Why stop now? Ukraine seen pressing advantage after Kherson victory

KHERSON: After recapture Kherson from Russian forces and assured of unwavering US support, Ukraine Some military analysts say it is better positioned to play to its advantage in the war than accept a frozen frontline during the winter.
The strategic and symbolic victory comes as fierce fighting continues further north along more than 1,000 kilometers of the front line, a reminder that even as the vast Dnipro River now divides enemies around Kherson, other targets are still in progress.
Philip Ingram, a former senior British military intelligence officer, said: “Ukraine has the initiative and momentum and is giving orders to the Russians about where and when the next war will take place.”
That could include refocusing the attack closer to Bakhmut in the eastern Donbas region, a highly industrialized region where Russia has been trying to break through for months.
“Winter will slow things down but won’t stop them – the Ukrainians will be well prepared to continue fighting through the winter, the Russians will be less prepared to survive the winter cold,” he said. speak.
The miles of abandoned trenches along the road to the southern port city of Kherson speak to the miserable living conditions some Russian forces endured on the right bank of Kherson before retreating.
Reuters sees narrow, muddy and often weather-exposed trenches, in contrast to Ukrainian parquet trenches, some equipped with internet and flat-screen TVs.
“Whatever (the Ukrainians) do, it will be carefully planned, kept secret and will likely be done extremely efficiently,” Ingram added.
Retired US General Ben Hodges said Ukraine won’t need to rush past the Dnipro while it defends Kherson on the right (west) bank and deploys artillery to take down Russian forces defending the country. access road to annexed Crimea.
Meanwhile, some residents of Kherson were concerned about the risk of Russian shelling on the city as their forces regrouped farther east.
According to Hodges, the Russians concentrated in the south could receive thrust from the other side of Ukraine, from the direction of Kharkiv towards the devastated city of Mariupol on the Sea of ​​Azov.
“They (the Russians) will have trenches, but it’s open terrain (to the south), it’s easy to target the Russians there,” he said.
“This Kherson fire support base became the anchor to support further maneuverability of the left wing as it fought its way … towards Mariupol, Berdyansk and Melitopol.”
To negotiate or not to negotiate?
Ukrainian forces advanced to central Kherson on Friday after forcing Russia to withdraw from the only regional capital it had captured and a capital it claimed was part of Russia.
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters Friday that the United States will continue to provide military assistance to Ukraine “to put Ukraine in the best possible position on the battlefield” and will not seek to order the country what to do.
“I think this whole concept in the Western press is about ‘When will Ukraine negotiate?’ ignoring the basic fundamentals, that Russia continues… making these outrageous claims about the annexed Russian territory,” he said.
He was referring to recent reports citing officials that suggest that Moscow’s recent defeats on the battlefield could provide an opportunity for Ukraine to consider negotiating with Russia from its strength.
America’s top general, Mark Milley, when asked about the diplomatic outlook at an event last week, noted that the early refusal to negotiate during World War I added to human suffering and resulting in millions of casualties.
“So when there is an opportunity to negotiate, when there can be peace… seize the moment,” Milley told the Economic Club of New York on Wednesday.
Chairperson Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in Kherson on Monday that Ukraine is ready for peace, but only on conditions that will restore all occupied territory: “You see our strong army. We are in the past. walk through his country, through temporarily occupied territories.”
On Monday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Ukraine’s decision on what conditions it could accept to end the war.
“Ukraine is the one who decides what kind of terms are accepted. We support them,” he told a joint press conference with Dutch government officials in The Hague.
“We shouldn’t make the mistake of underestimating Russia… They still control most of Ukraine’s territory… What we should do is consolidate Ukraine’s power,” Stoltenberg added.


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