Ukraine’s former defense minister explains why Russia won’t be able to keep hold of Ukraine’s south

9 June, 01:52 PM
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Military equipment seized by the Ukrainian military, which is already being used against the occupiers (Photo:59 separate motorized infantry brigade named after Yakiv Handziuk/Facebook)

Military equipment seized by the Ukrainian military, which is already being used against the occupiers (Photo:59 separate motorized infantry brigade named after Yakiv Handziuk/Facebook)

Andriy Zagorodnyuk, Ukraine’s former defense minister, appeared on Radio NV to explain why the invading Russian army’s control over southern Ukrainian region is unsustainable.

“What did they do in Kherson Oblast, in southern region as a whole? They started digging trenches, building fortifications to keep own positions there and be somehow able to withstand the counter-attacks. But distances are really long there… You can’t really keep those territories under your own control by digging trenches and stationing tanks, weapons. This is unrealistic” – Zagorodnyuk said.

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The destruction of the Russian fortifications in the south by the Ukrainian army is a matter of time, the former defense minister said.

“As soon as Russians stop pushing forward, we have every chance to launch our counter-attack and our systemic counter-offensive operation,” said Zagorodnyuk.

Operational Command South revealed that on June 7 Russian troops started shelling Mykolayiv and the city’s outskirts with artillery. The Ukrainian army responded to this with four major artillery strikes, targeting Russian military personnel.

Earlier, Ukraine’s General Staff reported another Russian operation in the south – the enemy tried to advance closer to Lozove and Bila Krynytsya in Kherson Oblast, deploying artillery and aircraft for this.

However, the operation was unsuccessful.

In the southern region, the Ukrainian regular army is supported by partisans who operate in Zaporizhzhya Oblast, and a group of Mykolayiv self-defense volunteers whose main strategy so far has been exhausting Russian infantry.

In Kherson Oblast, Russian troops are substantially understaffed, so Russia’s Ministry of Defense deployed to that area so called “Donetsk People’s Republic Army” – one of the least capable Russian military units, created through forced mobilization of civilians from the Russian-occupied parts of the Donbas.

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