Russian forces appear to be steadily moving towards their main strategic goals.
Once the East is cleaned up – which was always going to take time given the industrial factories and bunkers from soviet times very much fortified further over the last 8 years – Kherson will probably be the next focus, before Nikolaev and Odessa. The other areas of Ukraine, beyond the East, lack the dug in deep foritifications…
Khirkov to the North East at some stage also to be taken.
Once the major russian speaking areas have been liberated, taken, occupied (pick which one suits your perceptions) the conflict will be focused upon how far to the west does Russian military means need to push back the remnants of the AFU?
Demilitirisation is already well underway, as even the most narrow eyed pro Kiev supporters has read of the Kiev regime requesting more and more military aid from the West, because their own military is…running out. Has long been the case.
Their navy was already meagre, air force and air defences decimated early doors.
The Denazification has had some success – mainly with the home of long overtly neonazi Azov liberated in Mariupol after the expected gruesome battle then siege which included the Ukrainian forces using their own people as human shields (as has been documented and reported elsewhere across Ukraine even by some of the Western corporate. media). A fair few unearthed within the POWs though its the leadership Russia forces need to bring to justice. Many countries have a contingent of neonazis (even here in Melbourne they sometimes make a half hearted showing at a protest), the major difference with Ukraine is that they have long been implemented as part of the official state security forces and military, both in the rank and file and leadership…
Unfortunately, after a more peaceful resolution was seemingy viable in April, Boris Johnson was tasked by his US overseers to head to Kiev and deliver the message that ‘SAY NO TO PEACE’ with the threat that if Zelensky did otherwise, western aid would be cut. It wasn’t just Johnson’s message, though obviously cutting off billions of $$ is a big threat to the Kiev regime… the SBU have been killing their own people for many months, hundreds, maybe thousands rounded up and imprisoned, tortured or killed as ‘traitors’…seems the most likely way those poor souls strewn across the streets in Bucha expired.
Having no chance of peace from further discussion with KIEV, the Russian state leadership has added in regime change to their strategy, what else can they do if the Ukrainian western proxy is 100% against any peaceful settlement… how Russia go about bringing this about, I do not know.
Nut of the matter is there is no need for Russia to surrender to a long crumbling, ill-equipped, Ukrainian regime 100% dependent on Western handouts and brimming with far night russophobic extremists. Which has lost and will lose most of the most resource rich and industrial regions and all of the southern coast. Recovery will be pricy, yet these regions natural capacity to produce wll help the people there and administration running the rebuild. Also worth noting that Russia have forsaken a swifter path to ‘success’ by minimising and avoiding destruction of civilian infrastructure wherever possible…other than when the AFU hide within these areas and fire upon the Russian/LDNR forces. Often doing so to draw fire when the locals remain in these buildings.
Some say this is an excuse for Russian failures…and so what eh? Let them say what they wish. Maybe these same people would be in awe of Russia if they simply bombed the hell out of every city, shock and awe style like the US love to deploy? Doesn’t make any sense to do so given the strategy is to leave as much intact and administer the areas after the military operation has ended…
The recent hideous failure of the counter offensive in Kherson, alongside the incredibly bungled attempt to storm the power plant at Zaporizhzhia, demonstrates an increasing desperation to show the Western sponsors that they can still put up a fight, even at the cost of thousands of wasted Ukrainian lives all for political strategy.
Russia will not surrender. They have weathered the sanctions, maintained their standing globally with 2/3 of the world’s population, have not seen their economy shattered as is happening in Western Europe and cannot allow an even more hostile Western proxy military machine any chance to recover.
Zelensky will not surrender. He has his 10s of millions in offshore accounts to cling to, a life somewhere maybe in Florida after he is allowed to ‘step down’, and not only has he been told his US/Uk sponsorship ends (if he sues for peaces) but even before this escalation of the conflict, , ongoing since the US sponsored violent overthrow of the elected government in 2014, Zelensky had his life openly threatened by Yarosh who stated he would hang him from a tree (if he sought peace). His own security forces would gut him if he aimed for peace…