Crimea attacks point to Ukraine’s newest strategy: Resistance prepares for ground offensive
Ukraine is hoping that a new strategy of attacking key military targets deep inside Russian-occupied territory will undermine Moscow’s ability to withstand an eventual Ukrainian counteroffensive, Ukraine’s defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov, said in a Wednesday interview. Ukraine’s conventional forces lack the weapons and ammunition needed to launch a full-scale ground offensive to retake territory from the Russians, Reznikov said, while noting he expects sufficient quantities will eventually be delivered by Ukraine’s Western partners. In the meantime, Ukraine is seeking to erode Russia’s military capabilities by attacking its most sensitive military installations from within. “We’re using a strategy to ruin their stocks, to ruin their depots, to ruin their headquarters, [and] commander quarters,” he said. To that end, Ukraine is activating a “resistance force” under the command of Ukrainian special forces to carry out attacks far behind Russian lines, Reznikov said. The force was formed in January in accordance with a law passed last year, and in recent weeks has been activated in Ukrainian territory held by the Russians.
Meanwhile, Russian shelling on Wednesday of a residential district in Kharkiv killed 7 people and injured 20, Ukraine’s regional governor, Oleh Synehubov, said. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy deplored the attack on Telegram, calling it “a devious and cynical strike on civilians with no justification, showing the powerlessness of the aggressor.” Russia has also continued its bombardment of the port city of Mykolaiv on Ukraine’s southern coast. Ukraine’s southern command said on Wednesday that Russian attack aircraft and helicopters hit Ukrainian positions nine times overnight and destroyed vital port infrastructure. Oleksandr Senkevych, the mayor of Mykolaiv, said the Russians also had hit a local university. Reuters, New York Times, CNN
Associated Press: Blasts in Crimea Underscore Russian Forces’ Vulnerability
The Guardian: Russians Are Realizing Crimea Is “Not a Place for Them,” Says Zelensky
Bloomberg: Estonia Repels Cyber Attacks as Pro-Kremlin Group Takes Credit
Reuters: Three More Ships Leave Ukrainian Ports under UN-Brokered Grain Deal
First published by Center on National Security.