Is Phase One Of The Ukrainian Campaign Complete?

Is Phase One Of The Ukrainian Campaign Complete?


Is Phase One Of The Ukrainian Campaign Complete?


Colonel Kirtiyanand Das

It’s almost a fortnight now since the Russians crossed into Ukraine. Initially most of the people thought that Russians would do a sort of Blitzkrieg as the Germans did in the WW-ll.

When that did not happen people thought that Ukrainians were giving a tough fight or may be Russian logistics supports weren’t matching up with the speed of the various battle groups.

People also thought as to why the Russians are not using their air power indiscriminately as the Americans do. Were they afraid of retaliation from the NATO?

 Russians are known to use their artillery and rockets massively, even that did not happen.

It was there after generally believed that Ukrainians were doing well and the Russians were not doing that well. Some Western media were also taking credit that NATO Forces had trained the Ukrainian forces well since 2014 and that was bearing fruits now.

Some thought that the Ukraine will turn into another Afghanistan for the Russians and the Ukrainian towns will become Stalingrad for the Russians!

But has that become so?

Not as yet.

Russia has fielded some 1,30,000 plus troops. That makes the strength to that of some four Corps plus. Almost like the strength of an Army as in India.

She has targeted two important cities one in North West that is the Kyiv, the capital city and the biggest as well and another Kharkiv further east and the second largest city and another down south from the south eastern portion the Donetsk area which has more ethnic Russian population and there have been clashes between the two ethnic groups that is Russians and Ukrainians for almost a decade now.

Both number one and number two cities that is Kyiv and Kharkiv have been surrounded by the Russians and have been cut off from the rest of Ukraine. In military term this called Investment. In layman’s term troops have been invested as we invest money in a business or bank for subsequent gain and interest.

In the south the Russians have moved further west cutting off Ukraine from sea of Azov completely.

May be on each axis Russians have committed a Corps and kept another in reserve.

So has the Russians phase one is complete?

May be!

May be the Russians did not use air power, artillery and rockets massively to avoid damage to civil properties and to minimize the civilian casualties. May be they donot want to annoy the population so much that it triggers an insurgency and then of no return to normalcy at all.

Ukraine and Russia have a love and hate relationship. And the population is quite mixed up.

Civilisationally, culturally and religiously it is same except that Western Slav follow Catholic faith and use Latin alphabet. Eastern Slavs that include Russians as well follow Orthodox faith and use Cyrillic alphabets and for most part of its history Ukraine has been part of same political system as Russia, be that Kyiv Rus of distant past or the Imperial Russia or the Soveit Union. Its only since 1990 that it has been independent. And till 2014 the government was also pro Russian. It’s only when West engineered a coup and brought in a comedian to the stage that tragedy has started!

The present crisis is the creation of the west under the American leadership. They neglected Russia after the disintegration of Soveit Union. Then they moved NATO further east from the pre Cold War frontiers, despite giving words to the contrary.

Russia has been attacked twice in the past, once under the Napoleon by France and then by Germany under Hitler. Russian fear of another repeat of western invasion if any is genuine then.

Americans did not want to integrate Russia in to EU. That would end the fear of conflict and make NATO irrelevant. That would reduce Europe’s dependency on the America and that would lead to fall in sell of American arms to NATO and hence the profits of the American Arms Industry.

Russia felt harassed and humiliated. Once the Russian gas deal came up with the EU nations the American fear of loss of profits and becoming irrelevant looked more pronounced. America further isolated Russia and brought in sanctions after sanctions, once the Russians moved into Georgia, Azerbaijan and subsequently annexed Crimea.

Russia had no option but to move closer to China and become almost its junior partner.

It has been all Americans doing.

They invested in China and turned it into a Frankstien Monster and then humiliated Russia and forced it to join hands with China. And all these led to Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Now in case the phase one is complete and over then what is likely to be phase two like?

The Russians will know that better.We can only make wild guesses.

The Russians will not move in to the cities and slip into built up area battles.

 In case the Ukrainians are antagonised further then chances of both urban and rural insurgencies to irrupt are more. And that is what the west is waiting for to happen. And then Russia will suffer an Ukrainian Ulcer as Napoleon suffered a Spanish Ulcer in Spain.

Russia will try to avoid this.

Most probably the Russians will activate the ousted President and his supporters and bring in a regime change at the earliest.

Move further west and seal the borders with the NATO countries with the Ukrainian troops once they succeed in the regime change.

Most probably they will avoid to make Russian troops come face to face with the NATO Forces. Any small incident may flare up further, that may become difficult to extinguish.

So let us cross our fingers and see how the phase two unfolds!!

This is crystal ball gazing when the fog of war is so thick!