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War in Ukraine. Ukrainian counter-offensive, possible attack on Crimea. Analyst Philip Wasielewski comments

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Focusing on the Ukrainian offensive in the southern direction makes a lot of sense because Crimea is the key to ending this war, said Philip Wasielewski, a military analyst and former Marine officer. However, he estimated that the ongoing counter-offensive would be a bloody and long campaign.

The long-awaited Ukrainian counter-offensive in eastern and southern Ukraine has been underway for over a week. As Philip Wasielewski, an analyst at the Foreign Policy Research Initiative (FPRI) think-tank, told the Polish Press Agency, this is only the beginning of a campaign that will probably last for many months.

– What we know for sure is that the Ukrainians took the initiative. And that it will be a hard campaign, spanning many months, in which no decisive battle is to be expected. These happen rarely in history, said the expert, a former officer of the Marine Corps and the CIA.

>> “Hard and bloody battles”. What is known about the course of the Ukrainian counteroffensive

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According to Wasielewski, Ukraine has two main goals during this campaign: to liberate at least some of the lost territory and to show that it is able to make good use of the equipment donated by the West to ensure further support.

Crimea – the key to ending the conflict

Although the Ukrainians are attacking in several places, both in the east and in the south in the Zaporizhia region, in the expert’s opinion, the southern direction is strategically the most important.

– The Ukrainians are trying to find the weak points of the defensive line and at the same time confuse the opponent where the main attack will take place – commented Wasielewski. “But I agree with the assessment that, both geographically and psychologically, the south is the most likely destination here. Because the key to ending this conflict is Crimea. Whoever controls Crimea will win this war, he said.

Ukrainian soldier in the village of Blahodatne in the Donetsk regionPAP/EPA/STRINGER

However, as he pointed out, there are several ways to pursue this goal: directly, focusing on liberating as much territory as possible, and indirectly, placing the main emphasis on destroying enemy forces.

– It is too early to draw any far-reaching conclusions. Similarly, we should not draw conclusions based on images showing destroyed tanks or Bradleys. These are normal losses and will continue to happen throughout this campaign, concluded Wasielewski.

Tvn24.pl coverage: Ukraine is fighting

Wasielewski: the most important factor is the quality of the soldiers

He added that although satellite photos show that the Russians have prepared several fortified defensive lines, little is known about the quality of these fortifications.

“We don’t know how deep these trenches are, and sometimes that makes a big difference. But the most important factor is always the quality of the soldiers behind these fortifications, the expert said. – Even the best fortifications will be of little use if the soldiers who are stationed there flee at the first contact with the enemy – noted Philip Wasielewski.

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/STRINGER

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