April 1, 2023

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Recapturing Kherson is a goal “before winter,” but it could be costly for Kyiv.

Five hundred square km. This is the area in the south of the country captured by the Ukrainian army in a week. According to Volodymyr Zelensky. The main objective is in sight: Kherson, the regional capital of a theoretically annexed region Moscow. Russian forces captured the city in the first days of the war and distributed Russian passports to its residents before holding a “referendum” and re-uniting it with Crimea.

“This is the largest city taken before the war”, underlines Philippe Mikault, director of the European Center for Strategic Analysis, in an interview. 20 minutes. Get rid of the established Russian army for eight months Undoubtedly “an important symbolic victory”, he explains, while despite a strong Ukrainian counter-offensive “Severodonetsk, or Lisitsansk, or any other major city was not recaptured”.

Time is against Ukraine

“Gerson will recover sooner or later,” assesses Karol Grimaud, a geopolitical analyst and expert on Russia, adding that it is “a question of weeks.” 20 minutes. “Ukrainians will want to restore KhersonWinter “, he says, because the fight “will be very difficult this winter”. The famous winter in Eastern Europe has decided the fate of many battles, and this is no exception.

But at what cost? “Villages are very easy to restore, but a large city, which is easy to defend, is very complicated,” warns the pessimistic Philippe Mikault. “A lot of firepower,” he explains, “for the Ukrainians to fire on their own city.” Also, other major cities occupied by Russia etc Mariupol Or Sloviansk themselves were “led to destruction,” he recalled. “In place of the Russians, I would take refuge in the city,” analyzes the former war correspondent, while stressing that the Russian army is acting “absolutely unjustifiably” in the conflict.

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A nuclear reaction if the city is captured?

Volodymyr Zelensky So the attacker probably goes to the first seat. Possible “four Himars and ammunition were brought America “Carol Grimaud recalled. “Bridges were blown up, the Ukrainians pushed further and pushed back the front line,” he added. But the strategic advantage was not fully gained. “Kherson is still two kilometers from the front line” and “there are still thousands of Russian soldiers in this country.” , Philippe Mikhalt maintains. With a port, the city “could be easily supplied,” and mobilized Russians were called upon to defend it. In short, Russia “could inflict heavy damage on the Ukrainian army” and would not give up Kherson easily.

“These were the first victories of the Russian army, and defeat would have been terrible for them,” recalls Karol Grimaud. According to Vladimir Putin, who has already been criticized by his most military supporters, Kherson cannot be lost. Because the city opens the way CrimeaOccupied by Russia since 2014, it holds the title of Master The Kremlin Most famous moment. “With too harsh a response, there is a real risk of Russia stiffening,” warns Philip Mikalt. Enough to make the “nuclear threat” more sensitive and “more dangerous”, warns Carol Grimaud.