Ukrainian strikes

Ukrainian strikes: A new strategy of attacks on logistical targets in Russian-held territory is having an impact, analysts say, symbolically as well as militarily.

KYIV, Ukraine — The Ukrainian military extended the fight deeper into Russian-controlled territory on Friday, as it sharpens a strategy of trying to degrade Moscow’s combat capabilities by striking ammunition depots and supply lines in the occupied Crimean Peninsula and other areas the Kremlin had long thought to be safe.

Ukrainian Strikes Cause Moscow to Re-Think Munitions Supply and Logistics (Part Two)

Crimea, a key staging ground for Russia’s invasion, has been firmly under Kremlin control since it was illegally annexed by Moscow in 2014. But it has been rocked by several recent attacks, some carried out by clandestine Ukrainian fighters operating behind enemy lines. Oleksiy Danilov, the head of Ukraine’s national security council, said on Friday that Kyiv would target sites in Crimea as part of a “step-by-step demilitarization of the peninsula with its subsequent de-occupation.”

Overnight into Friday, blasts hit at a military airfield outside Sevastopol, the largest city in Crimea and home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet; the Russians later said the booms were the sound of successful antiaircraft fire. Loud bangs were also reported above the Kerch Strait bridge, the only land link connecting Russia to Crimea. There appeared to be no damage to the bridge, and Russia said that those explosions, too, were the result of antiaircraft fire.

Blasts Rock Russian Bases All Around Ukraine As Kyiv Strikes With Rockets And Drones

A large fire also broke out in an ammunition depot in Russia itself, in the border region of Belgorod, forcing the evacuation of two villages, according to the region’s governor, Vyacheslav Gladkov.

The blasts came less than two weeks after a Ukrainian strike on a Russian air base in Crimea destroyed eight fighter jets. And this week, huge explosions hit a Russian ammunition depot in Crimea, which a senior Ukrainian official attributed to an elite Ukrainian military unit.


Russian officials acknowledged explosions at the sites and said they were investigating the causes.

Russia Hunts Saboteurs in Crimea After Blasts

It remains unclear whether Ukraine’s recent activity in Russian-held territory is just an isolated flurry or, as Ukrainian officials have said, the first stages of a sustained effort to diminish Russia’s military capability.

Nor is it clear that even a successful campaign of sabotage could overcome the Russian military’s overwhelming advantage in numbers and weaponry. Russia suffered a humiliating defeat in northern Ukraine in the war’s early days but was able to regroup and launch a drive in the east that rumbled through Luhansk Province and is still inching forward.

Paula J. Dobriansky, a former American diplomat specializing in national security affairs, said that by threatening Russian supply lines and underscoring Moscow’s tenuous grip on Crimea, the strikes in Crimea were “both operational and symbolic.”

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The strikes may also represent a deliberate strategy not only to disrupt Russian logistics and supply lines but to put the war back on the Russian domestic political agenda, said Christopher Miller, an associate professor of international history at the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

“The Russian view has been that Crimea is a closed issue, and while the reality is that Russia has had uncontested de facto control, now that is no longer the case,” he said. “Certainly, Ukraine isn’t threatening any immediate retaking of Crimea,” he added, but Ukraine has shown the area is vulnerable to attack.

The blasts came amid escalating tensions around the sprawling Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southeastern Ukraine, Europe’s largest, where Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of planning an attack that could lead to a nuclear disaster.

The Jamestown Foundation

Ukrainian Strikes Cause Moscow to Re-Think Munitions Supply and Logistics (Part Two) – Jamestown

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