Gernot Kramper (star) At Cherson itself, strong offensive operations are difficult to imagine because you have to cross this huge river. // There they have the opportunity to cut the land connection between Crimea and Donbass in the open steppe, or at least that’s the goal they have. A clear strategic goal. This is Putin’s last major conquest in this war.
Hendrik Holdmann (star) How will the war develop in the next few weeks? Will it be a quiet winter, or will the fighting that took place around Kherson shift now?
Gernot Kramper (star) I don’t think it’s going to be a quiet winter because Ukraine has the momentum now and they’re going to want to keep that momentum, especially for more success stories, to put pressure on the Russians, to make more conquests, but also for more success stories to be able to show. Because the burden on the civilian population from these power cuts will be – if this continues, yes, extremely high, so to keep morale up. That means Ukraine will neither want nor be able to afford a quiet winter. At Cherson itself, strong offensive operations are difficult to imagine, because you have to cross this huge river and also have to reckon with the fact that the enemy, if things get too critical for him, simply blow up a dam above completely, not only damaging it, but also destroying it destroyed him in essence. To make a tidal wave and then all your troops are cut off. Nobody wants to risk that. So Ukraine will want to pull the troops out of there. And I would guess that the fighting is shifting to an area where there hasn’t been any really heavy fighting since the summer, and that’s between the Dnepr and the Donbass, i.e. this steppe line. And that is also the strategic goal of Ukraine, because there they have the opportunity to cut the land connection between Crimea and Donbass in the open steppe, or at least that is the goal they have. A clear strategic goal. This is Putin’s last major conquest in this war. Leaving aside territorial gains in the Donbass, which is Ukraine’s natural goal, they must somehow get the troops from the western side of the Dnieper to the eastern side. You must reinsert them. All this will take time. So you can’t expect the major offensive to break out in practically ten days. I would consider that unlikely. But I think it’s likely that the fights will shift to this area. And then you have to assume that winter is very hostile to life for the soldiers, because you have to heat things up and things like that and because you keep leaving tracks in the snow. Which, of course, very, very quickly leads to major damage in this type of drone warfare. But the war with big offensives can only start again when the ground is frozen through. Because in Ukraine there is this mud period. The fronts are relatively tight. I think the idea of advancing only along the roads is unrealistic. And that means it has to be dry or it just has to be freezing so that heavy vehicles, i.e. 50-ton trucks, i.e. tanks, don’t sink in there. And that means it will take a while anyway, because the conditions are not like that at the moment. That means light ground frost is not even enough. But for Ukraine. But insofar as everything is in quotation marks, the timing is halfway right, because they have to relocate their troops, they have to start preparing for this offensive and then at some point in the severe frost period it could start. And in that respect I would expect that there is no quiet winter. There are certainly regrouping pauses now, but it’s not like there won’t be any fighting.