Attack with the Moskva: The picture dates from 2013, in spring the Ukrainians sank the Russian flagship in the Black Sea.
Guido Fieldsforeign editor
Ukraine expects massive Russian attacks over the holidays. Satellite images have shown increased activity by the Russian Navy in the Black Sea in recent days. Observers report numerous Russian ships in the waters off Sevastopol, near the Crimean peninsula.
What are the Russians after? In an attack from the Black Sea, the areas around Zaporizhia, Cherson and Melitopol are likely to be the main focus in the first phase. This is the opinion of Dominik Knill (64), military observer and President of the Swiss Officers’ Society.
Knill says to Blick: “Russia will try to support its own troops with heavy weapons and destroy the Ukrainian supply lines so that fewer western weapon systems are used at the front and the advance of the Ukrainians is stopped.”
Ukrainians on the rise
Because the Russians are being massively harassed by the Ukrainians in the conquered areas. Knill: “An advance from Zaporizhia via Melitopol to the Sea of Azov would severely disrupt the Russian supply lines overland to the Crimea. In addition, the Russian forces west of Melitopol would have to reckon with being surrounded.”
According to Knill, the Ukrainians are prepared for attacks from the water. “The modern western stand-off weapons, which are now stationed in Ukraine, could inflict serious losses on the floating Russian platforms,” he says.
Flagship already sunk
According to observers, there are currently four Kilo-class submarines in the Black Sea on their way to Ukraine. These can fire cruise missiles. At least one of these submarines is accompanied by a Russian speedboat and a combat helicopter. These are responsible for protecting the Kilo submarines. Because: The Ukraine has modern sea drones that explode when hit and can completely destroy an enemy submarine.
Already at the beginning of the war, the Ukrainians had succeeded in sinking the Russian flagship in the Black Sea, the guided missile cruiser Moskva. Since then, the Russians have scaled back their activities on the water. “The fact that the Russian Navy is again intervening in the war shows that it wants to regain sovereignty over its waters after the disaster with the Moscow River,” says Knill.
New attacks on Kyiv?
The Ukraine is also expecting new attacks from the north, which could start in winter or in spring at the latest. The supreme commander of the Ukrainian armed forces, Valeriy Zalushny (49), recently told The Economist that he had no doubts that Moscow would try again to take Kyiv. That could happen through another invasion from Russia’s partner state Belarus.
However, it is uncertain whether Russia still has the strength for new attacks. Ukraine reports that the enemy has lost at least 100,000 soldiers. There is also a lack of material. According to the savvy military blog Oryx, the Russians lost at least 1,500 tanks and about 600 artillery and rocket guns.