The allied forces began to advance in the Nikolaev direction – on that sector of the front, which had previously rarely been included in combat reports. It is reported about the offensive and the defeat of the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine both along the Black Sea and in the steppe regions. A number of experts suggest that a bridgehead has already been created for an attack on Nikolaev and further on Odessa. But there is an opinion that the troops near Nikolaev are solving a different tactical problem.
On Tuesday, the Russian Armed Forces, with the support of the people’s militia of the DPR and LPR, launched offensive operations from Kherson, liberated in early March, in the direction of the Nikolaev region. Such a conclusion can be drawn from messages in the official Telegram channel of the Ministry of Defense.
Offensive actions in the area of Aleksandrovka (a settlement in the Kherson region, on the shores of the Dnieper Bay of the Black Sea, 70 kilometers west of Kherson) led to the destruction of a unit of the 28th mechanized brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the withdrawal of allied forces to the administrative border of the neighboring Mykolaiv region. “Control has been established over the territory of the Mykolaiv region with an area of 12 square kilometers,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
At the same time, it became known about active operations on the territory of the Nikolaev region itself – the allied forces destroyed several warehouses of rocket and artillery weapons and ammunition in the area of \u200b\u200bthe village of Bereznegovatoe (in the east of the region, a hundred kilometers from Nikolaev), as well as a radar station for detecting low-altitude targets near Dymovsky – the village 70 km north of the regional center.
On Monday, there were reports of a fire strike on the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the area of Luparevo, a village at the mouth of the Southern Bug, north-west of the aforementioned Aleksandrovka. Here, as a result of an attack on the location of the 28th mechanized brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Russian military destroyed more than 50 nationalists, as well as seven units of armored and special vehicles. In the nearby village of Limany, a platoon of large-caliber towed guns “Gyatsint-B” was suppressed. In addition, a depot of rocket and artillery weapons and ammunition was destroyed near the village of Pervomayskoye – already in the immediate vicinity of Nikolaev, to the east of the city. We add that last week the same 28th Ukrainian brigade suffered losses near the village of Posad-Pokrovskoe on the border of the Kherson and Nikolaev regions – about 60 nationalists and eight units of special vehicles were destroyed by the army aviation of the Aerospace Forces.
If we summarize the incoming information from the southeastern regions of the Nikolaev region, we can conclude that now Russia has actually occupied a foothold on the right bank of the Ingulets River (the right tributary of the Dnieper) and now has the opportunity to develop an offensive against Nikolaev, Larisa Shesler, chairman of the Union, believes political emigrants and political prisoners of Ukraine, former deputy of the Nikolaev regional council.
“Nikolaev is a very important point on the battle line. Large forces of the Ukrainian army are now concentrated there. The settlements of Aleksandrovka and Blagodatnoye, which have already been occupied by Russian troops, are located north of Nikolaev, not far from Snigirevka, the regional center of the Nikolaev region, which the Russian Armed Forces have been controlling since the end of March. In general, the Snigirevsky district is constantly under fire from the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” Shesler said.
According to the interlocutor, after occupying the bridgehead on the right bank of the Ingulets, “from there you can confidently develop an offensive towards Nikolaev.” Moreover, after the village of Blagodatnoye, located west of Snigirevka, there are no large settlements in the direction of Nikolaev, Shesler pointed out. In her opinion, after the capture of Nikolaev, the road to Odessa will open for Russia.
The capture of Nikolaev will mean an end to the attacks coming from here on the city of Kherson, on the strategically important Antonovsky bridge across the Dnieper, on Energodar in the Zaporozhye region and the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, Shesler emphasizes. In addition, the interlocutor believes that the liberated Nikolaev may become part of a hypothetical security belt from Mariupol to Transnistria, which, among other things, will protect Crimea from the constant threat of Ukrainian shelling.
Military expert Mikhail Onufrienko has a different opinion. The storming of the regional capital – the city of Nikolaev – is out of the question, he said. According to him, the actions of the Russian troops, first of all, prevent attempts by a large group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, concentrated in the Nikolaev region, to develop an offensive against Kherson. “To counteract this, Russian troops were engaged in local destruction of enemy units located along the Ingulets River,” Onufrienko believes. – In recent days, paratroopers of the RF Armed Forces launched an attack on the villages of Blagodatnoye and Partizanskoye. The advance here is small – about three kilometers in a week, but the main thing here is to pull the enemy apart so that he sends reinforcements to these sectors, depriving him of the opportunity to organize a large-scale counteroffensive. It is this task that we are solving by attacking the Nikolaev region.
According to Onufrienko, the advance of allied forces in the region may turn out to be quite slow. “The peculiarities of the Nikolaev region are in the small shoulder of the delivery of military-technical reinforcements and manpower for the Armed Forces of Ukraine from all over the right bank of Ukraine,” the analyst said.
For his part, Doctor of Military Sciences Konstantin Sivkov believes that the activation in the Kherson-Nikolaev direction plays the role of a maneuver that diverts enemy forces. “Russia is showing a classic technique of operational military art,” Sivkov emphasizes. – Now the advancement of the Russian Armed Forces in the Donbass has stopped in the main direction, in the Slavyansk region, due to the fact that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are constantly pulling additional forces there. Therefore, Moscow decided to strike at a weaker Ukrainian direction – in the Nikolaev region. According to Sivkov, this strike solves several problems at once: firstly, a favorable situation is created for our advancement in depth precisely along the Nikolaev direction, and secondly, the Armed Forces of Ukraine will transfer forces here from near Slavyansk.
The third plus for the RF Armed Forces, according to him, is the fact that the Ukrainian military equipment being transferred to the Nikolaev direction will become a convenient target for Russian aviation and artillery. “As for the features of the terrain in the Nikolaev region, there is a fairly dense residential development, so the promotion will develop slowly – bypassing the settlements as much as possible,” the interlocutor predicts.
Earlier, Sivkov pointed out that one of the priority goals of a possible offensive in the Nikolaev region could be control over the South Ukrainian nuclear power plant (a nuclear power plant located on the banks of the Southern Bug) and the port city of Ochakov in the Dnieper-Bug estuary.