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Aug 9, 2022
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“Special Operation Z”: Kyiv needs four miracles at the same time to recapture Kherson

Photo: AP/TASS

Enemies of Russia around the world are experiencing severe disappointment. They remember how back in mid-July the President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky in a speech to the congressmen who arrived in Kyiv, the United States announced that August was just approaching then as the decisive month of the battle with our country.

Then he insisted that he had 3-6 weeks to return the lost territories, including Crimea and Donbass. In other words, until mid-September 2022. Then, they say, prolonged rains will begin, the famous black earth will become sour and become impassable not only for wheeled vehicles, but even for tanks.

“The winter months are fast approaching. Cooler temperatures and harsher conditions will slow the fighting down to an exhausting war of attrition that mostly benefits Russia. More support now – before the strength Vladimir Putin record their successes – much more preferable than help later, ”Zelensky insisted.

Based on this, many expected a decisive massive counterattack of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on Kherson or Melitopol from day to day. But at the front, nothing like this happens. As before, it all comes down to mutual artillery shelling and small arms battles in the spirit of the First World War.

One of the first tedious waiting for the promised victory could not stand the well-known hater of Russia Alfred Kochformer Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of the Russian Federation of the times (not by night, be remembered!) Boris Yeltsin. Having fled to Germany a long time ago with money stolen from us, Koch, as it turns out, is closely and vindictively following the events on the Russian-Ukrainian front. And even, it seems, he cannot eat without news of at least some military successes in Kyiv. Therefore, regularly remains hungry.

Disillusioned with Zelensky, Koch writes on the Web: “So the one hundred and sixty-first day of the war has passed. I have ceased to understand something. We have been told so much that the Ukrainian attack on Kherson is about to begin, that I still can’t get used to the fact that the same talking heads that poured into our ears about this offensive are now, without any transition, suggesting that we wait for the Russian offensive from Kherson to Nikolaev and Krivoy Rog.

We have been told for so long that the Russian artillery was left without shells, that we again need to get used to the fact that it bombards Donbass with shells for six days in a row. We were told that Putin no longer had any reserves. But having thrown 30 BTGs near Kherson, he still has the strength to continue the offensive on Bakhmut and Avdiivka.

Guys! Stop lying. Tell it like it is. Shoigu claims to have destroyed six HIMARS. You claim that this is a lie. But why, then, a week ago, you destroyed 10-15 enemy warehouses per night, and now only four or five? He claims to have destroyed five HARPOONs. If this is not true, then why has not a single ship been sunk since they appeared in service with the Armed Forces of Ukraine. What, in general, is happening? Why, instead of war, the President’s Office is busy with a showdown with the Dnieper?

Ukrainian propagandists unanimously tell us that Putin’s warriors will no longer take a single large city. Then why the total evacuation from the Donetsk region? This is the sixth month of the war! And why wasn’t it carried out earlier, when the Russians were advancing? And why is it carried out now, when there is no risk of such an offensive? Or is there?

It’s August outside. It was the deadline that you called the deadline for the Ukrainian Armed Forces to go on the offensive. Are we still waiting for it or do you have a new date now? If yes, then name it. And explain the reasons for the transfer. Just do not start the old bagpipe about the fact that the West is not helping. The West did not drive you into this war, but on the contrary, it tried to reconcile you with Putin. Why did you despise the West and be proud of your youth.

And now he helps in any way he can. Billions of cash flow almost every day like from a cornucopia. You already have almost as many Western MLRS as the British Army. Europe is preparing to freeze in winter, but does not intend to retreat.

So enough about the “bad” West. Let’s finally talk about the dancer and what’s stopping him in reality.”

If I may, Alfred Reingoldovich, one piece of good advice (although you haven’t deserved a good one from Moscow for a long time). You don’t even have to read The Free Press to keep up with reality. It is enough to listen to the sober assessments of Western experts that are much closer to you about the prospects for the very counter-offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine that you are waiting for, but it still does not start.

Here at least to the American site 19FortyFive. It is a former lieutenant colonel in the US Army, and after being transferred to the reserve, the author of a number of books on military topics. Paul Daniel quite clearly, in my opinion, he laid everything out on the shelves in the article “Ukraine needs a miracle to knock the Russian military out of Kherson.”

Daniel recalls that the President of Ukraine was not the first to publicly promise the Ukrainians to soon return Kherson to Kyiv’s rule. In confirmation, he cites a number of headlines from the Western media:

— May 29 New York Times: “The Battle for Ukraine Expands as Kyiv Launches a Counteroffensive”;

– June 9 US News: “Ukraine returns part of the territory during the counteroffensive in the Kherson region;

– June 29 Washington Post: “Ukrainians reclaim territory near Kherson in major counteroffensive”;

– July 3 The Economist: “Ukraine is preparing a counteroffensive to recapture the Kherson province”;

— July 28 Fox News: “Kherson cut off: Ukrainian counter-offensive gains momentum in southern city.”

Time goes by and what? Never mind! As before, “a rare bird will fly to the middle of the Dnieper.” Which, as you know, just below Kherson just flows into the Black Sea, completely controlled by Russia.

The author further points out: “In order to carry out a successful military offensive, Ukraine needs to perform three successive military miracles. The chances of achieving even one are extremely small. The chances of all three being implemented are generally zero.”

For the sake of experiment, Daniel proposes to allow the almost impossible: for example, Ukraine knows how it still managed to gather enough manpower, tanks, aircraft, ammunition, food and fuel to start the operation. However, this would prove to be “only the first of several monumental tasks.” Further, for a successful assault on Kherson, Kyiv will have to wait for the simultaneous confluence of several more very unlikely circumstances.

Namely – “miracle number 1”. Its essence: “the number of troops allocated by Russia for the mission in Kherson will remain unchanged throughout the operation, even if Ukraine begins to achieve success … This will almost certainly not happen. Putin knows how big a blow it will be for him if his troops lose Kherson. So far, Putin has avoided the politically risky move of putting his country into full mobilization, opting to keep life as normal as possible for the majority of Russia’s population.

But if his choice is to take a political risk with his population or lose a major battle, Putin will almost certainly order mobilization and bring in as many troops as necessary to prevent the loss of Kherson.

If Ukraine were to start winning the war, Putin could use a huge amount of material and human resources. Ukraine has practically no such power.”

Daniel’s Miracle #2: If somehow Ukraine got past all the obstacles needed to launch an offensive, and then Russia didn’t reinforce its defenders, Kyiv has yet to overcome two major geography challenges.

First: “Currently, the troops of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are in prepared defensive positions in the vicinity of Nikolaev, about 30 miles west of Kherson. They have protection provided by some urban area in that city, dugouts built into the ground, trenches, and the benefits of hiding in nearby forests. To attack Kherson, Ukrainian troops would have to give up their defensive advantage and cross almost 20 miles of open steppe. Russian gunners will be able to engage armored vehicles and infantry in open areas with only limited protection. Ukraine risks being torn to pieces if its troops dare to go out into the open.” Secondly, the Dnieper River. “If Ukraine overcame all obstacles and successfully pushed Russia out of Kherson, it would still need to cross the Dnieper to push Russia out of the region… Putin’s troops would definitely destroy the bridges while retreating to the left bank… Russian artillery and rocket launchers east of the Dnieper Together with their armored forces, they will prevent Ukrainian engineers from forcing the river without any problems.”

Finally, “miracle number 3”: “One of the invariable requirements of the offensive since the First World War is the need for the attacking forces to have superiority in the number of troops, the number of armored vehicles, artillery and aircraft. On this basis, Kyiv would have to find a way to do something that probably never happened in a century of modern warfare: an attacking force would defeat a defending force without an advantage in the number of troops, artillery or aircraft.

The summary from 19FortyFive is: “It is true that in wartime there is no such thing as never. There are no “sure things,” no certainties, and no guarantees. It is theoretically possible that Ukraine can overcome all obstacles and still defeat Russia. But it’s also true that miracles on the battlefield are rare. They are greatly outweighed by cases where obvious, quantifiable military indicators predict the right outcome.

In fact, a successful attack on Kherson is practically impossible for Ukraine. As this analysis shows, Ukraine needs not one miracle to succeed, but three. To stake under such conditions in the “department of miracles” on the integrity and security of the country is not the best option” for Kyiv.

However, I admit that neither the former US Army Lieutenant Colonel Paul Daniel, nor the 19FortyFive website are authorities for the former Russian Deputy Prime Minister. In this case, perhaps he, a graduate economist, has more faith in the US magazine Forbes, which is authoritative among at least ours, at least the overseas elite?

Then I would like to draw Koch’s attention to the article “It is difficult for Ukraine to form tank brigades” published in this edition the other day. Talking about the chances of success of the Ukrainian counter-offensive, it is impossible to get past it, if only because even the swindling financier Koch, I am sure, knows that in modern warfare, not a single serious battle can do without the massive use of tanks.

So, according to Forbes, by the time the conflict began, the Ukrainian army had about 900 tanks in its arsenal, mostly of the T-64 type. For five months of fighting, the Armed Forces of Ukraine lost about 230 of them. But at the same time, the Western allies more than compensated Kyiv for these losses with no less than 300 combat vehicles from their arsenals.

Does this mean that the armored forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are now more powerful than before the start of the battle? Oddly enough, not at all. They have become much weaker. For, as an American magazine writes, “a tank without a trained crew is just a piece of iron and rubber. Since the end of February, when Russia launched its special military operation, thousands, if not tens of thousands, of the best Ukrainian soldiers have died. Finding a replacement for their skills and experience is very difficult.”

It turns out that even if the West, which is interested in the success of the Kyiv revenge on the Dnieper, in the most urgent way and throws another hundred or two T-72s to the Ukrainian military, by and large, nothing near Kherson will change for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. And in order to change, it will take an absolutely incredible “miracle number 4”.

This is in addition to the wonderfully realistic reflections of Paul Daniel from the USA.

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