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Russia focuses on targeting weaker regions of Ukraine

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia intended to maintain control over wider regions beyond eastern Ukraine, including Kherson and Zaporizhzhia provinces in south, and other regions. He made these statements on state-controlled television and in a news agency after Ukrainian troops pulled a bridge essential to the supply of Russian forces operating in southern Ukraine.

Lavrov’s remarks on Russia’s plans to occupy more territory and the Ukrainian missile attack on the strategically vital bridge of the Kherson region hinted that the coming five-month war could spread to other parts of the country.

Since Russian forces captured more than the two provinces that make up Ukraine’s industrial Donbass region, Ukrainian officials have been planning an offensive to retake Russian-occupied areas in the south. The Ukrainian attack on the Dnipro River Bridge also weakened the Russian stronghold in the southern territory of Kherson.

According to Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of a temporary administration formed by Russia to manage the region, the Ukrainian army attacked the Antonovsky Bridge using several HIMARS rocket launchers supplied by the United States. The Russian military uses the bridge, which spans 1.4 kilometers or 0.9 miles, as the main river crossing in the Kherson region to supply its troops. Due to the damage to the bridge, pontoons would be installed on the waterway, also known as the Dnieper. The bridge could still be used for foot traffic and light vehicles, but heavily laden transports or tanks would likely collapse the weakened span. The fact that Ukraine has chosen not to completely destroy this important infrastructure strongly suggests that it believes it will regain control of it intact at some point.

Different geography?

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov. (Source: mid.ru, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

At the time of the attack, Lavrov said: “Now, [our] the geography is different. This is not only DNR and LNR, but also Kherson region, Zaporizhzhia region and a number of other territories. He also linked the change in targets to the West’s supply of weapons to Kyiv. With weapons supplied to Russia by various allied forces, he noted that Russia can’t accept the fact that in the areas of Ukraine under Zelensky’s control there are weapons systems that will pose a “direct threat” to Russia’s jurisdiction as well as to the “territory of those [eastern Ukrainian] republics which have declared their independence.

He said: “If Western countries supply long-range weapons to Ukraine, [these goals] will go even further.

Since June, the United States has been supplying Ukraine HIMARS Medium Range Rocket Systems, which enabled the country to launch more frequent and precise attacks against Russian sites in the battle lines. The Biden administration has been reluctant to supply the longer-range (150 km) GMLRS rocket to Ukrainian HIMARS launchers, fearing that Ukraine will launch them into Russian territory to hit locations where Iskander cruise missiles are fired at. Ukraine. These extended-range precision-guided missiles offer a great advantage in distance capability.If Ukraine placed a HIMARS on the deck of a small cargo ship in the Black Sea, these extended-range precision-guided missiles could attack Russian navy ships in the port of Sevastopol in Crimea, which Russia sees as doing part of its territory.

The American Warning

Battalion “Donbass” in the Donetsk region, Ukraine. (Source: Ліонкінг, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

General Mark Milley, chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Donbas region had not yet been fully recaptured by Russian forces. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced that the United States would provide Ukraine with four new HIMARS.

Additionally, White House national security spokesman John Kirby warned Russia to “lay the groundwork” for annexing Ukrainian territory it has won since the start of the war. He cited US intelligence in support of his accusation. However, the Russian Embassy in the United States of America said the “remark” was an inaccurate representation of what Moscow had tried to do.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine led to the death of tens of thousands of people, the exile of millions more and the leveling of entire cities, mainly in the Russian-speaking regions of eastern and south-eastern Ukraine. ‘Ukraine. As a result, global energy and food prices have soared, including fears of famine in less developed countries since both Ukraine and Russia are major grain producers. What Russia holds in Ukraine is no longer privileged territory but wasteland that it will have to rebuild almost from scratch.

Punishments

With Russia’s offensive strikes in Ukraine over the past few months, the only weapon made by Ukraine’s allied forces outside of arms supply is to impose sanctions on Russia. Among the restrictions imposed on Russia were: a ban on all Russian aircraft departing from the airspace of the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada; the export of dual-use goods, which are items that can be used for civilian or military purposes; for example, vehicle parts. Many foreign companies, including McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Starbucks and Marks & Spencer, have also withdrawn from the Russian market or ceased operations. It was felt that as a result of these sanctions, the The Russian economy will contract ten percent in 2022, alongside the onset of a severe recession.

For Russia, extending the conflict to other parts of Ukraine or to other countries is probably far beyond its means and capabilities at this time. Where Russia meets Ukrainian resistance, their progress is measured in hundreds of meters a day, costing them dearly in men and equipment they cannot easily replace.