The worst has already passed for Ukraine. How will events develop in the war?
There will be hardship. Everyone is prepared for this. But it will not be possible for Russia to turn the tide of the war.
It is already clear to everyone, even in Russia, that the so-called “special military operation” has failed. It has obtained no quick and long-term results. Military operations are moving into a protracted phase, and this is no longer a “special military operation.” This means that it requires the mobilization of the economy and a transition to new principles of mobilizing the population. This is what Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu has been talking about as of late when he ordered a change in operational procedures for military registration and enlistment offices, presented some new programs for the development of the military-industrial complex, etc. Thus, this all indicates that the war has become protracted, and the Russian Federation will most likely declare martial law.
Will anything change for Ukraine after this? I think that Ukraine has already gotten passed the worst and has managed to harden itself. Considering all of the experience gained and how certain things we feared at the beginning no longer faze our psyche, I think that the civilian population will be able to survive this, and the troops will have to tighten up.
Keep in mind that any plans and programs that Russia has are operating at no more than 30-40% capacity. The rest of the funds are either not targeted spending, or they end up being stolen. Therefore, their efforts to increase the size of their army to 1.5–2 million personnel, and to transition their economy and industry to a full military foot-ing, will not be fully realized.
They have started firing S-400 missiles, probably because they have run out of S-300s. The fact that the range of the S-400 is greater than that of the S-300 has no effect. The fact is that the range of anti-aircraft missiles against ground targets is determined by the range to the horizon, and not by the flight range. That is, these missiles can of course be launched at longer ranges, but not accurately. Firing at ground targets with anti-aircraft missiles is not selective, and has no accuracy at all. And if you just launch missiles without a target designation, then they won’t really hit anywhere reliably.
As for the use of the Kh-22 missile, it all depends on what they have available, what they have been able to scrape together from warehouses and from other districts, what they have managed to put in the air, and what they have fired. Therefore, they do not have much choice – what they have is what they fire.
If we have the opportunity, then we should build a layered air defense. Due to the fact that our partners provide us with certain systems, we can build such a system in certain areas. Starting with short-range systems and ending with missile defense systems. But I repeat, this is not in all areas, because so far only a few have been provided to us. Two Patriot SAM batteries are not enough. In order to cover the most important strategic objects, at least four or five such batteries with eight launchers in each would be needed.
Can we destroy the S-400 missile launchers? It should be understood that the S-400self-propelled launcher is connected to targeting stations. This means that it radiates.AGM-88 HARM anti-radar missiles work well against radiating targets.
If the invaders manage to take Bakhmut, this will not affect the course of the war. The fact that they manage to win at least some kind of victory may lead to an increase in Russian morale. This will be broadcast as a super victory in this so-called"special military operation" because there is nothing more to report. Perhaps the capture of Soledar will entail some further operational and tactical consequences, but not strategic ones.
There is information that the Russian army is preparing for another large-scale offensive against Ukraine. Recall how at the beginning of the war, in February 2022, they also said that the size of the Russian forces did not allow them to seize Ukraine. But they were not going to seize Ukraine. They were going to reach the administrative borders of Donbas, break through a corridor to Crimea and capture Kyiv. That is, the whole of Ukraine was too tough for them to take even then.
They will now probably try to consolidate their successes in the Zaporizhzhia region, in the Donbas, and possibly try to strike at Kyiv. That is, a possible strike from Belarus in the direction of Chernihiv, Kyiv, or the Kharkiv or Sumy Oblasts. It could possibly be in the Volyn direction as well in order to cut the logistics routes for the supply of aid to US.
Where will the main blow be? We don’t know yet. After all, feints are possible in all directions, with massive strikes in one or two directions in order to break open a corridor inside Ukraine. Therefore, it is necessary to very clearly monitor the maneuvers of the existing and newly-created Russian reserves of personnel and equipment. This is a matter for intelligence.
What could be the turning point in this war? In my opinion, the disruption of the so-called "special military operation" is, overall, a turning point. Will Russia be able to seize the initiative once again? This is the question for the time being. This will depend on the motivation of our armed forces, the level of their training and equipment, and the volume and rate at which we receive military-technical assistance from the West.
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