Phase two of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine has passed its first observance and the breakthrough point in the next step of the Russian Army is here.
According to the second phase of the battle plan in the Ukraine battlefield announced by Russia, Russian troops need to gain complete control of the Donbas region, connecting the axis between the Donbas region, southern Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula; at the same time connecting the land corridor with Russia.
But in reality, the Russian Armed forces have mainly focused on airstrikes and advanced only a few kilometers on land. So what is the Russian Army doing?
Looking at the current military map of Ukraine, Russia claims to “establish comprehensive control over the Donbas and southern Ukraine”. The geographical extent of the Donbas region is relatively clear, but which part of southern Ukraine does the Russian Army intend to control?
From the current point of view, the Russian Army has moved north from the Crimean peninsula and successfully captured most of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, and the Dnipropetrovsk region could be the next step, for the Russian Army to proceed campaign
Assessing the recent combat situation, the Ukrainian Army launched a counterattack in the northwest of Kherson city, the capital of Kherson state; The two sides fought fiercely for a while and the Ukrainian Army suffered a lot of damage
In the Zaporozhy region, although most of the area has been controlled by the Russian Army, the capital Zaporozhy is still in the hands of the Ukrainian government. Especially the strategic city of Mariupol, which the Russian army has not yet fully captured.
According to the British newspaper “Guardian”, the Ukrainian Army dug trenches and built defensive positions outside the city of Zaporizhzhia and reinforcements of the Ukrainian Army, were also in turn reinforced to prepare against the upcoming attack of the Russian Army.
In addition, the Russian army, after basically gaining control of Mariupol, also moved forces here, moving towards Dnipropetrovsk; which seems to form a deep encirclement, on the Ukrainian Army in the Donetsk region.
From a tactical and topographical point of view, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporos, Kherson, etc. are all important cities on the Dnieper River; if the Russian Army captures these cities, then in the future the southern region of Ukraine will form an area, opposite to the western one.
According to military analysts, this will also be the biggest goal of the second phase of the Russian Army’s military operation. But in the next step, Zaporozhy and Dnipropetrovsk will be the “mail target” of the Russian Army, which is fighting in the southern region of Ukraine
For the Russian Army, gaining control of Mariupol means that Russia already controls more than 80% of Ukraine’s coastline; but the remaining 20%, still located in the Mykolaiv and Odessa regions.
With the goal of completely blocking the Ukrainian economy from the sea, the two major cities of Mykolaiv and Odessa are the “thorn in the eye” and the “thorn in the flesh” of the Russian Army. Therefore, surely the Russian Army will be determined to “solve”.
In particular, the fire and sinking of the Russian Navy’s guided missile cruiser Moscow, has greatly hindered the Russian Navy’s activities in the Black Sea, and this area must be “cleaned up”.
However, from the perspective of the Russian Army’s current operations and forces, it is expected that the Russian Army’s offensive on Mykolaiv and Odessa will be launched in the second half of the second phase of the military campaign especially.
In the event that the heavy armor unit of the Ukrainian Army, in the Donbas region, has not been completely destroyed, the Russian Army may not be able to conduct military operations to gain control of Mykolaiv and Odessa.
Thus, the results of the operations of the Russian Army in the Donbas region will determine the future development of the war, in the direction of Mykolaiv and Odessa.
Currently, the Russian Army has sporadic combat operations in the Nikolayev direction, but launching an attack, but to harass and deter the defenders in this direction, forcing the Ukrainian troops here to not dare to move. and could not provide reinforcements to other areas of southern Ukraine.