According to an ETH expert: Ukraine would use Severodonetsk as bait for Russian troops
Ukraine reportedly using Severodonetsk as bait for Russian troops
In eastern Ukraine, the city of Severodonetsk is about to fall into the hands of the Russian army. According to Marcel Berni, an expert in military strategy, the Ukrainians would use the battle around the city to exhaust and demoralize the Russian troops.
Posted: 39 minutes ago
The fighting in Ukraine is currently concentrated in the east of the country, in the Donbass. A stalemate has reigned there for weeks. The Ukrainians initially succeeded in repelling the Russian troops and reconquering territories. From now on, it is the Russians who are advancing meter by meter and announcing new successes.
The Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk is largely in enemy hands. Lugansk Governor Sergey Gayday wrote on Telegram that the Ukrainians now only control the industrial zone. “To date, more than 90% of the territory of Lugansk is unfortunately occupied by Russia,” he adds.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky predicted that what happens in Severodonetsk “will in many ways decide the fate of our Donbass”.
A strategy to exhaust the Russians?
It is impossible to predict how quickly the Russians will progress, or even if they will. Marcel Berni, strategy expert at the ETH Military Academy, analyzes the situation for Blick: “It is in the nature of wars to be unpredictable. At the moment, the weather is ‘good’ for the conduct of the war and both sides are trying to deploy offensive troops on the ground. Control of Donbass currently depends on who loses the most troops and equipment.”
The city of Severodonetsk, currently at the center of the Russian offensives, is not so important from a strategic point of view, explains Marcel Berni. According to him, Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, which together constitute the second Ukrainian line of defense behind, are much more crucial for the control of Donbass. “The Ukrainians know that these two cities must not fall, which is why they are trying to delay and block the Russian troops in Severodonetsk, in order to exhaust them,” he said.
“Vladimir Putin is very patient”
The advantage of the Ukrainians is that they constantly receive new and ultra-modern weapons from Western countries. “The last 100 days have shown that Western arms deliveries have allowed the Ukrainians to decisively delay Russian advances, and even to roll them back in places,” explains the ETHZ expert.
Equipped with their new heavy weapons, the Ukrainians now want to attack more and more directly the formations of the opposing front, but also hit the Russian logistics and communication lines on Ukrainian soil.
The advantage of the Russians: “Vladimir Poutine is very patient, affirms Marcel Berni. He can wait months and control Russian society far more tightly than we imagine in the West.” Before the war, he controlled more or less 15% of Ukrainian territory. After more than three months of war and significant human and material losses, it currently controls (only) around 20%.
Three months of war: a “prelude”?
The ETHZ expert believes that these first three months of war could only be a prelude for Vladimir Putin, a kind of “work in progress”. “That is why the Ukrainians must succeed in creating a military stalemate in the Donbass. Otherwise, Vladimir Putin could consider attacking other regions from the Donbass after a strategic respite,” said Marcel Berni.
How far will the head of the Kremlin go geographically and in terms of armament? The military strategy expert has his own idea on this subject: “Vladimir Putin reacted to the American announcement of the delivery of multiple missile launchers to Ukraine by threatening the West again. But I assume that he will primarily continue to wage war on Ukrainian territory through conventional strikes and load shedding attacks.
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