The Cynic

1) At the very beginning of the war, Russia announced that “it is in Kherson forever”, a local collaborator was appointed, a series of filtration purges began, and then a plan was announced to prepare for a referendum, which should take place before the end of this year.

2) Although Kherson was not the original goal of the war, it represents a serious stress factor for the Kremlin. It is believed that the “surrender of Kherson” will lead to a serious decline in Putin’s reputation in the Kremlin itself. It is also believed that the “goodwill gesture” in Kherson will kill the reputation of the Russian command “on the ground”, because of which the morale will be reduced so much that the Russians will start to flee even from the “stable” sectors of the front, realizing that the leadership cannot guarantee fixing within the territory of.

3) The beginning of preparations for the retreat from Kherson in terms of the psychological and propaganda track only means that in high circles they are aware of a fairly high chance of the Kremlin failing in this direction. Nevertheless, Kherson will be seized with “tooth and claws.”

4) Ukraine does not yet have an advantage in armament in the Kherson direction. Intelligence knows that in recent weeks a huge amount of equipment and personnel have been transferred to Kherson, which should “hold the defense” in the event of a counteroffensive by Ukraine.

5) The Ukrainians, having destroyed the bridges, eliminated not only the escape routes, but also the checkpoints for the supply of weapons – this means that Russia is actually in a “limited state”: everything that is now in Kherson is the maximum that it can hope. The capacity of the bridges has fallen so much that it is practically impossible to bring anything to Kherson by land transport, and Russia is afraid to withdraw aircraft outside its air defense.

6) Having a logistical advantage, Ukraine can methodically shoot Moscow’s forces “at a distance”, having achieved a “military hunger” in Kherson, as a result of which cut-off Kherson will become a “dead end” for Russian troops. However, the Russians have the opportunity to build temporary bridges, so it’s not worth dragging out the position of the “barrel”, otherwise you will have to periodically shoot at the temporary fortifications of the Russians, which have a lower capacity, but will allow you to evacuate soldiers and equipment and bring in new cargo.

7) The battle for Kherson by the Russians will probably be lost by the date of the referendum. The Ukrainian strategy does not involve a frontal assault (high cost): it requires methodical arm-twisting at minimal cost. This means that the counter-offensive that has begun will take place in several stages, constantly draining Moscow’s reserves, making the final push as safe as possible for the Ukrainians themselves.

8) Exhausted Russia will try to hold a referendum before the “dead moth gesture” in order to suck up the territory of Kherson. Then the Kremlin will begin to threaten the use of nuclear weapons in the event of an attack on “Russian territory” (or “allied territory” of the Russian Federation, Belarus and the occupied territory of Ukraine), but Western intelligence is convinced of the extremely low chance of a nuclear strike. This technique will be used only as a threat, but it is undesirable to allow the referendum itself – it must be thwarted by military means.

9) The failure in Kherson will mean the fall of one of the main directions of attack of the Russian Federation. After that, the Kremlin will try to become more active on the territory of the so-called DPR, however, no significant progress is expected at the front there either.

10) Russia went on the defensive in most directions, in fact, completely confirming my layout according to the Locust strategy. Russia has enough resources to capture several cities, but not enough resources to defend them for a long time, but without a new attack attempt, Russia still has enough resources for several months of defense. Then comes the retreat.

The Kremlin has already lost the long war. The only thing that can save the Kremlin is the internal conflict in the Ukrainian leadership between the ambitions of the political and the strategies of the military blocs.

Understanding the counteroffensive

Channels connected with the Russian special services understand what the West calls “the stupidest tactics of mass slaughter” as a counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Here is the “Resident”, included in the list of the Kremlin, writes the following:
Our source in the OP said that Zaluzhny reported to Zelensky about the weak effectiveness of HIMARS in a counteroffensive, that modern systems do not allow a barrage of fire.
A myth was created around the MLRS, which Russian propaganda actively helped to replicate, creating the image of a miracle weapon from HIMARS. In reality, there is nothing serious in it for a counteroffensive, except for pinpoint strikes, and the number of missiles that the West provided us with will be enough for 3 days of artillery strikes.

We are not particularly looking for logic in the materials of the FSB projects, however, the equal sign between the counteroffensive and the “barrage of fire” is clearly visible.

This once again emphasizes the low professional level of Russian warriors – they understand only one model for conducting offensive battles – a “barrage of fire” – the concept of the second stage, when the Russians advanced a kilometer a day, having a tenfold superiority in artillery.

The “barrage of fire” tactics since the Second World War is considered “the most ineffective in terms of the ratio of losses in equipment and soldiers to acquired territories.”

But the Russian military command can only work with outdated concepts, therefore, it extrapolates its own understanding of the offensive on the Ukrainian rails.

We have known for a long time that Ukraine will use the “brains instead of blood” tactics, emphasizing greater maneuverability with good strategic planning.

Parity in terms of military potential will be achieved not “for each cannon – its own cannon”, but “for each depot – several missiles.” So the “guns” will freely roll around the occupied territory, and they will have nothing to shoot with. In addition, Ukraine “hunts” for the command, as a result of which orders from above will generally hang somewhere in the middle.

The same applies to Kherson.

Russia has brought quite large stocks of anti-offensive equipment there, because it does not realize that in the classical sense there will be no offensive. She’s waiting for the firestorm. But he won’t get it.

I’m guessing the following:

First, attacks from a safe distance will be implemented, which will safely blow up Russian equipment with minimal losses on the Ukrainian side.

Then several more waves of cleansing warehouses and military centers will be implemented.

Also, the Russians will be left in a “trap” – they will not be able to leave the “Kherson bloc”. All permanent and temporary lines of communication with the “outside world” will be undermined.

And only when all the rats are cornered, and the bulk of the equipment is useless due to the lack of shells, the Ukrainians will probably go on the offensive.

Remember how the Russians left Serpentine. Ukraine continuously attacked them in small portions from a safe distance. No “we go in a crowd – maybe it will turn out” was not implemented.

Well, the Russians, as always, demonstrate intellectual limitations in strategic planning. If an offensive, then only a “frontal attack”. If a retreat, then only with the subsequent bombing of hastily abandoned equipment.

By Treadstone 71

@Treadstone71LLC Cognitive Warfare Training, Intelligence and Counterintelligence Tradecraft, Influence Operations, Cyber Operations, OSINT,OPSEC, Darknet, Deepweb, Clandestine Cyber HUMINT, customized training and analysis, cyber psyops, strategic intelligence, Open-Source Intelligence collection, analytic writing, structured analytic techniques, Target Adversary Research, strategic intelligence analysis, estimative intelligence, forecasting intelligence, warning intelligence, Disinformation detection, Analysis as a Service