“Then that moment came when the war was strategically won”

Ukrainian soldiers in the counteroffensive

In an interview with ZDFheute, Keupp explains the Ukrainian approach to the counter-offensive. According to Keupp, the Ukrainian troops – depending on which side you want to believe – “are either in front of the first line or are about to break through the first line of the Russians”. Many would expect “some kind of Hollywood movie,” he says. “Of course that’s nonsense.”

The Ukrainian calculation consists not only of large advances, but also of cutting off the logistics in the hinterland. This will “at some point give the Russian troops the impression that their position is no longer tenable.” Keupp believes that this will happen. “And then that moment came when the war was strategically won.” He expects it in the fall. But “it’s not like you have that one big moment where the tank then bursts through the trench.”

“Make it clear to Russian troops that their logistical position is untenable”

Because it is not Ukraine’s goal to break through the Russian defense line over a large area. Rather, it is about “making it clear to the Russian troops that their logistical position is untenable”. Because “the attack on the trench line is not independent of the attacks on logistics”.

The first Russian trench line was “relatively poorly manned”. The Russian calculation applies, “that these poor people have to die first,” says Keupp. The stronger Russian troops would then sit in the second and third lines. There is also a “massive mine belt” along the entire front. But as soon as Ukraine breaks through, there will be “nothing left in the hinterland”. That won’t happen “overnight,” but the Russian forces couldn’t stay there forever either.

Because of the destroyed Crimean bridges, the Russian military has to “drive a huge detour”

Meanwhile, Ukraine shells numerous bridges in Crimea. This will obstruct the Russian supply routes for the troops stationed on the peninsula and the route to Ukraine. Should it be possible to eliminate the Russian logistics, the Russian troops would be stuck in Crimea without supplies. “Not much is left of the bridges,” says Keupp.

There is only one route that can bring heavy military traffic from the Crimea to the southern front: “That’s Amiansk,” a road and rail bridge, the expert explains. However, this does not lead “to where the most difficult struggles are”. Therefore, the Russians would have to “drive a huge detour”, which would take about three hours. Russian logistics are becoming “vulnerable,” says Keupp.

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