RB Myers: Loviturile Rusiei asupra infrastructurii Ucrainei

It’s clear by now that the Russian strikes on the Ukrainian grid are part of a wider systematic campaign, not just a revenge act for the attack on the Crimea Bridge.

30% of Ukraine’s power generation has been damaged/destroyed. We’re talking about units, here (power stations), not output. Something like 70% of the output comes from a handful of large nuclear power stations. Output has dropped slightly since the beginning of Russian strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure but not by much (about 9%). That’s because so far, NPPs have been able to compensate for the drop in thermal power stations’ output.

However, strikes targeting thermal power stations and transformers often create an imbalance on the grid, leading to (partial) safety shutdowns and sometimes to the destruction of transformers due to power surges. This is partially why there are currently some rolling blackouts in Ukraine and why electricity rationing has been introduced in places such as Kiev and Nikolayev.

Ukraine isn’t about to run out of power generation capacity any time soon, but cumulative damage/destruction on the grid may soon start causing some serious issues with regards to power distribution, meaning that heating, water distribution and communication means will also be impacted.

The Belarusian card.

Much is being discussed about a joint Russian-Belarussian grouping in Belarus. Indeed, Belarus has been conducting what appears to be a covert/partial mobilisation under pretext of readiness checks. Some Belarusian troops were joined by some Russian ones near Gomel, close to the Ukrainian border.

The Belarusian ground troops number 11k personnel. This includes conscripts, so professional soldiers account for less than this. Belarus also has a 6k strong SF contingent. Being generous, Minsk could probably field 10k career soldiers for operations. A ridiculously small number of men considering the scope of the task and the size of the theatre. The combined Separatist Armed Forces of the Donbass regions numbered 40k men at the beginning of the war, for comparison sake.

Then there’s the fact most of the troops sent by Russia to Belarus are reservists. Those 9k reservists are mostly being sent in the North of Belarus on training grounds. Russia is only sending light hardware to Belarus. At the same time, Belarus is in the process of transferring in excess of 150 T-72A MBTs to Russia.

For all the talks about a joint Russian-Belarussian assault on Kiev and/or in the direction of the Ukrainian-Polish border, there’s little tangible signs this could realistically happen. The access/border area to Kiev is heavily fortified and one would need a large amount of troops, armour, artillery and air support to have any hope of taking a well defended city that size. The numbers are not in favour of this scenario.

There is also no indication that the people of Belarus are up for a military adventure in Ukraine and ready to die for Russia. Finally, Lukashenko might not be in such a hurry to provoke unrest in the country by mobilising and going to war.

Most likely, Russia/Belarus are increasing pressure on Ukraine in order for the AFU to draw units away from the frontline and back to Kiev to cover the border. As for the 9k Russian reservists currently in Belarus, they’re probably being trained: Russian training centers are full to the brim. It makes sense for Moscow to subcontract training of some of its troops to a country that shares the same language, hardware and tactics/doctrine.

Kherson.

Russian authorities are evacuating civilians from Kherson city. Several pontoons and ferry services are in place. The city is not yet under pressure but there’s a feeling the Ukrainians are about to throw everything at Kherson before winter.

What is going to happen? Nobody has made accurate predictions/forecast prior to or during this war. Should we hazard a wild guess?

Kiev will try and take Kherson before end of the year. Russia is trying to hold the city with its back against the river, which is not a good position. It seems Kiev has sent reinforcements from all over Ukraine, including Kharkiv, toward Kherson. They know that if they take the city, it’ll be almost impossible for the Russians to retake it back afterwards. The Ukrainians would be able to fortify the town using the Dnieper river as a wet moat.

If the Ukrainians take it, the Dnieper river would probably end up becoming the new border between the two countries with no further Russian advance westward. Russia would focus on the defensive in the Kherson, Kharkiv and Lugansk oblasts and try and advance north in the Zaporizhzhia oblast and west in the Donetsk oblast.

There must be an operational pause across the whole theatre at some point. For both sides. You have reservists arriving and being integrated into battered battle hardened formations that have fought non stop for 9 months. Units need to be reorganised. Men need to be rested, NCOs need to be promoted, hardware needs to be maintained and refitted. This is a war like the west hasn’t witnessed since WWII.

sursa: FB: Defensionem

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