The General Staff in Moscow is itching to start the operation to occupy the land corridor which will connect Crimea with Russia. The order from Putin may come very soon.
Russian forces in Donbas now don’t even bother to hide their origin, and only two groups really believe that local “separatists” are in charge of the warfare: 1) Russian TV-zombies and 2) Western journalists, who continue to describe the Russian spetsnaz soldiers as “insurgents” (including the Norwegian State TV channel NRK, which now appear almost pro-Russian in its eager to be “balanced”). Moscow can just continue to deny everything, even when (and not if) they push the button for this operation.
The attacks will come from three directions:
- Mariupol. Either by occupying the city or just by-passing it.
- Russian Navy attacks from the Azov Sea (or “DNR Navy attacks”, as Western press will name it)
- Crimea. Russian are building up heavy forces on the peninsula.
There is also a possibility that Russian forces in Pridnestrovye will participate, but they will be the last to get the “go” signal.
With the weak leadership in Kiev in mind, the operation will not last very long. The distances are relatively short:
- From Mariupol to Melitopol is only 191 km
- From Chonhar at the border between Zaporoshye and Crimea it’s only 113 km
The Russian invasion in August showed that they are able to advance quite rapidly.
Response from the West
When this operation starts there will of course be an outcry from Western medias and politicians. But there will still be no will or ability to do the right thing, which of course is starting to send heavy weapons and experts to Ukraine. The lack of decisiveness may be fatal for Europe. Putin will consider any kind of military success as a possibility to go on, and on and on…