Expert: Russia likely to try another offensive as winter starts

Rainer Saks.
Rainer Saks. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The main task of Russian forces after their shameful retreat from Kherson is to maintain the front line at the Dnieper, while it is likely another offensive will be attempted elsewhere, probably in eastern Ukraine, defense expert Rainer Saks said on "Ringvaade."

After its defeat in Kherson, Russia is trying to maintain the front using the recently mobilized as that is what the military leadership has promised President Vladimir Putin, Saks suggested.

"The Russian side will likely try another offensive when winter starts to try and grab a little territory, perhaps in the Donbas, to demonstrate they can still attack," he said.

Saks suggested that it is possible the Ukrainians are also preparing new attacks, and there is no reason to believe the winter will see a complete lull in military activity.

"I believe that the Ukrainian side should try and improve their positions further. It is suggested that we'll see little military activity this winter – I wouldn't be so sure. The Ukrainians are highly motivated to continue and will not be sitting idle," he said.

Saks remarked that the range of Ukrainian artillery now stretches almost to Crimea, and that an "artillery duel" is likely to follow. There are several places Ukraine might be tempted to attack, he suggested.

"They are sure to be tempted to try and sever Russian supply lines from Crimea to the northern coast of the Sea of Azov. Ukraine could also push for Mariupol as that would cut off supply lines direct from Russia. The bridge leading to Crimea is still broken, which is why severing these supply lines could give Ukraine a major advantage for the winter and for overcoming Russian units that would have to withdraw just as they withdrew from the west bank of the Dnieper," Saks said.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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