What awaits Kherson and how Putin is changing tactics

21 October 2022, 02:31 PM
Putin's decree to introduce various levels of readiness, up to martial law in the occupied territories, is a game for the public (Photo:REUTERS)

Putin's decree to introduce various levels of readiness, up to martial law in the occupied territories, is a game for the public (Photo:REUTERS)

Russia would really benefit from a pause in the war right now, and this is exactly what they are trying to achieve.

By shelling Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, the enemy is trying to break the will of both our government and us, and to force Ukraine to sit down at the negotiating table on Russia’s terms. This is what the current tactics are aimed at, and, unfortunately, I don’t see an end to it yet.

Many experts say that Russia will soon run out of missiles and drones, but I don’t see its end yet. The fact is that these drones and missiles from Iran are being supplied under a separate contract. An analytical note has recently appeared by the Rand corporation, in which they claim that Egypt had a large contract for the purchase of 64 Su-35 fighters from Russia. But Egypt refused this deal, and it passed to Iran. Either by barter or in some other way, Iran will receive these fighters, but in return they provide Russia with drones (not only Shahed, but also more advanced modifications) and ballistic missiles. At $5 billion, this is a sufficient number of quite cheap drones and missiles.

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This weapon, though not quite technologically perfect, but lethal. Therefore, we need to anticipate a wave of further struggle.

Building a layered air defense system in Ukraine is not a one-year task. Therefore, we will not have such a system in the near future. Moreover, when it comes to the transfer of equipment from NATO countries, the main reason for refusing to transfer them was the fact that it weakens the NATO countries’ own national defense. It has been difficult to secure tanks, and there will be an even tougher position regarding air defense systems – they will hold on to them even more tightly than to their tanks. We should not count on full-scale air defense, only on our own strength, and on what they are providing right now.

A stronger stance has emerged in the United States to increase both the volume and the pace of supplies. There are markers, but there is no need to talk about something physical yet.

However, this does not mean the weakening of U.S. military aid to Ukraine. The fact is that they are going to help us until our victory. But everyone has a different understanding of what victory is.

We receive more answers not from the United States, but from Russia itself – on the processes that are taking place there. What is this about?

For example, Putin’s decree on introducing various levels of readiness, up to martial law in the occupied territories. This is playing to the gallery. They could have taken such measures without this decree: breaking laws runs in their blood. And besides, there were such clauses about transferring more power to the regions to governors and close the circle of governors on Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustinm, and to entrust Mishustin with the coordination of law enforcement agencies, which strengthens this branch of power. It’s still hard for me to say how events will develop further, how forces will be concentrated around Mishustin.

I think this decision of Putin’s indicates a lack of money.

As (former Russian President Dmitry) Medvedev said in Crimea in 2016: “There is no money, but you hang in there.” Now all the tasks of mobilization, the search for technical resources, everything is assigned to the governors. And these people turn into local princelings. On the one hand, this is a forced measure, on the other hand, it would simplify the issues of seizing power in the regions by the opposition, which, unfortunately, does not exist.

Mobilization in Russia is mowing down the country’s labor potential. Some experts believe the fall in GDP will amount to 5% in Russia next year, and the loss of workers could be a significant contribution to this figure. The escape from mobilization is decreasing labor potential the most. The number is up to half a million people here.

So, Russia would really benefit from a pause in the war right now. This is exactly what they are trying to achieve. That is, they are now trying to damage Ukraine’s energy sector to undermine our potential. And besides, we export electricity to the European Union. Therefore, Russia is trying to put Ukraine at a disadvantage to the European Union. They say that since Ukraine stops exporting electricity, it is an unreliable partner. Although everyone understands this, but the Kremlin will disperse another agenda through its channels so that Europe puts pressure on Ukraine to sit down at the negotiating table.

The battlefield is the main driving force behind all processes of change in our favor. The victories of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the battlefield are the main trigger for all other processes, both for internal ones in Russia, and for support for us by our partners, and for raising the spirit behind the lines in Ukraine. What is happening now both on the eastern front, and especially on the southern one, inspires optimistic hopes.

The commander of the Russian army in Ukraine, Sergei Surovikin, recently announced “difficult decisions.” How do I understand it? As a rule, they try to blame someone in advance for what they are going to do themselves. I think it is quite possible that they will blow up the dam of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant. Some kind of sabotage at the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant is also possible. The deportation of the population from Kherson is already taking place. The deportation of Kherson residents is a human shield for the retreating troops. Experiments were made to ferry civilians by boats. They launched a ferry with a military company and equipment in the middle, and these boats (with civilians) on the sides. And we can’t shoot anymore.

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And, most likely, after that there will be an attempt to wipe Kherson off the face of the earth, to repeat the scenario of Mariupol. It’s like a punishment to Ukrainians for daring to disobey the Russian tsar. It’s easy as pie for people who are not limited by morals. They are already preparing such positions so that, after the withdrawal of their troops, they will be able to reach Kherson with long-range artillery.

But I think these cunning plans of the Russian General Staff are all known in our General Staff. Judging by all the previous events, there is an antidote for these cunning plans. At least, I hope so.

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