Russo-Ukrainian War 5/21/22

The Kerch bridge in 2019. (Image via Russian Federal Road Agency)

Ukraine’s forces have been making minor counteroffensives against Russia’s advances, particularly toward cities. Russian-held Mykolaiv and Kharkiv have been the target of Ukrainian attacks, which have relieved pressure on the cities and helped force a withdrawal. Similarly, Russia’s Kyiv offensive was fought back, thanks to relentless counterattacks and targetting of supply lines.

At the current rate of heavy-weapons delivery and with the slowing trend of the Russian advance, Ukraine could be in the position to launch a full-scale counterattack at the end of the summer. Such a counterattack would likely begin to target Kherson, Izyum, and other Russian-held cities. Far behind enemy lines, Mariupol is not likely to be an immediate target but, depending on the speed of the Russian collapse, could be liberated within the year.

Crimea remains a dubious question; though Ukraine is not likely to ever relinquish its claim to Crimea as an integral part of its territory, a direct attack may not work. In doing so, Ukraine would be attacking what Russia considers integral territory, running the risk of forcing an escalation. To effectively take Crimea, Ukraine would have to knock out the Kerch bridge, built by Russia from 2016-2019. The bridge is crucial to the already strained Russian logistics, and Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense already threatened its destruction ahead of the May 9th Victory Parade.

Crimea was prepared as a staging point, and Russia’s forces are not believed to have been prepared to deter a Ukrainian counterattack. Though no doubt Ukrainian would face new difficulties, Russia’s army faces too many issues with effectively holding Crimea. With Ukrainian control of their Southern coast, Ukraine could dominate the Sea of Azov with missilry, further complicating Russian resupply efforts. Ukraine’s deep strikes on Russian territory in Belgorod have already proven Ukraine’s competence and Russia’s lack thereof in defending their territory. Whether or not Western leaders feel Russian control over Crimea can be conceded (or at the very least, tolerated), Ukraine’s capabilities in launching a successful assault should not be underestimated.

Published by

Create a website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: