Within 72 hours, more than 2,500 km of Russian-occupied Ukraine were retaken by the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
It will probably be outdated by the time you finish reading this article, due to the rapid advance of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
The last 72 hours of war in Ukraine will be remembered by future military officers and historians. The Ukrainian Armed Forces have retaken more than 2,500 km of Russian-occupied Ukraine.
In 72 hours #Ukrainian Armed Forces have retaken over 2,500 sq km of #Russian-occupied Ukraine. By the time you read this, it will most probably be out of date #Ukraine's counteroffensive in #Kharkiv #Oblast as mapped by @criticalthreats & @TheStudyofWar pic.twitter.com/gA7wbifPxx https://t.co/NKocSzxIvA
— Share_Talk ™ (@Share_Talk) September 11, 2022
They have made this possible by piercing through the thinly-guarded Russian frontlines east of Kharkiv and cutting the Russian lines of logistics. This has forced the withdrawal of large contingents of Russian soldiers from many locations, but especially Izyum, Kupyansk.
Russia can’t effectively supply its forces in the north or east without these cities. Therefore, further collapses and surrenders of Russian forces should be expected.
As this article was being written reports emerged that the Ukrainians had retaken Donetsk Airport and were heading towards the Black Sea coast, either Mariupol or Melitopol. It’s a remarkable success.
It means that the war is ending and we are witnessing the fall of the Russian forces in Ukraine. Although they may be able temporarily to stabilize their lines, we have reached a point of no return. Russia’s forces had been previously insufficiently equipped and supplied, as well as had low morale. You can now add the fear of being encircled to that list.
Some worry that Putin will use nuclear weapons to force Ukraine into it, but this is highly unlikely as Putin knows this will end his life and Russia’s.
The Ukrainians are dividing up Russian forces geographically into smaller pockets that they can deal with individually. Russian forces in Crimea will be the most difficult to defeat, but it’s only a matter of time before Ukraine is able to isolate them and destroy the Kerch bridge between Russia and Crimea.
It is unlikely that the Russians will be able to put this together. We are seeing an army in rapid decline. It is only a matter of how fast it declines.
This is a good sign for Ukraine as it means they are closer to their ultimate strategic goal of removing all Russian forces from Ukraine’s sovereign territory.
They have shown extraordinary skill and bravery, as well as huge losses to civilians and soldiers (including 1.5 million Ukrainians who were transferred to Russia). They have captured thousands of Russian soldiers, and these two groups could be swapped.
It was also done with billions in weaponry, terabytes worth of intelligence data and discrete operational advice originating from western countries, especially the US and UK.
What does this all mean for Russia?
It means that Putin may be finished, this was his war. It has failed and it has achieved exactly the opposite of what he predicted. Russia is now exiled, sanctioned, has united its enemies, is on the verge of being defeated in the field and is almost certain to be.
Although this may sound like a positive thing, there is one worse thing than a strong Russia. It is a weak Russia.
With its leader defenestrated, a weak Russia leaves many unanswered questions. Could there have been a coup? Who will take over from Putin?
Is Russia safe? What happens to Russia’s nuclear weapons? Russia has more than 5,000. All this while Russia is in crisis.
While everyone is focused on Ukraine’s current events, I hope that someone is also thinking about Russia.
Image:: TERRITORIAL DEFENCE OF THE UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES
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