A Ukrainian counter-offensive operation in Kherson is tipped to fracture the “moral spirit” of Russian forces. Kherson, which has been in the grips of Russian control since the early stages of President Putin’s invasion, has come under attack from Ukraine’s defending troops in a mission set to trigger a probable “shift” in the war. Retired US lieutenant colonel Alexander Vindman has described the strategy as a “major opportunity” for Ukraine to seize the upper hand in the conflict.
Speaking to CNN, Lt Col Vindman said: “I would probably describe this as the last major opportunity for a shorter war.
“If the Ukrainians are able to do this, it will decisively shift the initiative over to the Ukrainian side.
“It will probably break the moral spirit of the Russians, in large portions they will have to ask themselves some significant questions.”
In his analysis of the situation, Lt Col Vindman suggested Ukraine could shorten the conflict by seizing Kherson as the occupation of the city had become a huge strategic and morale-boosting victory for the Russians.
Lt Col Vindman continued: “Kherson is the major city in this entire war effort that they have managed to seize, bigger than Mariupol, bigger than anything else.
“It is strategic. It also gives them control of the Dnipro river.
“If they manage to do that, you could then see the repositioning of forces to something far more palpable and manageable for the Ukrainians to first defend and then attack through.”
By forcing Russian troops out of the Kherson region, Ukraine would force the Kremlin to reconfigure their war strategy, leaving Moscow’s troops vulnerable to Ukrainian advances.