21.08.2023 – Translated from Ukrainian via Google and OFP
The strikes of the Defense Forces on the deep rear of the invaders in Ukraine generate discontent in the information space of the aggressor country of the Russian Federation. They draw criticism from the Russian military command, which is probably what Kyiv was counting on.
Such attacks demonstratively worsen the morale of the invaders in Ukraine, which may threaten the overall stability of the Russian defense. This is stated in the summary of the American Institute for the Study of War (Institute for the Study of War, ISW).
Thus, some Russian war bloggers have expressed outrage at the recent alleged Ukrainian strikes on the Crimean bridge and, like true terrorists, called on the Russian Armed Forces to attack the families, homes and other property of Ukrainian leaders in order to deter further strikes on the deep rear of Russian forces.
They cited previous Soviet and Russian “retaliation strategies” in Lebanon and the northern Caucasus, and one argued that it is easy for Russian officials to neglect the need to respond because Ukrainian strikes do not directly affect their livelihoods.
Former so-called “LPR” ambassador Rodion Melnik said on August 20 that attacks on Moscow were becoming the norm after three consecutive days of supposedly Ukrainian attacks on the city. Therefore, he called on the Russian forces to launch retaliatory strikes, which would be “personally painful” for those who “make a decision and give orders to strike” precisely on the capital of the Russian Federation.
At the same time, a Russian insider source claimed that the terrorist state’s air defenses were not activated to protect against a strike on the Kursk railway station on the night of August 19-20, highlighting the frequent complaint of bloggers that the Russian army is unable to protect its own territory from strikes. (important: Ukraine does not take responsibility for the “bavovna” that is happening in Russian cities. – Ed.).
The UK Ministry of Defense assessed that the Russian leadership is likely to put pressure on the command of the aerospace forces in order to improve air defense cover in western Russia. And this indicates that both the Kremlin and the ultra-nationalist information space of the aggressor country are putting pressure on the Russian military command regarding retaliatory strikes.
The ISW also emphasizes that Ukrainian strikes against Russian rear areas defiantly worsen the morale of the occupiers in Ukraine, and this may threaten the stability of Russian defense in many critical sectors of the front.
Russian front-line units, especially in southern Ukraine, have often experienced deteriorating morale following Ukrainian strikes on the rear. Morale problems can quickly escalate and spread among Russian front-line units: if one breaks under pressure, this can spread panic and significantly reduce the combat readiness of other Russian forces,” the analysts explained.
It is noted that a defeated Russian front-line unit would threaten the integrity of other front-line defensive structures of the RF Armed Forces, and such a breakthrough of the Russian front would create its vulnerability, which could be exploited by Ukrainian forces. Also, the occupiers likely lack the necessary reserves to rotate or quickly replace a broken unit, as previously assessed by ISW, which is essential to maintain morale in frontline units.
But experts note that morale issues related to the defense of the Russian Armed Forces from Ukrainian counter-offensive operations are relevant only if the Armed Forces of Ukraine can degrade the morale of Russians to the breaking point and take advantage of it.
“These moral issues will not matter if Russian forces do not break under this pressure. It is impossible to predict when or where a Russian unit may break through under prolonged pressure, but Ukrainian forces are setting conditions to increase the likelihood of such a development,” ISW stressed.
As OBOZREVATEL reported, CBS News, citing anonymous US officials, wrote that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are moving towards Tokmak, a city in the Melitopol district of the Zaporozhye region, which is a major Russian stronghold in the west of the region. It is alleged that the Ukrainian fighters cleared the minefield of the occupiers to the north of the settlement.