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Expert: Ukraine attack puts pressure on Russian leadership

Ukrainian forces are advancing rapidly in the Kharkiv region. By all accounts, the soldiers of the Russian occupation were surprised. Ukrainians approach important cities such as Izium and Kupyansk.

– It is unmistakable that they have achieved great success. But it is not clear how far they have come. It’s simply because it’s going at an incredible speed, says Joachim Pasekevi, a lieutenant-colonel and instructor of military strategy at the Norwegian Defense Academy.

According to Pasikivi, there is information that Ukrainian soldiers are attacking Izyum from the north and south.

– The intent is to cut off and recall the Russian units that are there, he said.

“embarrassing alarm”

Russia says it has sent reinforcements to the area, and state-controlled Russian media have shown videos of military vehicles en route. Joakim Paasikivi takes information with caution.

– In this case, the reserves will come from the east, it is less likely that this will happen elsewhere, and in the short term it is not very likely, he says.

Among other things, information that the Russian military shut down its social media due to the comments indicates that the situation is stressful for President Putin and the Russian military leadership, according to Pasikivi.

That this could happen at all is a very difficult wake-up call for many Russians. But it is too early to draw any conclusions about the consequences.

TT: Are there any risks for Ukraine to move forward so quickly?

The danger is that you stretch your own lines, become weak along the edge and get a very long side that may be weak. But it is only endangered if something threatens it, and the question then is whether there is, says Pacekevi.

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– At the moment there is no information indicating that the Russians have assembled any units that threaten this.

pressure on two foreheads

At the same time as the ground offensive continues in the northeast, the Ukrainian army was already launching massive attacks in southern Ukraine, around Kherson.

Joachim Pacekevi believes that the fact that Russia is now under pressure on two fronts will appear in a few weeks.

The Russians have an incredible operational dilemma. If you can strengthen in one place, where should you do it, when things go badly in both places?

Trinidad and Tobago: Is it a deliberate move by Ukraine to advance in both the North and the South at the same time?

– I imagine it. I didn’t think they could, but I was wrong. Obviously, with operational surprise, Ukraine managed to collect new units and surprise the Russians.