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Putin’s Greatest Fear: How Ukraine Can Take Back Crimea

M1 Abrams Tanks for Ukraine?
An M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, fires its main gun at Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, Dec. 2, 2020.

A focal point during the war in Ukraine has been the fear of escalation on the Crimean Peninsula. The Kremlin has made it a policy to play the nuclear bluff card, stoking fears among Westerners that if Russian President Vladimir Putin is cornered, he may use nuclear weapons — especially if Ukraine mounts an offensive on Crimea.

With Kyiv regaining large swaths of their country, a potential southern offensive could put the Ukrainian Armed Forces, or ZSU, within range of the peninsula. Debate now rages around the world on how Ukraine can reclaim Crimea — and if the price will be worth it, despite Moscow’s bluffs about what it will do if it “feels cornered.” In truth, the Kremlin is not cornered, but its myth of Russia’s right to conquest could be Moscow’s own downfall.

What Crimea Means for Russia

Crimea is the ultimate prize of Putin’s hardline rule. The peninsula is a focal point of Russian imperial nationalism, and it has long plagued the minds of a nation that still lives in a world of conquest. In the imperialist mind of the Russian ultranationalist, Russia has been cheated by post-colonial nations that are independent from the Kremlin’s will. Even anti-Putin opposition figures such as Alexei Navalny think of Crimea as rightfully theirs.

Russia’s 2014 invasion and annexation of the Crimean peninsula thus represented a return of empire, and for nationalists, losing it would mean losing what is left of imperial glory. Russian forces in Ukraine will arguably fight harder to keep their so-called unsinkable aircraft carrier than they have fought to control other occupied areas.

Crimea Marks the Beginning of the Invasion

Before the war, Russia leased the naval base at Sevastopol in Crimea from Ukraine. The appearance of unmarked green troops in Crimea in 2014 marked the start of Russia’s first invasion as they took the peninsula.

Ethnic minorities in the region, such as Crimean Tatars, have continued to be persecuted. Tatars were already facing demographic collapse after Stalinist purges and deportations that saw ethnic Russians take their place in Crimea, and Putin continues similar policies. Crimean Tatar opposition figures have been jailed and tortured by the Kremlin, as reported by HRW, and those who were lucky enough to flee in 2014 have had their homes repossessed by Russian colonists.

Close to 1 million Russian colonists could move onto the peninsula, a violation of the international law on population transfers. Moscow claims these new populations comprise what the Kremlin considers “persecuted Russian speakers” even though many of them are in reality part of the growing contingent of military personnel, FSB, and their families who live on the peninsula.

2022 Strikes Marked a Turning Point

When Moscow consolidated control over Crimea, for years they told the Russian populace that it was untouchable — it is under Russian control, and Ukraine has no means of striking it. This all changed in the summer of 2022, when the ZSU attacked key Russian airbases.

Putin couldn’t conceal the shock these attacks caused, nor the mass panic of Russians who left the peninsula. Half of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet aircraft have been either damaged or destroyed since August of last year, as their red line over striking Crimea, a “Russian territory,” was repeatedly breached.

Kyiv also scored a major strategic and morale strike by hitting the Kerch Bridge, which is considered a symbol of Russia’s return to the region and was built illegally. By damaging the bridge, which is not expected to not be fully operational until late 2023, Ukraine took out a major supply line for garrisoned Russian forces in Crimea.

Maximum Pressure Through a Southern Offensive

Over the past several weeks, the U.S, which was originally skeptical Ukraine could regain Crimea, has said Kyiv might have the capabilities to take the peninsula. Washington has warmed to the idea of helping Ukraine in this endeavor. Now that NATO members have made a plan to supply Ukraine with modern weaponry such as tanks and jets, the ZSU might be able to use combined arms operations across the rest of the occupied territories.

Defense officials have told Zelensky’s administration to fall back into more entrenched defensive lines in the Donbas region instead of sending fresh troops into Bakhmut, as the situation at that site remains critical, and the city isn’t as strategic as Russia claims it to be. Instead, they have told Kyiv to prepare for plans for a southern offensive, the most likely target of which will be the ever important city of Melitopol.

A ZSU offensive towards Melitopol would put much of Crimea in range of HIMARS and other long-range rocket systems, which both the UK and U.S. confirmed they would send later in the year. Liberating Melitopol would also challenge the Kremlin’s invasion plans, as it would cut Russian forces in half from the south and the east, forcing Putin to prioritize either holding what his forces control in the Donbas region, or protecting Crimea.


If Kyiv can successfully liberate territory in Zaporizhzhia, they can use the shortening area of operations to their advantage. A smaller area of operations means more condensed Russian forces, which would allow for more successful strikes in Crimea, much as seen when the ZSU condensed the Russian garrison during its offensive in Kherson.

Since the strikes in Crimea, Russia’s prized Black Sea Fleet has operated less frequently toward Ukraine’s coastline. This shows the attacks have put Russia’s fleet on edge, and there is less likely to be air support for Russian forces in the south — especially after the loss of numerous fixed-wing aircraft in Crimea.

Kyiv’s strategy so far in this war includes attrition operations on supply lines, fuel and ammo depots, and command and control posts. A southern offensive that could put the ZSU within range of Crimea would enable more of these operations on the peninsula.

Pressure on Crimea — without even putting Ukrainian boots on the ground there — would put garrisoned Russian forces in a precarious situation. They can try to hold the peninsula without sufficient resupply and facing near-daily bombardment, or they can withdraw on their own accord.

The U.S. Department of Defense confirmed it maintains back channels with the Russian Ministry of Defense, and Washington says the Kremlin’s nuclear saber-rattling died down as their supposed red lines were crossed multiple times. NATO heads of state signaling they will provide Ukraine with long-range rocket systems, tanks, and potentially jets, show they believe the risk of nuclear war has died down — Russia’s threats no longer hold weight. This was confirmed by China, which expressed disdain about the idea Putin could order a nuclear strike out of desperation in an already unpopular war.

The war in Ukraine started with the invasion and annexation of Crimea, and it will have to end with the peninsula’s liberation. Moscow uses the unsinkable aircraft carrier as its main staging point of operations against Kyiv, so the country will never be safe until Russian Forces are expelled from the Crimean Peninsula.

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Julian McBride is a forensic anthropologist and independent journalist born in New York. He reports and documents the plight of people around the world who are affected by conflicts, rogue geopolitics, and war, and also tells the stories of war victims whose voices are never heard. Julian is the founder and director of the Reflections of War Initiative (ROW), an anthropological NGO which aims to tell the stories of the victims of war through art therapy. As a former Marine, he uses this technique not only to help heal PTSD but also to share people’s stories through art, which conveys “the message of the brutality of war better than most news organizations.”

Written By

Julian McBride, a former U.S. Marine, is a forensic anthropologist and independent journalist born in New York. He reports and documents the plight of people around the world who are affected by conflicts, rogue geopolitics, and war, and also tells the stories of war victims whose voices are never heard. Julian is the founder and director of the Reflections of War Initiative (ROW), an anthropological NGO which aims to tell the stories of the victims of war through art therapy. As a former Marine, he uses this technique not only to help heal PTSD but also to share people’s stories through art, which conveys “the message of the brutality of war better than most news organizations.”



  1. Nick Ladney

    February 13, 2023 at 4:32 pm

    Ukraine can easily make Crimea untenable for Russia in a couple years. First retake Nova Kakhovka. This is where the Dnipro river feeds the Crimean canal, which prior to 2014 supplied 90% of the water to Crimea. Ukraine plugged the canal in 2014 and since then the reservoirs in Crimea have been drained completely and the groundwater aquifers are becoming saltier from the Black Sea. All farming in Crimea has stopped and they had severe water rationing.
    Second recapture the rest of Kherson Oblast to the Azov Sea. That will put the Kerch bridge in range of HIMARS artillery. Take out the Kerch bridge and Russia will be unable to supply Crimea with foodstuffs, fuel, etc.

  2. Jim

    February 13, 2023 at 4:38 pm

    This article misses the point:

    A closed door briefing by the military to members in the House, roughly two weeks ago, suggested there was low probability Ukraine could retake Crimea.

    The Melitopol “gap” is a trap waiting for Ukraine’s army… it’s a “corridor” leading to fool’s Gold.

    Ukraine doesn’t have the forces for a broad front offensive to Melitopol. It would be a narrower, hammer-like drive for Melitopol.

    Look @ a map of Ukraine, see how far Melitopol is from the contact line to the North.

    The City of Melitopol sits roughly 40 miles from the front.

    Instead of taking Melitopol to set up missile strikes on Crimea, Ukraine’s army is likely to face a Teutoburg Forest disaster.

    Per Wikipedia:

    “Teutoburg Forest is commonly seen as one of the most important defeats in Roman history, bringing the triumphant period of expansion under Augustus to an abrupt end. The outcome of this battle dissuaded the Romans from their ambition of conquering Germania, and is thus considered one of the most important events in European history.”

    The Russians built up defense works in depth all through the corridor between the front & Melitopol.

    Why talk of Melitpol at all? Because it’s the only objective where it makes sense to even talk about a combined arms offensive maneuver. But Ukraine hasn’t executed one combined offensive maneuver, yet in the War.

    Both Kharkiv & Kherson were more limited in nature and were more a kin to the “narrower, hammer-like drive” I mentioned above.

    That’s what Ukraine can do… all it can do.

    Any idea Ukraine’s army can learn on the fly sophisticated tactical maneuvering is naive… they will have a hard enough time with new, unfamiliar equipment, let alone sophisticated maneuvers.

    Above & beyond the in depth defense works, Russia would see this drive as strategic… all available forces (including strategic conventional forces) would be employed to repel the Ukrainian columns racing for Melitopol.

    A successful offensive would take all of Ukraine’s military forces… having those forces cut off & surrounded in the Melitopol Corridor would be the strategic end to the Ukrainian military for all intents & purposes.

    Go for Melitopol and suffer the fate of the Roman Legions @ Teutoburg Forest.

    Teutoburg Forest changed the course of European History.

    A Melitopol Corridor defeat would change Ukraine’s standing as an independent nation-state.

    Does Ukraine want to throw the Dice?

    It has a “battle of the Bulge” result written all over it… one last spasm before ultimate defeat.

  3. Commentar

    February 13, 2023 at 5:55 pm

    Ukros taking over crimea ???

    Sounds like jihadists taking over damascus in syria.

    Both ukros & jihadists today are NATO’s foot soldiers in dirty evil proxy wars, except ukros fighting in donbass are waging their war on behalf of NATO on the front doorstep of russia.

    Russia will hammer them harder than what syria did to the jihadists.

    It cannot be ruled out for russia to employ nukes against zelenskiyy and his neo-nazi cohort if they actually start moving on crimea.

  4. Steven

    February 13, 2023 at 7:50 pm

    lol, you Russians crack me up…Russia doesn’t even have an army! You live in a fantasy land…this great, fearsome military machine…which doesn’t even exist!

  5. Gary Jacobs

    February 13, 2023 at 9:08 pm


    LoL, 1st of all there is no forest on the way to Melitopol, it is wide open fields that can be easily seen and scouted by drones and even from commercial satellite companies. Now there are trenches, defensive lines, and mines. If you really want a historical reference, go look up the Maginot Line.

    Fortunately the Ukrainians are being given mine clearing vehicles…as well as GLSDBs from the US, and it sure sounds like the UK will soon give them Storm Shadows.

    Those missiles will help Ukraine shape the battlefield long before the tanks and IFVs roll to Melitopol.

    ALL Russian bases in the south from North Crimea all the way to Melitopol, Berdyansk, and Mariupol will be in range of GLSDB, and depending on what version of Storm Shadow they get, the Kerch Bridge could also be in range. Even from the current front lines.

    Russia’s answer to HIMARS has been to move their logistics and main baises out of range. They still rely on rail systems to move in vast amounts of equipment.

    They’d have to double their retreat just to get out of GLSDB range. Storm Shadow is a whole other animal. And all that does is make their logistics even more vulnerable, their helicopters can spend less time giving close air support, etc.

    Just as happened in Kherson when HIMARS and precision artillery strikes made the Russian positions untenable, that is exactly what GLSDB and Storm Shadow can do to the rest of Kherson and the 2 choke points from Crimea into Kherson. HIMARS is already wreaking havoc on the left bank of the Dnipro with GMLRS.

    Furthermore, Logistics and rail lines are the main reason why Russia has gone after Vuhledar so hard. And lost thousands upon thousands of men in this one little area. That high ground is in perfect firing position for artillery to strike the only rail line that runs east to west from Russia all the way to Kherson.

    Head on over to Twitter and type ‘Vuhledar’ into the search field and check out all the failed Russian advances, with armored vehicles exploding left and right. And dead Russian soldiers strewn about.

    It isnt even a back and forth battle, its Ukraine simply creaming them with artillery, drones, mines and occasionally ATGMs.

    You’ll also notice the Russian Telegram Channel translations lamenting the stupidity of Russian commanders failing for the fourth time at Vuhledar…and how many Russian soldiers have been lost at it.

    The more Ukraine grinds down those troops, the more they have to be replaced by even less experienced mobiks than the last couple of times they have had to be replaced.

    You claim it is a Melitopol “gap”, but in reality that entire Russian front from the Kakhovka Reservoir all the way to the Vuhledar area just west of Donetsk City can be weakened enough to collapse as it is breached by far better western tanks.

    And the Ukrainians would have precision fire support from long range missiles all the way to the Sea of Azov along a wide range of that coast.

    Have a liberating day.

  6. tomb

    February 13, 2023 at 10:11 pm

    I think this is nuts.
    Ukraine has its hands full
    With any offense at all.
    Russia has so many more people…

  7. Webej

    February 14, 2023 at 12:44 am

    The people of Crimea do not seem to figure in to any of this.
    Of course, they deserve the same fate as the ‘colorado’s’ who were jeered while burned to death in Odessa.

  8. Serhio

    February 14, 2023 at 4:08 am

    “Crimea is the ultimate prize of Putin’s hardline rule. The peninsula is a focal point of Russian imperial nationalism, and it has long plagued the minds of a nation that still lives in a world of conquest.”

    What nonsense. There are still people alive who have “RSFSR, Crimean region” written in their birth certificates. During Soviet times, Crimea was transferred to the Ukrainian SSR. But it was one country. It’s like transferring money from the left pocket to the right. Nothing has changed for people. However, after the collapse of the USSR, Crimea began to strive for greater independence from Ukraine. The first referendum was held in Crimea in 1991 and 93% voted for autonomy. In 2014, residents of Crimea spoke out in favor of the region becoming part of Russia. However, Western politicians spat on the results of the referendum. After all, this referendum was held by the Russians. This means that “by definition” this is a “wrong referendum”. Can someone explain to me why the referendum in Saarland (as a result of which the area came under the jurisdiction of Germany) is this the right referendum, and is the referendum in Crimea the wrong one? Ukraine’s desire to seize Crimea is the desire of a rapist to rape his victim without consent. But everyone applauds Ukraine, because the Russians are the victim, and no laws in the West apply to Russians anymore. You can steal money from Russians. You can kill Russians. If you are afraid to kill Russians yourself, you can give the Ukrainian Nazis money and weapons so that they kill more Russians. This is all welcome. Take any article in the Western press and replace the words “Russians” in it with the word “Jews” (Poles, British, Americans) and reread the article. How long would an editor who would approve such a “corrected” article have worked in his place? But “this is different,” isn’t it?

  9. Serhio

    February 14, 2023 at 4:16 am

    Nick Ladney
    “Ukraine can easily make Crimea untenable for Russia in a couple years. First retake Nova Kakhovka. This is where the Dnipro river feeds the Crimean canal, which prior to 2014 supplied 90% of the water to Crimea. Ukraine plugged the canal in 2014 and since then the reservoirs in Crimea have been drained completely and the groundwater aquifers are becoming saltier from the Black Sea. All farming in Crimea has stopped and they had severe water rationing.
    Second recapture the rest of Kherson Oblast to the Azov Sea. That will put the Kerch bridge in range of HIMARS artillery. Take out the Kerch bridge and Russia will be unable to supply Crimea with foodstuffs, fuel, etc.”

    Sure. Let’s starve thousands of Russians. After all, this is such a wonderful idea!!!! Maybe your grandfather served in the SS during World War II?? Do you want to continue his work?

  10. Yrral

    February 14, 2023 at 6:57 am

    Ukrainain do not have the basics funding domestically to continue too fight a war,as European continue to fund Putin war machine,and US is about too write a hot check, saying insufficient funds, Republicans are gonna invoke the mercy rule in Ukraine

  11. commom sense

    February 14, 2023 at 8:50 am

    It’s crazy people talk as if Ukraine will even exist as it is today. Russia controls most of the valuable resources in the east and it looks like most of the country will follow.

  12. Gary Jacobs

    February 14, 2023 at 9:50 am


    Typical Russian glossing over your atrocities. During Soviet times, and ages prior, Russians massacred and ethnically cleansed Crimean Tatars and other people actually native to the area.

    It was transferred to Ukraine because Moscow wasnt giving it enough attention and the economy was collapsing. Putting it under control of Ukraine was an acknowledgement by Moscow that the economic well being of Crimea is tied to mainland Ukraine, not Russia. Not even the Kerch Bridge can replace the two land connections to Ukraine.

    Furthermore, it is actually against the Geneva conventions to transfer population to occupied land…which is essentially what many ethnic Russians in Crimea are…a transferred population. Stalin simply promised existing homes that were taken away from Crimean Tatars as the Tatars were sent to Siberia and other areas in Russia’s east.

    You and Putin really should fold up your imperialist fantasies and go back to the Russian mainland.

    Peace would break out quickly.

  13. Jim

    February 14, 2023 at 9:55 am

    Look @ a map.

    It’s the corridor, not the forest.

    There is only one area to start the offensive from due to the Dnieper River blocking approaches from the Northwest… and Russia controlling territory to the Northeast… that leaves directly North out of the Zaporizhzhia area.

    The Russians know exactly where an attack force would start from… would see the units forming up via satellite & drones… no surprise element at all… there is a strategic necessity, here, Russia would be all eyes & ears, and they have capability to do so and would.

    Again, Ukraine doesn’t have the weapons, manpower, or tactical maneuvering capability to do anything else but a “narrower, hammer-like drive” @ Melitopol.

    That is a spear-like drive to the South… no forest, just a corridor to certain death.

    Gary, your analysis is wishful thinking… your vendetta controls your thinking… you’re a slave to your vendetta… you can’t think straight, anymore.

    Fighting to the last Ukrainian is immoral… when will you realize that?

  14. Rick

    February 14, 2023 at 10:24 am

    Russian trolls are working overtime at the thought Crimea is in Ukraine’s sights. Why wouldn’t it be? BTW, real estate prices have collapsed in Crimea as the russian population flees.

    A final thought to cheer you up, comrade, long range missiles and F-16s will arrive at some point. Enjoy your lack of indoor plumbing! Happy HIMARS

  15. Old Desert Coyote

    February 14, 2023 at 10:47 am

    God I love all you arm chair warriors! You obviously don’t know shit about the land mass and the material requirements of a sustaining combat.

    First lets look at the land. It is bottomless mud pit (even in dry weather). The reason for few hard surfaced roads is a thing called ballast. (the one to two feet of gravel needed to stabilize the hard surface roads. There is no source of ballast in mid to eastern Ukraine and with in 700 miles of the Ukrainian border. So rail transport is your only option.

    Since rail tracks and track beds are easy to disrupt.

    PERSONAL EXPLOIT HERE, (When I was a young 2nd lt. and going through RANGER SCHOOL) i got into a world of shit when all the other training squads were blowing up rail beds leaving holes in the ground that can easily be spotted by air assets; me being a farm kid who had been blowing up tree stumps and rocks since I was 14, came up with a plan. I formed the C4 into 1 ft long cylinder and cut a 45 degree pie shaped wedge out of it. I placed the cylinder next to the rail web and blew it, leaving a nice unsupported top surface of the rail. After i kicked enough gravel into the detonation point to cover it. The sight was undetectable. Of course the instructors blew a fuse because I didn’t destroy the rail. Of course I had to point out that when a heavy locomotive pass over the damage rail it would derail the whole train. My purpose was to destroy the train not the rail.

    Any way back to the war in Ukraine. So the transshipment point (the point were the train is unloaded and place on trucks must be far enough away from the FEBA (Forward Edge of the Battle Area) so it cannot come under suppressive fire. Dozens of freight cars and 100’s of trucks filled with high explosive ammunition make a really big boom.

    Now the standard military truck around the world is a 5 ton or 5000 kilogram if you want to use metric. The URAL-5323 8X8 can carry 10 tons. The reason for this is mobility (bridges and road bearing ability in the battle area and loading and unloading time.) The longer a truck sits the more of a target it becomes.

    So here is where the rubber hits the road (to coin a phrase) Lets assume the Russians have 2000 Artillery pieces of 152 mm. To brake that down even farther each battery has 6 guns with 3 batteries per Battalion, or one battery per Battalion tactical group. So an Artillery battalion supports one regiment (18 guns total), The sustained rate of fire for a Russian 152mm gun howitzer is (with alcohol cooled barrel system) is about 16 rounds per hour. So an artillery battalion (18 guns) will fire 1300 rounds per hour. Each round weighs in at about 100 lbs or 45 kilograms. So a five ton truck can carry about 100 projectiles. so doing the math you need at least 15 Trucks for every firing battalion. Actually you need about 3 time that number, (One loading ammo at transshipment point, one in transit and one unloading at gun site.) So now we are at 45 trucks. Now here is where it gets critical. Each truck gets 4-5 miles per gallon of fuel, so if the transit distance is 65 miles 12 gallons of fuel to get there and 12 gallons to get back so these 45 trucks are going to need about 1100 gallons of fuel just to operate.
    Russian Army current transport capability is 400 trucks per combat brigade. It is estimated that each brigade would need to employ 250 trucks just to support its tubed artillery and multiple rocket launcher units. Leaving only 150 trucks for food fuel small arms ammo, parts, and troop transport. So clearly as a Ukrainian ground commander if I have a choice to destroy a tank or a truck, I will take the truck every single time. Oh by the way Russian Rail rolling stock cannot use the Ukrainian rail systems. Russian rail gauges are wider than Ukrainian. Causing even more problems for the russians.

    So you can get a grasp of just how hairy logistics get.

  16. Gary Jacobs

    February 14, 2023 at 11:37 am


    LoL… go have a read of ‘Old Desert Coyote’s’ breakdown of logistics from the perspective of an actual military veteran. This is pretty much exactly the explanation I get from the Marines that I know in San Diego.

    The Russians being so terrible at logistics, and especially their reliance on rail lines, is what makes them so vulnerable in Ukraine. Especially in the South where there is precisely one rail line that goes east to west, and runs right past Vuhledar. At the moment the Ukrainians have the Volnovakha-Donetsk railroad and the H20 highway in artillery range. This hampers Russian logistics from the eastern direction significantly.

    As well, just because the Russians know that they are vulnerable to an offensive in the south, doesnt mean they can stop it. They knew they were vulnerable in right bank Kherson, and had months to prepare as the Ukrainians literally announced their intentions. The Russians brought in their best troops from other areas to hold the right bank…and still lost it.

    A methodical campaign by Ukraine to take out logistics hubs, logistics routes, and main bases will wear down the Russians…and they have shown no ability to counter that strategy other than to move back as much as possible out of GMLRS range.

    A lot of the outcome will depend on the speed with which the allies get the right weapons in the hands of Ukraine.

    As well, they need to be trained to breach prepared defensive lines correctly. A marine I know sent me a helpful video on Youtube by US Army TRADOC G2 organization that ‘transforms actual combat events into unclassified 3d visualizations’. The video is titled ‘Combined Arms Breach’ and the Youtube account is listed as OEC G&V. This is apparently what Ukrainians are learning right now to implement in the summer. Except they are using GLSDB as precision fire support instead of airplanes and helicopters.

    Furthermore, In a recent thread you made a big deal about Russia not being goaded into starting offensive operations too soon…at this point it’s pretty undeniable that’s exactly what they are doing.

    The Russians clearly have not learned enough of the lessons from their failures of the initial invasion as they are making a lot of the same mistakes again, and they are losing men and equipment at a staggering rate.

    Clearly you have also not learned the lessons of Russia’s failures.

    Have a liberating day.

  17. Jim

    February 14, 2023 at 11:56 am

    Old Desert Coyote,

    I appreciate your analysis.

    But in a Crimea offensive, initially to Melitopol, all the logistics problems you list are what the Ukrainian army would face to a greater degree than the Russian army because in that situation the Russians would be on the defensive, logistic supply lines would be shorter and more secure… and prepared in advance… waiting for Ukraine’s offensive.

    A spear-like drive to Melitopol, and that is what we are discussing, would result in a corridor, not because of forest or ravines, physical topography, rather, it’s because of where the offensive would have to initiate from, it’s jumping off point and it’s obvious objective being Melitopol.

    The comparison to the Teutoburg Forest disaster is due to the fact the German tribes knew where the Roman Legions were marching (in fact seemingly guided the Legions), so could prepare a “trap” for them in a physical setting most advantageous to the Germans… even though the Germans were outmatched overall.

    Also, the corridor to Melitopol is 40 miles long, providing the Russians plenty of opportunity to set up defensive works in depth along the corridor, the necessary approach to Melitopol.

    Should the Ukrainians decide on a Melitopol offensive… not only is it a corridor to death, but likely to encirclement and a cut off of logistics.

    A cut off of logistics as Old Desert Coyote explains would turn a Crimea offensive into a situation which is analogous to the Battle of the Bulge where the Germans ran out of gas, among a whole host of other logistics failures.

    Melitopol is a suicide run!

  18. Paddy Manning

    February 14, 2023 at 11:57 am

    Russia is a third world gangster state with nukes and a really shitty army. Putin should send some of the internet trolls to Ukraine to to be slaughtered.
    Take Crimea back, restore the rule of law and leave the stupid Russians stew in their own misery.

  19. Dave Nelson

    February 14, 2023 at 2:11 pm


    Blow the Kerch bridge with those rocket propelled 250lb bombs. They have the range right now. A couple dozen aimed close together ought to do something useful, esp. if it takes out the rail bridge. If that doesn’t work ask Biden for a one time transfer of longer range HIMARS to finish the job.

    If the canal has been reopened figure out how to block it again.

    Special Forces already damaged an important rail span SSW of Melitople some weeks back. Keep hammering that rail line by any practical means.

    Cynically suggest to the Russians to use their empty logistics trucks to carry Crimea civilians east.

  20. Bob Jackson

    February 14, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Do it on your own dime arse hat.

  21. Roger Bacon

    February 14, 2023 at 4:41 pm

    Maybe the heavy losses suffered disproportionally by Russian far East regions will move them the break away from Moscow. Maybe Putin thinks of their sons as expendable cannon fodder but I suspect they don’t. The world will be a lot safer when Russia finally ceases to exist.

  22. Gary Jacobs

    February 14, 2023 at 5:22 pm


    LoL, watching you try to tell Old Desert Coyote that you know more about logistics than him makes me laugh.

    You are the exact opposite of correct. It is Russia that has much farther to go to resupply…FROM RUSSIA. It shouldnt be that hard to read a map. Ukraine has internal supply lines. Russia has external supply lines. In the military referred to as GLOCs – Ground Lines Of Communication. You should look that up for yourself before you post the complete opposite of reality again. It’s a very basic concept.

    As well, there was just a Ukrainian HIMARS strike on Russian barracks and trucks with ammunition near Mariupol at Nikolske.

    All one has to do is look at a map to notice that is directly south of Vuhledar. And the Ukrainians are so confident of their positions that they drove HIMARS less than 10km from the front line to fire at Nikolske. And that is only with GMLRS. It’s a short distance from there to the M14 Highway, the other main highway from Russia into Ukraine. The M14 is the coastal highway along the Sea of Azov in that area. There is nowhere further south for the Russians to retreat to.

    That means The Ukrainians are a very short distance from having every Russian supply route in Southern Ukraine in firing range. With GLSDB they can direct the missile to circle around to make it come in for the kill from any direction they want. Including sending it out over the Sea of Azov before bring it back inland. It’s a nearly indefensible weapon.

    As well, it’s 115km from Mariupol to the nearest military base in Russia at Taganrog in Russia’s Rostov Oblast. Then another 85km to Berdyansk from Mariupol. Then another 120km from Berdyansk to Melitopol. That’s 320km total from the nearest military base in Russia to Melitopol.

    With GLSDB making Ukraine capable of actual precision strike along almost that entire route…how you think the Ukrainians are worse of is a complete mystery. The city of Melitopol is 120km from the city of Zaporizhia. And the Ukrainians dont always use rail the way the Russians do, especially in that area where the Dnipro River allows for large boats as well. And the river goes all the way from North of Kyiv right into the city of Zaporizhia.

    Furthermore, the recent strike near Mariupol was clearly a precision strike, and the Russians are completely incapable of such precision. They fire their missiles wildly at cities hoping to terrorize civilians.

    The best they can do is to hit large targets like power generating stations. Sometimes they miss so badly they hit apartment buildings.

    And what do they have to show for it? For the last 3 days Ukraine has had %99 power to all its citizens around the clock.

    Which means the Russians have spent hundred$$ of million$$ of dollar$$ on their missile terror campaign for precisely zero strategic effect.

    In fact it has completely backfired and made it easier for western countries to supply Ukraine with better weapons.

    Have a liberating day!

  23. Serhio

    February 14, 2023 at 10:29 pm

    Old Desert Coyote
    “Oh by the way Russian Rail rolling stock cannot use the Ukrainian rail systems. Russian rail gauges are wider than Ukrainian. Causing even more problems for the russians.”

    Here you read such statements and do not know how to treat it. A person writes, tries, but because of the lack of knowledge, sometimes he writes nonsense. And it is no longer possible to take everything written seriously.
    Ukraine was recently part of the same country with Russia. This country was called the USSR. And in this country there was a railway track of the same standard everywhere. But on the western border of Ukraine, it is already necessary to use wheelset change points for wagons and locomotives.

  24. Serhio

    February 14, 2023 at 10:55 pm

    Gary Jacobs
    “Typical Russian glossing over your atrocities. During Soviet times, and ages prior, Russians massacred and ethnically cleansed Crimean Tatars and other people actually native to the area.”

    I am always amazed by the logic of Western propagandists. That is, based on the fact that after the 2nd World War there was a resettlement of Tatars from the Crimea, do you want to spit on the rights of people who now live in the Crimea?? I propose on the same basis to evict all Americans from America, because they live on the land from which their ancestors drove the Indian tribes? Do you like this logic?

  25. Serhio

    February 14, 2023 at 11:21 pm

    Gary Jacobs
    You have planned so wonderfully how with the help of “GLSDB” Ukraine will throw out Russian troops from its territory. And GLSDB is really a formidable weapon. Forgot only a few small problems
    1) the production of these munitions does not yet exist. It must be created, then produced by GLSDB themselves, then delivered, trained.
    2) GLSDB has not been tested in real combat. Only at the landfill in “greenhouse conditions”
    3) The announced GLSDB approach speed is lower than that of the “standard” M26. And this, in turn, gives a high chance to shoot down an aerial target.
    4) Without GPS satellites, this munition is useless. If this weapon is delivered to Ukraine in large quantities and proves to be as effective as described in its advertising, then Russia will have to shoot down GPS satellites.

  26. Ryan

    February 15, 2023 at 1:02 am

    With what man power will Ukraine advance with? Ukraine secret police are driving around in ambulances kidnapping military aged males and forcing them into the war. Millions fled between 2014 and now. Ukraine lost, it’s over! Let’s stop wasting money and lives already.

  27. Neil Ross

    February 16, 2023 at 1:06 pm

    Seems that Blinken’s alleged statements today have taken Crimea off the table as being a reasonable near term goal for Ukraine’s army. A battle best fought long after this current conflict is resolved.

    Can anybody surmise why it was so easy initially for Russia to mount an offensive from Crimea to take over the Kherson region? Where were the Ukranian defensive lines? I have yet to read a plausible explanation.

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