The combat readiness of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the area of Slavyansk cannot be underestimated
The liberation of Lisichansk, judging by operational reports, is a matter of several days. The city will come under the control of the Russian army and its allied forces from the DPR and LPR. Many people ask: what's next? In what direction will our troops go and what difficulties await them? Is a large-scale counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine possible? Military observer, reserve colonel Mikhail Khodarenok answered these and other questions of MK.
– After the capture of Lisichansk, and apparently the mastery of these cities is a foregone conclusion, and it will happen in the coming days, all the efforts of the allied forces will be concentrated on mastering the Kramatorsk-Slavic agglomeration. Undoubtedly, the next main direction is the areas of Bakhmut (Artemivsk).
– It is necessary to take into account that the armed forces of Ukraine have been strengthening this particular defense center and have been doing it for quite a long time. It must be assumed that they built a defense there according to all the rules of modern fortification. There is every reason to believe that the leadership of the allied forces takes these circumstances into account when planning military operations and all necessary measures to destroy the nodes, strongholds of defense will be taken.
As for the terrain in that area, there are forests there. There are relatively few roads, which will make it difficult for us to transfer the necessary groups. Therefore, there are objectively certain difficulties in this area.
– It doesn't matter how high the city building is. In any case, it always presents an advantage to the defending side. And the battle in the city is considered one of the most difficult, because the troops that intend to capture this or that settlement need to form assault detachments, assault groups.
Such groups include not only motorized rifle units, but also tank artillery, engineering and sapper units, flamethrowers from the troops of radiation, chemical and biological protection.
It is with such forces that the tasks of capturing settlements must be solved. This is a rather serious task, but the allied forces already have a very solid experience.
– There is no exact intelligence. But the strength of the Ukrainian group defending in this defensive center can be estimated as 8-10 thousand fighters and commanders.
– This is, in fact, a division. But it is far from the number of troops that determines success in a particular operation, but skillful leadership, equipment with fire weapons, food and ammunition supplies, and morale. Numbers in modern combat do not play such a big role as before.
– Despite the existing facts of desertion and evasion from combat, the combat effectiveness of the armed forces of Ukraine cannot be underestimated. It is always better to assume that a worthy adversary is fighting. In this case, we will have fewer losses of both personnel and military equipment. The enemy should always be treated with respect, whatever he may be.
– At this stage, no. There can be no talk of a counteroffensive at all. Even counterattacks are doubtful.
– Because in order to carry out counterattacks on an operational scale, it is necessary, at least temporarily, to have superiority in air and artillery. In this region, Ukrainians cannot yet boast of this. Therefore, counterattacks of a tactical scale, such as a motorized rifle battalion or a tank company, we can still allow, but counterattacks with large forces at this stage are unlikely. Until the collective West thoroughly strengthens them with artillery, and in the future with aviation, it is too early to talk about counterattacks.
– Yes, the situation is approximately the same in the Slavyansko-Kramatorsk agglomeration. But again, it is difficult to judge the degree of fortification now.
– There is reason to believe that the allied forces have already gained a lot of experience in terms of storming settlements and fighting in dense urban areas. Therefore, there is hope that these terms will be significantly shorter than during the storming of Mariupol.
– If we go too far, then we can hypothetically assume that the plans of the allied command and the command of the Russian Armed Forces include the mastery of such cities, like Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, Odessa. But this is only hypothetical. Now we need to solve primary tasks.