Ukraine, this is where the attack on Russia could start

Ukraine, this is where the attack on Russia could start

The analysis of Pietro Batacchi, director of Rid, on the military scenarios of the crisis in Ukraine

In these hours the alarm for a possible Russian military action in Ukraine is growing more and more. But what could the scenarios be? Moscow has several options from this point of view and has deployed troops along the border with Ukraine from south to north, in particular in 4 sectors.


The first, in the obalst of Rostov and in the areas immediately behind the 2 pro-Russian separatist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in Donbass. Here, the 20th Motorized Division, the 238th Artillery Brigade and the 150th Artillery Brigade are present.


The second sector is that of Vorenezh, further north, where units of the 4th Armored Guard Division, one of the elite units of the Russian Army, have arrived in recent days. This unit is generally stationed in the Moscow oblast and operates as a strategic reserve. The fact that it was deployed close to the Ukrainian border suggests that one of the possible main directions of the action could develop right here to go south and bag the Ukrainian units close to the separatist Donbass. As far as it is possible to learn from open sources, at the moment in this sector there are at least 3 Battle Groups of the 4th Armored Division and as many of the 2nd Motorized Division, “protected” by at least one battalion of medium-range surface-to-air missiles BUK-M1. To these counters must be added at least one battalion of TOS-M1 and BM-27 URAGAN heavy multiple rocket launchers, plus one battalion of ISKANDER-M tactical ballistic missiles.


The third critical sector, even further north, is that of Belgorod where dozens of Mi-24 combat helicopters and more modern Ka-52 ALLIGATOR have been deployed in these days.


The fourth, on the border between Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, is the Bryansk sector, where at least 10 motorized Battle Groups, 4 Battle Gorups of the 90th Armored Division, an ISKANDER missile battalion, a BM-27 URAGAN battalion and a battalion of TOS-1A. Then, we need to consider what was deployed in Belarus in the context of the ALLIED RESOLVE exercise and in Crimea. In Belarus there are at least 4 motorized Battle Groups, an armored Battle Group, artillery units and 2 ISKANDER battalions. But on the territory of the Moscow ally, heavy Su-35S fighters and Su-25 attackers (at least 15) and a robust contingent of paratroopers have also been deployed recently, always the elite forces of the Russian Army and the units that " open any conflict, formed by a Battle Gorup of the 31st Air Assault Brigade, 2 Battle Groups of the 76th Air Assault Division, 4 Battle Groups of the 98th Airborne Division and 4 Battle Groups of the 106th Airborne Brigade. In addition, 2 battalions of long-range S-400 surface-to-air missiles and 2 battalions of PANTSRI-S1 short-medium range surface-to-air missiles should be mentioned.

These forces could pose a threat to the Ukrainian capital Kiev and its rear.


In Crimea, in addition to the Black Sea Fleet, the 810th Marine Infantry Brigade, the 126th Coastal Defense Brigade and the 8th Artillery Regiment are permanently stationed, units that have recently been strengthened by sending several motorized battle groups and an artillery brigade.


With these forces, Moscow can threaten multiple sectors and force the Ukrainian forces to "stretch" and substantially garrison every area of ​​the border with Russia and Belarus, where, as we have seen, the threat to the capital itself is far from being to neglect. But this does not mean that Russia is capable of invading the whole country.


As long as he intends to do so, in fact, the forces in the field are not sufficient for such a complex and large-scale action, especially given the extent of the territory in question and the hostility that would be encountered west of the Dnieper River. . More likely, then, to foresee "feints" to mask a more limited action whose objective would be to secure Donetsk (always under the fire of Ukrainian artillery) and take control of a part of the area east of the Dnieper – the so-called western Donbass – and some strategic nodes such as the port city of Mariupol, the cities of Kherson, Kharkiv, etc. Areas, moreover, where hostility could be lower considering the high percentages of Russian speakers. In this way, Moscow could expand its security buffer in Ukraine while at the same time guaranteeing complete control of a very important region in terms of mineral wealth. Whatever Putin's decision, it would all start with massive cyber and electronic warfare attacks, and with deep attacks with airplanes and ballistic missiles. Objectives: "loosen" the Ukrainian chain of command and control, leaving the troops at the front without orders, and weaken the logistical support effort.


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This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL on Mon, 14 Feb 2022 14:11:22 +0000.