The worst is yet to come in Ukraine | Article by Jesus Núñez Villaverde

The balance of what happened in ukraine since last February 24 Vladimir Putin launched the invasion It’s tragic enough Whether measured in human lives lost, the number of refugees and displaced persons, or the widespread destruction of infrastructure of all kinds. But unfortunately everything indicates that, at the gates of an imminent Russian offensive on Donbas, what lies ahead, as Emmanuel Macron pointed out just a couple of weeks ago, it’s even worse. An idea born from the conviction that Putin will not agree to leave Ukraine empty-handed and that, consequently, he will do whatever is necessary to break the Ukrainian resistance.

Russian redeployment

Russia has regained some room for maneuver once it has decided to abandon some of the battle lines that it had created in the first phase of an invasion that it has not yet achieved none of your goals. He is currently developing a redeployment and a feedback of its forces, while he calls up reservists and instructs his new recruits, with the intention of having sufficient means to definitively dominate all of Donbas. He reckons that in this way, with the addition of the Sea of ​​Azov, he will be able to ensure the consolidation of his control of Crimea and stay with the most active part of the country.

The accumulation of forces that he is carrying out suggests that planning a prompt direct offensive operation, centered on Donetsk and Lugansk, in which it will use the bulk of the forces it manages to deploy. Presumably that will join a pincer maneuver that converges in Dnipro, with forces advancing from the north and others from the south to try to encircle the Ukrainian troops that, for the most part, are concentrated precisely in that area. For this, the attackers will also try to destroy surrounding roads (roads, railways and airports) to make the Ukrainian effort even more difficult and thus seek its defeat.

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For their part, the limited Ukrainian forces they will not be able to pour all their defensive capacity into the area, since they cannot dismantle other fronts, like the defense of the capital or Odessa. A) Yes, in numerical inferiority of troops and means, they will have to multiply to close the Russian avenues of approach; no possibility of prevent indiscriminate attacks against the civilian population. And although they may even carry out some counterattacks, it is out of his power to go on the offensive and expel invaders from their territory. At least with the forces and weapons that it currently has.

In any case, as has been shown so far, the results of a war are not determined exclusively by the simple arithmetical calculation of means deployed on the battlefield. Morale and will to fight are decisive factors, especially when what is at stake is nothing less than existence itself of a state, as is the case with Ukraine. But, in addition, going back to the number of troops deployed, Russia does not seem to have more than about 100,000 soldiers, while Ukraine has about 70,000 on that battle front. Some figures that, if one takes into account that experience teaches that the attacker must have at least three times the forces in presence than the one defending, determine that Russia is not in a position to achieve an absolute victory. Or, what amounts to the same thing, everything points to a prolonged war of attrition.

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