Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine, Prediction 4

In my last prediction about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine I discussed Ukraine’s imminent recapture of Kherson City and the retreat of Russian forces back across the Dnipro River. I also stated that at that point in time a stalemate would be formed in the Kherson region with the Ukrainian forces on the north/west/right side and the Russian forces on the south/east/left side of the Dnipro River. I ended that prediction with the following:

The Ukrainians are not fighting and sacrificing the lives of their soldiers to get back to the status quo on February 24, 2022. Ukraine is looking to retake what is rightfully theirs, Crimea. If Ukraine can retake Crimea a new day will dawn in all of the Black Sea region and throughout the former Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact countries, a new day of hope and possibility. If Russia retains Crimea the instability and chaos in the region will continue into the future. Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine, Prediction 3 – Missives to the Abyss (

Now that Kherson City has been liberated the stalemate across the Dnipro River has formed but it may not last as long as I originally thought. I originally predicted Russia would be content to defend across the Dnipro and that the Ukrainians would attempt to counterattack the Russians from the area between Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk toward the shore of the Sea of Azov around Berdyans’k and Mariupol. This is not now what appears to be developing.

Crimea is not only symbolically important for Russia in that it was annexed back in 2014, Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is stationed in part at the Crimean port of Sevastopol and Russian control of Crimea gives Putin a strangle hold on Ukraine’s economy. Even though the most critical goal of the Ukrainians is retaking Crimea, the Russians have decided to divert their forces from defending the approaches to Crimea in order to strengthen their forces attacking Bahkmut. Bahkmut has none of the strategic importance of Crimea but does have the advantage in that the Russians can relatively easily protect their resupply lines from Russia to Bahkmut. Russia is solving their logistics issues in their “special military operation” by attacking where their logistics are easiest. I expect Bakhmut to continue to be essentially a bloody stalemate for the foreseeable future.

Russian forces amassed across the Dnipro near Kherson would have relatively long resupply lines that are more easily threatened than those to Bahkmut. Ukraine would prefer Russia amass their forces across the Dnipro River and I say that for the following reason. A little over a week ago the Ukrainians released a number of videos of a small Ukrainian boats crossing the Dniprovs’ka Gulf from Ochakiv to the Kinburn Spit. The recording was not made clandestinely and the footage had to be released by the Ukrainians. Ukraine’s Amphibious Operation at the Kinburn Spit – YouTube

The Ukrainians have been very careful in managing what they present to the public because they are aware that Russia studies whatever is released as well. Part of Ukraine’s stunning success in their earlier Kharkiv counteroffensive is attributable to their information management. The Ukrainians convinced the Russians, and most everyone else, that a Ukrainian counteroffensive was imminent in the Kherson Region. Russia dutifully moved substantial reinforcements south and the Ukrainians attacked up north near Kharkiv.

By releasing the Kinburn Spit recordings the Ukrainians are attempting to get the Russians to reinforce the areas across the Dnipro that could be put at risk by a Ukrainian advance coming from the Kinburn Spit and then Kinburn Peninsula. Ukrainians forces amassed on the Kinburn Peninsula could serve as a Ukrainian bridgehead on the Russia side of the Dnipro and as a staging ground for moving east toward the Russian forces across the Dnipro from Kherson. Russia should work to prevent this. Russian reinforcements in the area would guard against a Ukrainian advance from the Kinburn Peninsula.

Area shaded green is Kherson Region occupied by Ukraine, shaded in pink by Russia. Dnipro River runs between the two. Kinburn Spit and Peninsula is west of Kherson City on the far left. Crimea is at Bottom.

Russia, though, apparently is not moving forces into the area across from Kherson but instead moving forces out toward Bahkmut. This I think will prove to be another miscalculation on the Russians’ part. The Ukrainians will now act to take advantage of this miscalculation. If the Ukrainians can secure forces on both sides of the Dnipro west of Kherson the Ukrainians can move east and south to flank the remaining Russian forces and put themselves within striking distance of the very few overland resupply routes from Ukraine into Crimea. The area between Kherson and Crimea through which these few resupply routes pass is a series of small lakes and islets with very little actual land connecting the two areas. With the Kerch Bridge from Russia into Crimea already severely damaged, Ukrainian forces in artillery range of or control of the few overland resupply routes into Crimea from Kherson could doom Russian forces on Crimea. The fight for Armyansk, the rail hub just over the border from Kherson Region in Crimea, may prove to be one of the more notable battles of this war.

The general lack of adequate provisions and logistical support of the Russian forces toward the frontlines will greatly exasperate their morale and combat capabilities. Winter is coming and the propensity of Russian leaders to place so little importance on the welfare of their men will doom countless Russian soldiers. The ill trained, ill equipped, and ill led Russian conscripts dumped at the frontlines are more likely to freeze to death as serve any useful military purpose.

Finally, this may be only a coincidence, but the British recently announced that they are providing Ukrainians with 3 formerly decommissioned Sea King helicopters. The Sea King helicopters are not armed but could be a great asset in moving relatively large numbers of soldiers quickly and efficiently in the terrain near Crimea’s border with Kherson. Ukraine Situation Report: Kyiv Gets Sea King Helicopters From Britain (

Ukraine has had the consistent goal of destroying Russian resupply lines, particularly those to Crimea, for months. Ukraine has methodically pursued these goals and are building toward cutting off Russia’s only overland resupply routes to occupied Crimea, except for the severely damaged Kerch Bridge. Step by step, Ukraine is moving within range of liberating Crimea. The dream of Putin and the other ultranationalists of expanding the Russian Empire will be frozen in time this winter.