The scenario of a major Ukrainian military counterattack begins with the “Fall of Mariupol. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The scenario of a major Ukrainian military counterattack begins with the “Fall of Mariupol.

The battle in the southeastern part of Ukraine enters its final phase. Russia deploys the Chechen atrocity group "Kadyrov's Unit" and the Ukrainian army deploys its strongest unit, the "Azov Battalion.

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Mariupol, which is still under siege, is receiving reinforcements from pro-Russian areas in the east one after another.

Mariupol, a key city in southeastern Ukraine, is now at a critical juncture. Russia has given Ukrainian soldiers holed up in the city a deadline of 7 p.m. Japan time on April 17 to surrender. President Zelensky, 44, announced his determination to fight to the bitter end and responded by saying that ceasefire negotiations would be terminated if the Ukrainian army was annihilated.

The Russian military deployed the “Kadyrov Unit,” a criminal organization that effectively governs the Chechen Republic. The Ukrainian army, on the other hand, will be met by the “Azov Battalion,” the most powerful unit that made a name for itself in the Donbass War of 2002. Professor Itsuro Nakamura of Tsukuba Gakuin University, an expert on Russian politics, said, “Mariupol is the capital of the Azovs.

Mariupol has a huge port facing the Sea of Azov, large metallurgical and steel plants, and the Donets coal fields to the north. It is a place that the Russian military is targeting as its most important base. Putin wants to conquer Mariupol by May 9, the anniversary of the victory over Germany, and hold a victory parade. The fact that he proposed the idea of surrender is a sign of his desire to make the conquest of Mariupol as smooth as possible.

If the Ukrainian army’s resistance is fierce and the war stalls, the possibility of using biological, chemical, and eventually even nuclear weapons will increase.

The difference in troop strength is obvious. The Ukrainian army is considerably outnumbered.

If the Donetsk and Luhanshik oblasts, where Mariupol is located, are overrun, they can be connected by land to the Crimean Peninsula, which is effectively controlled by Russia. Furthermore, if we control even a third city, Odesa, in the south, Ukraine will lose its exit to the Black Sea. The goal is to negotiate a cease-fire and make it a point that Russian troops will withdraw from areas other than the ones they control,” said Kohaku Kitano, an analyst of international relations.

Masaki Takabe, a former mercenary and military commentator, believes that the fall of Mariupol will “boost the morale of the Ukrainian army.

If the soldiers who were holed up in the ironworks for the final battle do not surrender and fight to the bitter end, they will become ‘heroes who gave their lives for their homeland,'” he said. Mariupol will become an anti-Russian symbol for the Ukrainian people. The effects of the fall of Mariupol will be felt throughout the country. The area around Halkiu, the second largest city in the country, is currently the scene of a fierce battle, and when they hear the news that “Mariupol fought to the last man,” they feel that they too must defend Halkiu to the last man. That is how soldiers on the battlefield are. I think Ukrainian morale will rise throughout the country.

On the other hand, the Russian military suffered heavy damage when the Moscow, the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, was sunk by the Neptune anti-ship missile, and morale has dropped dramatically.

The Moscow was the spiritual pillar of the Russian army. The impact of the sinking of the “Moscow” was equivalent to the fall of the capital. It was a battleship that brought together so much of Russia’s military power. Not only would the morale of the soldiers be lowered, but there is also a possibility that anti-war sentiment among the people of Russia would increase.

The international desk of a national newspaper also sees Russia’s position as inferior.

The Black Sea Fleet is not functioning, so it will be difficult for Russia to gain control of Odesa. The Russian military does not have much strength left over. Since their forces are dispersed, they cannot encircle the capitals of Khiu and Halkhiu unless they complete the fighting in Mariupol and the eastern part of the country. How far we can wear down the Russian forces in Mariupol will be the deciding factor.

How are the Ukrainian forces going to fight? A desk clerk at a national newspaper continues.

I think they will wage guerrilla warfare in each city, and bring the war to a long-term conclusion. For the Ukrainian military, which has a geographical advantage, fighting in urban areas will give it an overwhelming advantage. Ukraine is supported by NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), so it will never run out of supplies and weapons. The Russian army’s supply lines have been destroyed one after another by the “Switchblade,” a self-destructing unmanned aerial vehicle, and the front line has become increasingly impoverished. Furthermore, economic sanctions by Western countries have devastated the domestic economy, increasing the risk of a coup d’état. By bringing the conflict into a protracted war, they are waiting for the internal collapse of Putin’s regime. If the Ukrainian military’s counterattack intensifies and is pushed back, the movement to topple Putin’s government will grow even stronger.

NATO countries are stepping up the provision of weapons to support a major Ukrainian counteroffensive, he said.

Until now, weapons used for interception, such as anti-tank missiles (Javelin and NLAW), have been the mainstay, but recently they have been providing multipurpose helicopters, howitzers with a range of 20 km and excellent frontline support, and armored vehicles with high runaway capability,” he said. Recently, Ukraine has been provided with weapons for offensive operations, such as multipurpose helicopters, the M113, an armored personnel carrier with a range of 20 kilometers and excellent frontline support capabilities, and other weapons.

However, Nakamura’s outlook is bleak.

Ukraine will not accept a ceasefire unless all Russian troops withdraw from the region. I think the war will become a quagmire. At the very least, the war will not end this year.

Even at great cost, Ukraine is determined to fight back.

The Azov Battalion, Ukraine’s strongest unit, continues to resist at the Azovstal Ironworks in Mariupol.
In ’14, President Vladimir Putin visited the “Moscow,” a huge Russian missile cruiser. It was sunk, and morale was low.
President Zelensky has emphasized his determination to fight to the bitter end, saying, “We will not accept a ceasefire until the Russian army withdraws completely from the area.
In Mariupol, tanks bearing the “Z” symbol of the Russian army are already on the roads day and night.

From the May 6 and 13, 2022 issues of FRIDAY


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