Vladimir Putin is “very afraid” as there is “no forgiveness in Russia for tsars who lose wars”, the chief of staff to the Ukrainian President has taunted following the Russian President’s humiliating retreat from Kherson. As the surrender of the only regional capital the invading military had been able to secure in their nine-month campaign has caused discontent among even supporters of the war, Oleksiy Arestovich said: “If he loses the war, at least in the minds of the Russians, it means the end. The end of him as a political figure. And possibly in the physical sense.”
Russian armed forces are now entrenching themselves along defensive lines ahead of the winter, when fighting is expected to slow. But Ukraine appears to be using the initiative the recapture of the southern port city to prevent the occupying forces from regrouping after a litany of strategic blunders. News emerged earlier this week that Ukrainian forces were fighting to reassert control over the Kinburn Spit, restoring naval control of the mouth of the Dnipro unhindered by Russian artillery.
In an interview with the Times today, Mr Arestovich said Ukraine was able to “isolate” Crimea, with any Russian resupplies via the Black Sea or the Sea of Azov becoming a target. He argued that Russia was “terribly afraid” of being “physically unable to hold on to Crimea”, but warned that a concentration of Russian troops in the eastern Donbas region was currently preventing an offensive on the peninsula.
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