Ukraine's new strategy – focus on sabotage to create chaos in Russia

Ukrainian special unit in Crimea / EPA-EFE/OLEG PETRASYUK
Ukrainian special unit in Crimea / EPA-EFE/OLEG PETRASYUK

Zelensky's adviser, Mihajlo Podoljak, revealed what is the new strategy of Ukraine, which, according to him, has started to give good results.

Ukraine has launched a counteroffensive aimed at creating "chaos in Russian forces" by striking the attackers' supply lines deep in the occupied territories, President Zelensky's top adviser, Mikhail Podolyak, said.

Podolyak told the Guardian that more such attacks would be carried out in the "next two or three months" similar to Tuesday's mysterious attacks on a railway junction and an air base in Crimea, as well as last week's attack on Russian warplanes at the Saki airport on the Crimean peninsula.

Mihailo Podoljak / Photo: EPA

Russia said Tuesday's fire caused explosions at an ammunition depot in Crimea's Jankoy district — an incident Podolyak said was a reminder that "Russian-occupied Crimea will be a target of explosions for Russian occupiers and a high risk of death for attackers and thieves."

Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for these attacks. However, these explosions caused the numerous Russian tourists who found themselves on the beaches of Crimea to panic and flee from this peninsula. Yesterday, large queues of people were registered in front of the railway station in the regional capital Simferopol, who were trying to leave the peninsula in a panic.

Mihailo Podoljak / Photo: Twitter

An adviser to Zelenskyi, often described as the country's third most powerful figure, said Kyiv's approach was in stark contrast to Moscow's use of fierce artillery power to seize territory in the eastern Donbass region, where Russian troops are destroying towns such as what they did with the cities of Mariupol and Severnodonets in order to conquer foreign territory.

Russia has somehow taught everyone that a counter-offensive requires a huge amount of military power, which, like a giant military machine, will move in only one direction", but "the Ukrainian counter-offensive looks very different," Podoljak said. We are not using the tactics of the 1960s and 1970s.” However, these remarks could also be interpreted as an admission that Ukraine is struggling to muster the amount of men and military material needed to sustain a full-scale counteroffensive in the south of the country. which usually requires superiority in numbers or at least three to one soldier.

Instead, Ukraine has sought to cut off Kherson, the only Russian-held city on the west bank of the Dnieper River, by damaging road and rail bridges using newly supplied Western rocket artillery to the point where Russia is no longer able to effectively supplies its forces.

Russian soldiers / Kherson / EPA-EFE/SERGEI ILNITSKY

Podoljak asked for "another 50, 60, 80" MLRS systems (multiple launch rocket systems) on top of the existing arsenal of about 20, of which 16 are of the HIMARS type that the adviser described as "very good".

With the help of long-range missiles provided by the West, Podolyak added that Ukraine hopes to degrade the attackers' strength through "a lack of supplies and a lack of ammunition," which will "force the Russians to fight like in the first months of the war." . . In the early stages of the conflict, the disorganized Russian army failed to capture Kyiv after the attackers got stuck in a series of traffic jams on the roads leading into the city, leaving them vulnerable to Ukrainian infantry and anti-tank weapons.

HIMARS missile system photo: EPA-EFE/TOMS KALNINS

Commenting on last week's attack on a Russian air base, Podolyak said the Russians had "different physics" if they believed the explosions were the result of discarded cigarettes causing ammunition dumps to explode, before predicting a repeat of such attacks behind the terrain in the future.

"Of course, I agree with the Russian Ministry of Defense, which predicts more such incidents in the next two, three months. I think we could see more such events," said Podoljak.

Crimean bridge

He also signaled that Ukraine considers the Crimean bridge linking the occupied peninsula to the Russian mainland a legitimate military objective. "It is an illegal construction and the main supply port for the Russian army in Crimea. Such facilities should be destroyed," he said.

Satellite images of the explosions in Crimea/ Photo Planet Labs PBC

At least for now, Ukraine has not officially claimed responsibility for the attack on the Saki air base, where a number of Russian strategic targets were hit deep behind the front line.

There was speculation on Monday that Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian businessman allegedly linked to the private military company Wagner, had been wounded or killed in a Ukrainian missile attack in the Donbass.


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