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Ukraine Has Big Plans to Take Back Crimea from Putin

T-80 Tank Destroyed in Ukraine. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Ukraine Has a New Military Goal: The Ukrainian military is preparing for its large-scale counteroffensive, and the Crimean Peninsula is one of the likely targets

On day 424 of the war in Ukraine, the fighting on the ground continues to be one of attrition as the Russian forces are pushing hard to capture the town of Bakhmut in the Donbas.

For the time being, the Ukrainian military continues to cling to the western part of the ruined town. 

The Ukrainian military has established some limited presence on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River close to Kherson City in the south. Although it isn’t an operational breakthrough, the limited crossing of the Dnipro might ease pressure in other parts of the battlefield as the Russian forces might seek to bolster its defenses in Kherson and thus protect Crimea.  

Pushing to Crimea?

The Ukrainian military has had its sights fixed on the Crimean Peninsula for some time now. With Kyiv’s large-scale counteroffensive approaching, Crimea could be a target for the Ukrainian military. 

Since 2014, Crimea has been under Russian control after Moscow invaded and illegally annexed the Ukrainian province. Although since the start of the invasion, the West has collectively provided close to $60 billion in security aid to Ukraine, it has avoided supplying the Ukrainian military with long-range weaponry that targets Russian positions and troops in Crimea. 

But as the frontline is moving closer to Crimea, long-range fires systems in use by the Ukrainian military, such as the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), will eventually be able to target Russian positions. The Russian forces have shown to be highly vulnerable to precision strikes before. 

The Ukrainian leadership has been holding the location of its upcoming counteroffensive a secret. The eastern part of Kherson is a likely location, as it offers the shortest way to Crimea. Still, the Ukrainian military would need to cross the Dnipro in force and establish a sustainable beachhead to achieve that. 

Russian Casualties 

The Russian forces suffered heavy casualties over the last 24 hours. 

Russian military and Wagner Group mercenary units lost approximately 660 troops killed or wounded and 62 tanks, armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles, artillery pieces, tactical unmanned aerial systems, and miscellaneous vehicles and fuel tanks. 

Although the Russian forces are absorbing this attrition and continue to conduct offensive operations, Moscow can’t sustain this level of casualties over the long term and win on the ground. 

Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Monday, Ukrainian forces have killed and wounded approximately 187,080 Russian troops.

Destroyed equipment includes 308 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets, 294 attack and transport helicopters, 3,683 tanks, 2,849 artillery pieces, 7,039 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 539 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 18 boats and cutters, 5,753 vehicles and fuel tanks, 289 anti-aircraft batteries, 2,413 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 339 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 911 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.

MORE: Video – Ukraine Has Massive New NATO ‘Cannon’ Ready To Fight Russia

Expert Biography

A 19FortyFive Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. He is currently working towards a Master’s Degree in Strategy and Cybersecurity at the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). His work has been featured in Business InsiderSandboxx, and SOFREP.

1945’s Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist with specialized expertise in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.