Military researcher on nature and implications of Russia’s ‘dangerous flanking attack’ in Kharkiv Oblast

Vovchansk, a border town where Russia launched its offensive on May 10
Vovchansk, a border town where Russia launched its offensive on May 10

The Russian offensive in Kharkiv oblast, which started earlier than planned, is a dangerous flanking attack, with the enemy conducting reconnaissance through combat, testing the Ukrainian defense line, Oleksandr Musienko, head of the Center for Military-Law Researches, said on Radio NV on May 11.

“This is an offensive. It looks exactly like this," he said.

"The enemy is trying to choose a certain area or areas for attacks. And then, when the Russians finally decide on the possible directions or the main direction of the attack, I think they will try to become even more active and strike more powerfully."

"This is the initial stage of this offensive,” he said.

However, Musienko notes that a rapid breakthrough is unlikely due to the limited forces in that sector and the well-equipped Ukrainian defense lines. He expects the offensive to be marked by battles and tactical success in different areas of the Kharkiv region.

“We also need to understand that the Russians are aiming to continue this offensive, perhaps even for a longer time," said Musienko.

"They started it earlier than planned, as they were ready for late May or early June, as Ukrainian intelligence and others had said. They started it earlier because they realize that when the aid to Ukraine comes, it will not have the same effect,” he said, noting that it started in a more limited mode and will likely be intensified in the future.

Read also:

Musienko does not rush to the conclusion that this offensive is aimed at pulling Ukrainian troops back from the east. Instead, he sees it as a flanking attack, which is a maneuver with a different objective. He suggests that the purpose of this flanking attack is not only to pull back Ukrainian troops but also to pose a greater risk to the Ukrainian defense system.

“We will pull back anyway, because there is no other way. Because any commander will act in such a way that it is better to be a little bit safe somewhere than to correct a situation that may go according to some bad scenario.

Therefore, it is a fact that the Ukrainian forces will most likely redeploy the troops that were supposed to go to Donetsk sector. It is possible that they will even withdraw from the sector if, for example, the situation in the north and northeast escalates and becomes more active.”

Musienko thinks that flanking attacks, such as the one Russia is conducting now, are more dangerous in terms of risks to the Ukrainian defense system.

“So, of course, attention will be paid to this area in one way or another.”

We’re bringing the voice of Ukraine to the world. Support us with a one-time donation, or become a Patron!

Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine