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The Ukrainian Counter-offensive

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There are three main assaults to follow: one of strategic importance and the other being a mix of strategic and emotional significance because wars are not merely thought for strategic objectives but for emotional value.

Two examples of this can be found in World War II during the Battle of Britain in 1940, with Nazi Germany focused bombing attacks on the British people and not focusing on the more strategic and vital infrastructure, manufacturing and the Royal Air Force.

With the Germans pursuing emotional tactical strategies, they enabled the Royal Air Force to rearm and equip the Air Force to fight the Luftwaffe/German Air Force and maintain British air superiority.

The second example is during the Battle of Stalingrad, 23 Aug 1942 – 2 Feb 1943, the Germans needed to take the Russian oil fields to keep its divisions and mechanised fighting forces in action.

Instead, due to the interference of Adolf Hitler, the Germans focused on taking Stalingrad, which had no real strategic aims or significance.

Still, it had great significance to the Soviet Union because the city was named after its leader Joseph Stalin, and Hitler wanted to hurt Stalin’s pride.

We can see this again during the Ukrainian conflict, where according to University Professor Geoffrey Roberts, Bakhmut is becoming Ukraine Stalingrad and is draining the Russian Federation resources by focusing on taking a location that has no genuine significance regarding strategic importance.

It is estimated that over 100,000 Russian soldiers have been killed or wounded fighting to take control of that city; it’s now become an important symbol of resistance for the Ukrainians.

The purely strategic assault is a multi-pronged move on Zaporizhia, hoping to push south to the Sea of Azov. This would sever the land bridges of Ukraine proper and Russia proper…splitting the front in two.

The second assault was supposed to be an amphibious assault further down the river that would eventually cut off the Crimean Peninsula.

The Russians foiled those plans with the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam. And possibly triggering farming that has not been seen since the Soviet famine of 1930 to 1933 killed between 4 to 5 million Ukrainians.

The third assault is a push east into the Donbas. This would be no easy feat, but it’s on the table for one reason: if the Ukrainians can reclaim territory that Russia seized in 2014, it would be a global humiliation.

Humiliating enough to convince some of those Russian backers to reconsider their allegiances.

Sources and Blogography

Responsible Statecraft Whose ‘Stalingrad’ will Bakhmut be? link

Britannica Battle of Britain European History [1940] link

Imperial War Museum What You Need To Know About The Battle Of Stalingrad link

 Zeihan on Geopolitics The Ukrainian Counter-Offensive Is Upon Us || Peter Zeihan link

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