Russia has achieved its goal in Donbass: how will the conflict in Ukraine continue now?

The conquest of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk represents a political and military victory: significant developments marked by a series of points in a conflict full of variables

The Russian conquest of Severodonetsk And Lysychansk represents a political and military victory. These are significant developments marked by a series of points in a still long conflict, full of variables.

• Moscow takes another step towards a declared goal, namely control of the Donbass. And it takes away another portion of territory. The advance was expected, not a surprise, perhaps more difficulties were expected. Vladimir Putin, after receiving the report from Defense Minister Shoigu, fresh from the inspection at the front, gave new orders. The troops who participated in the mission in Luhansk should have a break while the East and West Groups must continue operations until the designated goals are reached. The leader – according to the media – specified that generals Suvorokin and Lapin will have to report directly to him, no summons for General Zhidko.

The invaders maintained a slow pace of march. The hammer and anvil worked, meaning prolonged bombardment of artilleryplanes, mortars, rockets. Old and new means that eventually broke the defenses. Compared to the defenders they had a great advantage in the supply of ammunition.

The next stops could be Sloviansk, Kramatorsk, Bakhmut. Many expect the same tactic, also because when the Russians used others they exposed their flanks. After each success of the attackers one wonders if they have the resources, the answer until now has been a yes. The losses did not cause them to stop, their arsenal still full of means. Although some are outdated – the T-62 tanks have been seen – they are still sufficient to maintain pressure. We will see if Putin’s provisions will lead to a slowdown. Raids with cruise missiles on civilian and military targets are always massive and extensive: here too the scheme of sometimes old bombs returns, but which in order to fulfill a function. There is no shortage of pessimistic forecasts on production capacity by Russia: some Western observers believe it is borderline. If they are right, the future will tell.

The Ukrainians could perhaps have left too exposed locations earlier, the pre-war scenarios had suggested this, however they opted for a strategy that was to slow down the attackers and buy time. Effectively it took the Army two months to obtain partial results. Kiev believes it can reorganize its ranks by forming new units thanks to NATO aid. Some have already been used, others still need training. The increased use of the long 155 mm Western calibers should partly solve the shortage of ammunition. The principle of the available quantity applies, which has had a positive impact on Moscow.

In recent weeks, Zelensky’s soldiers have shown that if they have adequate systems with deep ranges they can destroy opposing deposits, hit the rear, even hit Russian territory. The proof of this on the maritime front where Moscow has – in theory – total supremacy thanks to the Black Sea Fleet. Despite this, Putin had to leave the Isle of Snakes and moved the amphibious task force away from Odessa. Thanks to the Ukrainian capability, but also to the anti-ship missiles, big guns, attack drones. A denial to those who affirm that the means cannot affect, at least in some situations. It is equally clear that the scarce supply of anti-aircraft equipment has made it possible to only partially limit the timid Russian aviation, to the extent that it is active. Russia’s missile shield, on the other hand, proved effective precisely in the Donbass.

The drones have played their part, they have been the protagonists of raids and reconnaissance to lead the fire. In the initial segment they moved relatively undisturbed, subsequently many were neutralized, also by electronic countermeasures (especially by the invaders). Serious impact then for poorly shielded Ukrainian communications.

Observers predicted a counter-move by Ukraine in the south, a possible offensive in the Kherson region, busy city. An action waiting for also from Russia which moved units and fortified positions.

July 4th 2022 (change July 4th 2022 | 19:52)

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Russia has achieved its goal in Donbass: how will the conflict in Ukraine continue now?

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