Will there be a battle for Odessa?
What awaits Odessa?
While fighting rages in the Donbass, the people of Odessa, not only a strategically important port city on the Black Sea, but also a real Ukrainian pearl by the sea, are trying to live a lifestyle as close to normal as possible. Although today it is a task with an asterisk.
The summer season of 2022 looks completely different for the noisy and crowded Odessa. There are drifting mines near the beaches, sandbag barricades in the city, and the sounds of a siren are periodically heard in the air, warning residents of danger.
How Odessa lives today
Odessans live in such an environment, knowing that the quiet moments of ordinary everyday life can end at any moment due to the war.
Odessa has survived and is experiencing rocket attacks, but there was no full-scale attack on the city. Will Odessa be stormed? This question worried absolutely everyone from the first day of the war. Of course, we, like everyone else, do not have a definite answer to this question. There is only a wild desire to deny this fact. But these are all emotions. Let's try to get into the details.
The features of Russia's war in Ukraine are not fundamentally different from any other wars of similar intensity. There are desires of the parties, but they rest against their capabilities. The Russian Federation outlines its goals quite carefully, and there is a reason for this. The Kremlin, depending on the current situation, reserves the right to declare at any time that “all the tasks of the special operation have been successfully completed,” but more often announces that “everything is going according to the previously planned plan.”
Sometimes, however, there are formulations that are completely atypical for the public, such as a “gesture of good will”, which was used to explain the forced withdrawal of troops from near Kyiv or the recent abandonment of Serpents' Island. But these are already problems of a communication nature, which, let's be frank, have never been a strong point in the Kremlin.
Will there be a battle for Odessa?
But in general, the situation is developing in such a way that neither Russia nor Ukraine has the option of either a simple exit from the war, or even freezing the conflict. The parties can vary only the intensity of the conduct of hostilities, but not their complete halt.
Therefore, the very logic of the development of the war says that the “battle for Odessa” is possible. But this will depend on many related factors.
This idea was also confirmed in the military administration of Odessa. For example, OVA speaker Sergei Bratchuk, who has repeatedly emphasized that such a threat will always exist, although so far there has been no active preparation by the Russian army.
It is clear that the situation is changing every day, and the Ukrainian army is trying to save the territory to the maximum. But the success of the development of events depends on many related factors. Let's think about what these factors are.
The first is, of course, the stability of Ukrainian forces. The Armed Forces of Ukraine are opposed to the army, which is many times greater both in terms of manpower and equipment. That is why we so often hear requests from politicians to provide Ukraine with heavy weapons. We often hear rejections. Plus, the exhausting battles for Mariupol, Izyum, Kyiv, Kharkov did not add strength to the most combat-ready and professional reserves of the army.
The second factor is the potential and capabilities of the Russian army for such a large-scale offensive. In general, this will already be visible in the foreseeable future in Moscow's actions in the Nikolaevsky direction. By definition, without the capture of Nikolaev, there can be no march on Odessa. The Russian Federation itself is waging war with a limited military contingent, slowly building up reserves and avoiding mobilization. Although the other day the chief Ukrainian intelligence officer, Major General Kirill Budanov, on the air of the telethon, claimed that Russia was carrying out covert mobilization.
Let's return to Odessa. So, we cannot but take into account the reaction of our partners. So that's factor number three. Let's talk about the West's ability and willingness to keep Ukraine's economy from sliding into collapse.
Economy of Ukraine in the conditions of war
Autumn and winter are on the horizon, and the stability of the economy is a basic condition for the ability to wage war. The Armed Forces of Ukraine cannot live on their own, and the rest of Ukraine cannot live separately from the war. If one thing falls into a black hole, the other will follow. The economic stability of Ukraine also answers the question of whether there will be Russians near Odessa or not.
Well, the last. If the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation do end up near Odessa, there are much fewer options that Russia will repeat the same story as near Kyiv. Therefore, the Office of the President and the Armed Forces of Ukraine are doing everything possible to prevent the Russians from appearing there, otherwise it will be very difficult to keep the city, like the entire region, due to the specifics of its geographical location.
Here are some thoughts on the matter.
In general, it is surprising, of course, that we have the opportunity to live in historical times.
Books will be written about our reality and dissertations will be defended. Today we are Harry Potter and William Wallace combined. We will have something to tell our children. Our grandchildren will get tired of listening to us. In the meantime, take care of yourself.
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