Why Ukraine’s Long-Awaited Kherson Counteroffensive Matters

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War in Ukraine


But while the Ukrainian side has been “methodical” in its preparation for the offensive, says Ed Arnold, a research fellow for European security at the British military think-tank RUSI, there is a risk of leaving other points on the frontline vulnerable to a Russian attack. “The issue is the Ukrainians are pressing on almost five fronts” along the west of the Dnipro, Arnold says. “If they’re successful in Kherson, some in the military and political command may say ‘well, let’s go further and further.’ And by doing that, they could actually put their gains at risk, because they would overextend their lines.” It’s important to keep each front balanced, Arnold adds, to “avoid having to fight protracted fights, especially in cities because they don’t want to destroy their own population centers.” He says the best tactic, which Kyiv seems to be pursuing so far, is to isolate Russian units in “pockets” and try to force their surrender.