Aim is to disarm Ukraine                                                                            

By Brig. Sanal Kumar {retd.} /   

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A keen student of military strategy analyses the Russian game plan and objectives of the invasion of Ukraine

Russian invasion of Ukraine

The Russian invasion has reached close to Kyiv. The army, concentrated in various areas in Belarus, opposite the Donbas area and in the Crimean Peninsula started their offensive on Thursday.

The Russian strength is in precision weapons, cruise missiles, and guided artillery. The Russian Army has started using important airfields in Ukraine after capturing it. However, they are unable to enter major cities like they have entered the countryside. The world now fears that the Russians may use artillery and thermobaric weapons for fear that the war may be prolonged. They are known to have used these weapons elsewhere.

Sixty battalions of the Russian army are participating in the offensive. Most of these are still about 50 km north of Kyiv. They are trying to overcome the stiff resistance offered by the Ukrainian armed forces and its people. More clashes are taking place in Mariupol in the Donbas region and the southern city of Kherson. Russia is also trying to link up with forces from the east through its northward movement via Melitopol. On Saturday, the Russians claimed to have captured Melitopol. Ukrainian officials confirm that some aircraft have been damaged. However, Russia has not been able to cut the supply lines of Ukraine.

Russian offensive

Realising that the world is against their unilateral war, the Russians will seek to conclude the war swiftly and pull out of Ukraine. Their primary aim is likely to be to disarm the Ukrainian armed forces. They may plan to take over control of the commercial centres and major cities after gaining control over the Ukrainian armed forces, weaken the country and create popular discontentment against the government. It is unlikely that Russia will want to capture major cities through fighting. They are likely to consider that their war aims have been achieved when a pliant government is installed in Kyiv. They may then pull out of Ukraine leaving a token garrison behind.

{English original of the article published in Malayalam in the opinion page of Mathrubhumi daily dated February 27, 2021}

The alumnus of Sainik School, Kazhakoottam, was the deputy defence attaché in the Indian embassy in Beijing and a senior Intelligence official in the army HQ

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