Ukraine moves cause headaches for Putin

In recent weeks, Ukrainian forces have recaptured territories in southern Ukraine that the Russian forces took control of shortly after they invaded the country on 24 February.

Now Ukraine is preparing a major counter-offensive in the south. It creates a headache for Vladimir Putin, who now faces a difficult war dilemma.

Where should the Russian forces be prioritized?

Moving thousands of soldiers

The counteroffensive has forced Russia to move thousands of troops to the southern battle lines. In total, it will be between 20,000 and 25,000 soldiers, says associate professor of military science at the Swedish Defense Academy, Ilmari Käihkö, to The Express.

The hope is to stop the upcoming Ukrainian counter-offensive in the Kherson region.

MISSILE: Speaking at the annual celebration of the navy in St. Petersburg, Vladimir Putin presented the plan for the new “superweapon” Tsirkon missile. Video: AP/Reuters
sea ​​view

But many of them are taken from Donbas, which makes it more difficult for Russia to continue the offensive there, the military expert explains.

Donbas has long been an important target for Putin, who already in April launched a Russian offensive to take control of the region. By moving thousands of troops out of the Donbas area, Putin risks not achieving this goal – at least not as quickly as if the Russian forces remained in the east.

Great risk for Ukraine

Ukrainian authorities recently promised that the southern city of Kherson, which fell to Russian forces early in the invasion, will be retaken by September.

– A turning point has occurred on the battlefield. We see that the Ukrainian forces are gaining ground in their latest military operations. We are moving from defensive to counter-offensive actions, Serhij Khlan, adviser to the Kherson governor, said in a TV interview at the end of July.

However, Käihkö believes that a major counter-offensive in the Kherson region could have major consequences for Ukraine. It is because you are forced to enter areas with many civilians.

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