Russia Changes Tactic, attacks Vuhledar. Ukraine plans for Crimea delayed

Lorenzo Bagnato

26 January 2023 - 18:19

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So far, the Russian army suffered heavy setbacks in their war against Ukraine. Now, however, they realized they must change plans.

Russia Changes Tactic, attacks Vuhledar. Ukraine plans for Crimea delayed

Dreams of a Crimean liberation in Ukraine might be shattered, or at least severely tampered. Both Ukrainian and Russian sources revealed that Russia is attacking Vuhledar, a key city in the south of Ukraine, and are entering its outskirts.

Vuhledar is, along with Bakhmut, a key supply point for Ukraine. “The capture of Vuhledar will significantly improve the strategic position of the Russian army in Donbass,” says Ukrainian journalist Yuriy Butusov. “[It] will allow them to deepen the defense.

By taking Vuhledar, we can cut off the ammunition supply in this direction,” said Russian ally Igor Kimakovsky, the figure-head in charge of the Donetsk Republic. “It is precisely from where [Ukrainian troops] strike at Donetsk,” he added.

Russia is apparently attacking Vuhledar in a pincer movement, the same that allowed them to capture Soledar a few weeks ago. This is a military tactic that exploits superior numbers to surround the enemy.

It seems, therefore, that Russia learned from their mistakes last year: a bigger army doesn’t mean that a frontal assault is a good idea.

Taking Vuhledar and Bakhmut, however, will definetely deplete Russian resources. Both cities are well defended and surrounded by mines, and the supply situation keeps being in Ukrainian favor.

But losing Vuhledar would mean a significant setback for Ukraine.

Dreams of reconquering Crimea

Vuhledar is, as we said, in the Donetsk region. Unlike Bakhmut, which is projected to the East, Vuhledar could serve as a gateway for the south.

After the successful counter-offensive that liberated Kherson, Ukraine was confident that, given enough time to replenish their forces, they could liberate Crimea as well.

However, the best way to carry on such an attack was not from Kherson, rather from the Donetsk region. Kherson sits on the massive Dnieper river, a mighty natural defense barrier for Russia. Vuhledar, on the other hand, is in a large plane region, perfect for warfare.

But defenses in Bakhmut started to take more and more resources from the already struggling Ukraine. Western weapons help, but manpower keeps being a major issue for Kyiv.

Therefore, the war stalled and no counter-offensive plans by Ukraine are currently known. On the other hand, it is known that Russia is planning another attack on Kyiv from Belarus.

While it is likely that such a frontal assault will not succeed, it will also close any route to Crimea for the Ukrainian army.

Yes, Western tanks will allow Ukraine better defenses and possible attack plans. But, for the moment, the war will be decided by the defense of Vuhledar, and any hope of counter-attacks is wishful thinking.


# Russia
# War

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