After the liberation of Kherson, what battles lie ahead for Kiev?

The joyous emotions of Kherson residents, Ukrainian flags in hand, showed how difficult the Russian occupation of the city had been for nearly nine months. Upon their arrival, Ukrainian soldiers were greeted with flowers and hugs. Even the President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the city From Monday, when it’s still not safe, to sing the national anthem.

This Ukrainian victory is very important It was a hellish setback for the Russian army. Since September, the latter has been struggling to withstand counterattacks by Ukrainian forces. with Loss of Gerson, the Russians lost the capital of one of the regions annexed by Moscow in September. However, the fighters in Q still have a long way to go before they can recover their entire area. Until why Crimea. We don’t know if Ukrainian forces will have the ability to do so, but “they have the will,” Eurocrisis’ director of strategic studies, Isabel Dufour, confirms to 20 Minutes.

A week after the release, where is Gerson?

Taken by the Russians on March 2, the city was liberated on November 9 after the Russian soldiers were ordered to evacuate. But still life is not back to normal. Citizens sometimes have no water, no electricity. “Before escaping from Kherson, the invaders Destroying all critical infrastructure – communication, water supply, heat, electricityā€¯, announced the Ukrainian President on November 12. It is necessary to rebuild key and essential infrastructures such as debris removal, sewage disposal and sewage treatment.

The Russians managed to set escape traps on the other side of the Dnieper, the river that runs through the city. The city’s importance to the Kremlin is linked to its prime location Crimea has been annexed by Russia since 2014 And this The Ukrainian port of Odessa In the West, he saved him from destruction. But the danger is not completely gone. Isabelle Dufour warns that the city left by the Russians “is at risk of sabotage, traps and mines”.

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Igor Klymenko, head of the national police, warned city residents of the presence of explosives left behind by Russian forces and called on them to “go with caution.” He said a policeman was injured during a demining operation in a building in Kherson. “There is a transition phase between military planning and civilian planning,” explains Isabel Dufour. It is now up to Ukrainian civil engineers to begin demining, which could take several weeks. But unlike other recent battlefields, the residents here are eager to help their fighters spot dangers. “Residents of Gerson help to find and report such a dwelling, which may be a site or trapped,” says Isabelle Dufour. “They share in their liberation,” he sums up.

How can Ukrainian forces continue the counterattack?

After the forced evacuation of more than 70,000 citizens from the city, the Russian army crossed the Dnieper to establish itself on the other side of the river. on the left bank. To continue their advance, Ukrainian forces must also cross the river. “But it can be complicated,” warns Isabel Dufour. ” Bridges and boats were destroyedIn their flight, the Russians left nothing that could be used to cross,” he notes.

In addition, an attack by water “requires large military and support resources, while the Russians can attack Ukrainian forces at the time of landing, which is very dangerous,” says Abundant, director of strategic studies at Eurocrisis. “The Ukrainians have often surprised us in this war,” he quips, especially since the Ukrainian forces are not known for their maritime elements. It then depends on the capabilities of the Ukrainian military but it depends The position of the Russian forces in front

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Another way is encirclement. Instead of crossing, the fighters of the Kiev army can isolate Russian positions in the Kherson region, “which will automatically fall,” analyzes Isabelle Dufour. “The Russians are in a defensive position, easy to catch, but also easy to target,” he repeats. Especially since there are many maneuvers of Russian troops towards Zaporozhye. “They may reorganize,” explains Isabelle Dufour. He adds that Ukrainian forces can “exploit this weak point”.

What battles are left to fight?

Victory at Kherson The Russian withdrawal was the third since the invasion began on February 24, and Kew had to be captured in the spring in the face of stiff resistance from the Ukrainians before Russia was forced out. In September almost the entire Kharkiv region (north-east) “We can only win together and drive Russia out of Ukraine. We are on the right track,” announced the head of Ukrainian diplomacy, Dmytro Kuleba, on November 12.

But there are many more struggles to be had. has Bagmouth Fighting continues in the east. Moscow has been trying to capture the city since the summer. This is the main battlefield where the Russian army, supported by the men of the paramilitary group Wagner, continues to attack. However, Isabelle Dufour believes that “Russia is making a lot of efforts there to have a little impact on the ground, they are tired, and even if the Ukrainians are losing some ground there, it is not significant.” The capture of Bakhmout by the Russian army in particular would be a great victory, but not as much as the victory of the Ukrainians in Kherson, a annexed city that belongs to the story of Russian victory. And if other capitals Connected areasDonetsk, Luhansk or Imprisonment Released by Ukrainian forces, “it would be devastating” for Moscow, militarily but especially politically, continues Isabelle Dufour.

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kyiv has already warned: total victory will be established only if all their territories, including Crimea, are captured. If it is released in the east with the Donbass, “it will be the ultimate victory,” says the director of strategic studies at Eurocrisis. This is an opportunity that cannot be ruled out. Ukrainians are now 90 km from the region. “To see if they have the capability, but in any case they have the option, recalls Isabelle Dufour. And that would be a final humiliation. It would probably require Western military assistance. So if Ukraine can cross the Dnieper and sow panic on the Russian side, they can push their forces into Crimea.

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