbass is, obviously, the most difficult and hottest point on the front today. This is where Russia threw its main forces to reach the administrative borders of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Street fights are currently underway in Sievierodonetsk. The enemy captured most of the city, and the Ukrainian armed forces retreated to the prepared positions closer to Lysychansk.
On the other fronts, the situation is less difficult. To the south, the Ukrainian army is leading a counter-offensive. However, information from the General Staff has always been scarce.
Military specialist Petro Chernyk comments on the situation as follows: the tactic of small steps into action – the process in the south has started. At the same time, he draws attention to an important detail: the enemy is building the three-level echelon defense line in the Kherson region.
What does it mean?
“Let’s think: if the enemy invests resources in echelon defense, does he plan to carry out large-scale offensive operations? Answer: It hardly does, says Mr. Chernyk, “but that doesn’t negate the logic that everything can change tomorrow. And today, the Ukrainian armed forces have, if not a strategic advantage, at least a significant operational advantage in the Kherson region.
What advantage is this?
“On May 30-31, the Ukrainian Armed Forces launched a counter-offensive in the Kherson region in the general direction of Davydiv Brid. The village of Davydiv Brid is located on the banks of the Inhulets River and on the T2207 highway leading in Nova Kakhovka The capture of the bridgehead on the eastern bank of the Inhulets river is very important for the Ukrainian armed forces because it is a stronghold for a new counter-offensive aimed at “cutting off” the orc groups in the direction of Kryvyi Rih into several parts, circle them, and throw them,” says Petro LakiychukReserve captain 1st grade, head of military programs at the Center for Global Studies “Strategy XXI”.
According to him, the counter-offensive was deployed simultaneously in several directions. Near Davydiv Brid, Ukrainian soldiers split the enemy group into two parts, creating a “noose” threat to them. At the same time, the enemy was knocked out of Mykolaivka, and success grew in the direction of Oleksandrivka and Stanislav.
“Later, our guys gained a foothold in Andriyivka and Bilohirka on the southern flank of the attack, thus protecting the bridgehead from attacks coming from the south,” the military expert added.
Oleh Zhdanov, reserve colonel, told us the same thing: “It was very important for us to cross the Inhulets river. Why? Because if we have a bridgehead on the east bank of this river, we can amass troops there and develop a new offensive on Nova Kakhovka. And Nova Kakhovka is the bridge over the hydroelectric dam that supplies a group of Russian troops who were advancing on positions 30 km from Kryvyi Rih.”
And that will be of strategic importance to us.
“If we reach Nova Kakhovka and control this bridge, we will cut off a group of Russian soldiers stationed near Kryvyi Rih,” Zhdanov said.
“If you look at a map, you will see that a direct road leads to the Beryslav district from Davydiv Brid and up to Nova Kakhovka, and there is a passage in the Nova Kakhovka region. That is, if we manage to capture this route and reach the banks of the Dnipro, we will actually cut the enemy group in half, ”repeats Serhiy Hrabski, reserve colonel, participating in peacekeeping missions in Iraq and Kosovo, “and the enemy group, which remains north of this breakthrough, will be completely surrounded. They will have no chance of getting to the other bank of the Dnipro river because there is the Kakhovka reservoir behind them. You can’t carry a lot of ammo and fuel on boats, so Rusticists will be starved of supplies. »
And it will be a disaster for the Russian army. Does the enemy command understand this? Of course it is.
“The counter-attack in the south came as a total surprise to the enemy, whose attention was focused on the offensive in the east, where they were drawing all their reserves. But soon the enemy recovered from panic and tried to stabilize the defence,” said Pavlo Lakiychuk.
But how many enemy troops are involved?
“According to some estimates, Russia would have amassed up to 10,000 soldiers there, around a hundred tanks”, specifies Serhiy Hrabsky.
What else is known?
“The enemy is firing all kinds of weapons,” Mr. Lakiychuk continues, “not allowing the Ukrainian armed forces to advance beyond Kostroma and Bruskynske [10-15 km of Davydiv Brid]which are the main strongholds of the Russians on this part of the front.
“Nevertheless, our bridgehead on the Inhulets River has expanded considerably in recent days, but we cannot go any further to repel Russian artillery, mainly from bridges,” says the head of military programs at the Center of global studies “Strategy XXI”. “I will remind the skeptics, who complain about the ‘unprepared counterattack’, that the main battle is now taking place in the Luhansk region and any withdrawal of enemy forces from there works for our victory. Moreover, the Kakhovka direction is not easy.”
Nova Kakhovka is the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station, the main hydraulic structure of the North Crimean Canal, that is, the key to “Crimean water”.
“And when Lavrov says that the main goal of the ‘military operation’ against Ukraine is to ‘restore the historical borders’ of the ‘people’s republics’ of Luhansk and Donetsk, that’s just a publicity stunt The land corridor to the Crimea and the maintenance of the stables of the North Crimean Canal are real vital tasks for the enemy. The assault on Kakhovka puts these plans in question. The enemy will remain there with all his might, sparing no one,” notes Pavlo Lakiychuk.
Thus, the counterattacks of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the south, mainly in the direction of Kakhovka, are of strategic, not even operational, importance. They are as important for the defense of Donbass as supplying the front with new heavy artillery and Western multiple rocket launchers.
“In the Kherson region, the Ukrainian armed forces have been blocking the occupiers for almost two months. And when their forward units were no longer able not only to attack but also to actually hold positions in certain areas, our counteroffensive began. And its successful development shows that the place and time were perfectly chosen,” said the expert Alexander Kovalenko highlighted.
Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Ukrainian armed forces have chosen a defensive strategy for conducting hostilities: “About 80% of all hostilities conducted by our army are defense, while that about 20% are counter-offensive.”
The essence of defense is to take the most advantageous positions to block the advance of the occupiers and, of course, to inflict more systematic damage on them to weaken and exhaust the enemy units.
“When these units are exhausted in a certain area, a counter-offensive begins. We have seen how this tactic worked in Kyiv, Chernihiv and Sumy regions. We see how it works now in Kharkiv and Kherson regions,” Mr. Kovalenko said. “Today we witnessed the advance of the Ukrainian armed forces in the Kherson region, but it should be understood that later we will learn about some successes of our troops. This is an important information principle: do not announce nothing useless before victory.”
Victories which, according to the expert, could call into question the overall presence of the occupiers in the Kherson region in the near future.
“It can happen at the end of June or the beginning of July. Let’s be patient,” summed up Oleksandr Kovalenko.
We hope. After all, American and British MLRS and howitzers are on the way. So we cross our fingers, support and believe in the Ukrainian Armed Forces!
Myroslav Liskovitch. Kyiv