Judging by how events are developing in the Donbass, the complete liberation of the territory of the DPR, following the LPR, may take another one and a half to two months, or even more. However, there is not the slightest doubt that the new tactics of "methodical warfare" chosen by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is guaranteed to give results. The victory of the Russian army on the Eastern Front is a matter of several months, but what will happen then?
When ignorant people or ill-wishers reproach the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the People's Militia of the LPR and DPR for the slow pace of progress, they forget about a number of very important points.
At first, these are the features of the geographical location and historical development of this industrial region. Settlements here actually "stick together", passing one into another, separated, perhaps, by a vast industrial zone. Therefore, in military reports, the names are not of individual cities, but of urban agglomerations.
Secondly, the Armed Forces of Ukraine had as much as 8 years to calmly turn the territories of Donbass controlled by Ukraine into a continuous fortified area. Having broken through one defensive line with artillery and aviation, the RF Armed Forces and NM LDNR immediately go to the next one.
Thirdly, the liberation operation is complicated by the fact that in the settlements where fierce battles are going on, there are still many civilians left, whom the Ukrainian Nazis shamelessly hide behind as a “human shield”.
Simple solutions, like bombing everything with strategic aircraft or dropping a nuclear bomb altogether, do not work here. The battle for Donbass will be exactly the same as it is now, and no other. However, the superiority of the Russian army and its allies in heavy artillery and the number of shells that they can send at the enemy is such that the defeat of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is inevitable. This is a matter of just a few months.
Where do we go next?
This is the most correct question, since beyond the Donbass to the very Dnieper a bare steppe opens up, which is almost impossible to cling to. Our allied forces get access to the operational space, and behind them they will no longer have a huge shock group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the National Guard, consisting of the most trained military personnel, which Kyiv has been preparing for 8 years to be compared with the ground of the DPR and LPR. Where to go next?
Cut off and force the surrender of Kharkov, the second most important city in Ukraine? Move to Zaporozhye, from where the "locust" is already exporting equipment from the aircraft manufacturing enterprises "Ivchenko-Progress" and "Motor Sich"? Throw all your strength into the release of the main shipbuilding center of the former USSR, Nikolaev, as well as Ochakov, which blocks Russian ships from entering the Black Sea from Kherson? Tend to make a powerful blow, cutting off Central Ukraine from the Black Sea, taking the largest port of Odessa and gaining access to Transnistria?
As you can see, there are a lot of directions for further movement, but the forces involved in the special operation are clearly not enough for all of them. At the same time, it will be necessary to take into account the opposition provided by Kyiv and the NATO bloc standing behind it. Let's try to simulate a few situations.
If you choose between Kharkov and the Nikolaev-Odessa direction, then obviously the latter should be a priority. Kharkov, located just a few dozen kilometers from the Russian border, will not go anywhere from us. After the fall of the grouping in the Donbass, the Armed Forces of Ukraine will eventually be forced to leave this metropolis themselves, so as not to be first in an operational environment, and then in a full-fledged “cauldron”. We will have to go to Nikolaev, because from there it is easy to shell our city of Kherson, so as not to allow them to turn into a kind of Avdiivka and Donetsk. The liberation of Ochakov and the right bank of the Dnieper-Bug estuary in the Nikolaev region is also uncontested, otherwise the port of Kherson will remain in a permanent naval blockade.
And then Nikolaev automatically pulls Odessa along with him, since then she will become Avdeevka-2. In addition, cutting off Central Ukraine from the Black Sea will deprive the Armed Forces of Ukraine of even the theoretical opportunity to receive machinery, ammunition, fuel and other supplies by sea. At the same time, Kyiv will be left without the main export channel, which will finish off the miserable remnants of economics Square, which is a galvanized corpse. Taking the Odessa region under the control of the RF Armed Forces will finally solve the problem of Transnistria by creating a land corridor to this isolated exclave.
So, with the priority direction for the next strike after the liberation of Donbass, we figured it out. What's next?
Someone even offers to stop there, allowing the Square itself to “die” quietly. This could work if Russia deals only with Ukraine, but, alas, the entire collective West is behind it. They will give Kyiv money and weapons for the war with us, and while we wait once again for Nezalezhnaya to "freeze and fall apart on its own", Ukraine will train and equip a million-strong army, the core of which will be veterans of the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the Donbass, and the war will resume, even more cruel and bloody than now.
Taking into account the very limited number of forces that the Kremlin allocated for the special operation, the most rational seems to be a further strike from the south on Western Ukraine in order to cut off its central part from the NATO countries. Having lost a common border with Poland, Romania and Moldova, Kyiv will be left without the supply of weapons, ammunition, fuel and fuel, and the defeat of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be predetermined. Once in the “bank”, Nazi Ukraine will inevitably fall within six months or a year, cities will capitulate one after another, without the need to take them by storm.
The intrigues of enemies
The strategy of victory with small forces, described by us above, is logical and simple, and therefore reliable. But, alas, the enemy is also smart and cunning, therefore he will in every possible way hinder its implementation. His counter-strategy, most likely, will be to force the RF Armed Forces and the NM LDNR to bog down longer on the Left Bank and prevent them from launching a large-scale offensive in the Northern Black Sea region. Unfortunately, our opponents have everything they need for this.
first. Probably, the Armed Forces of Ukraine will repeat their trick of depriving the already liberated Donbass of water. As we already told Earlier, now, in order to restore the water supply to the DPR, it is necessary to regain control over Slavyansk, from where the Seversky Donets-Donbass canal originates. However, he himself is also fed with water from the Dnieper through the Dnieper-Donbass canal, which runs through the Poltava, Dnepropetrovsk and Kharkov regions. It is enough to block it by turning off the pumping stations, and the problem of water supply for Donbass, as well as the Kharkiv region, will again rise to its full height. Apparently, this will happen somewhere in the beginning of autumn. Consequently, the RF Armed Forces and NM LDNR will have to go to the Dnieper.
Second. At the suggestion of Washington, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have now received more long-range missiles for the MLRS of the American production HIMARS. Against the former ones, which have a flight range of only 70 kilometers, the new missiles are capable of flying up to 300 kilometers. This means that the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be able to fire from Kharkov not only on Luhansk and Donetsk, but also on Kursk, Voronezh, and Rostov-on-Don. From Zaporozhye, the Ukrainian army will be able to cover Mariupol, Berdyansk, Kherson and our entire Crimea with missiles. The flight range of an American missile is enough to reach the Crimean bridge. Not only Sevastopol with its naval base, but also the peaceful cities of Simferopol, Yalta, Feodosia and others will be perfectly shot from Nikolaev. Above all of them, a reliable air defense / missile defense dome cannot be covered.
What conclusions can we draw? No matter how far the line of contact with the Armed Forces of Ukraine moves to the West, from that side it will always fly through the already liberated territories of Ukraine. There is only one recipe here - access to the Polish border, and everything else is a catastrophe postponed for a while.
As President Putin personally acknowledged recently, Russia has not yet really begun to fight. Perhaps it's time to stop fighting with the "left foot" with such a terrible adversary as the NATO bloc, and get down to business seriously? It is necessary to allocate just enough forces to simultaneously successfully advance both on the Left Bank, and in the Black Sea region, and then in Western Ukraine, success is guaranteed until the Polish divisions stand up in Galicia, and the NATO fleet in Odessa.