A turning point is coming for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. It is of paramount importance for Kyiv not to let the popular vote in the Kherson region happen. If he loses this game, the region will become a Russian territory.
In a video message on Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, announced a successful counter-offensive on Kherson. According to him, the Ukrainian forces were advancing "step by step" into the city.
Assistant to the head of the administration of the Kherson region (which currently remains under the control of the Russian Federation) Sergey Khlan noted on Sunday that a turning point on the battlefield has come.
"We are moving from defensive to counter-offensive actions," Khlan said in an interview with Ukrainian television.
According to him, the Kherson region will definitely be liberated by September.
Ukrainian media outlets have been advertising this offensive for a month already. Ukrainian Telegram channels say that Western states may revise their attitude towards the conflict in Ukraine and cut their arms supplies if the Armed Forces of Ukraine fail to prove their ability to attack.
Richard Moore, the chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service, bluntly insisted on a counter-offensive. At a conference in Colorado, Moore said that the Russians would "have to pause in some way," leaving Ukrainian forces open to attack.
Last week, Ukrainian forces shelled the Antonovsky Bridge across the Dnieper from US HIMARS systems. The bridge appears to be mildly damaged (click here to see the video) and currently undergoes repairs.
The Russian Defence Ministry said with reference to intelligence information that a Ukrainian sabotage group attempted to conduct a landing operation on the waters of the Dniester estuary.
The Ukrainian side reported about the killing of the commander of the 28th brigade in the Kherson direction. His death means that there were attempts made to attack Russian positions. Nothing else has been reported lately. Needless to say that this is not an "offensive" at all.
From a military point of view, an offensive requires a certain level of operational art, training of troops and available materiel. According to experts, the Armed Forces of Ukraine do not have such a capacity available.
An unsuccessful offensive is fraught with huge losses for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. It may also cause the entire front to collapse, and the Russian Armed Forces will enter operational space both in the south of the country and in the Donbass.
In a nutshell, if the Ukrainian offensive on the Kherson region fails, the Kyiv regime will fall. Moscow is waiting patiently for Zelensky to go for it.
Ukraine set the "liberation" of the Kherson region for September because September is the time when Kherson is going to hold a referendum about the region's accession to Russia.
The Ukrainian authorities want to introduce criminal liability for citizens for their participation in such referendums.
This situation shows the importance of the moment. When the Kherson region becomes Russian territory, Ukraine will have to think twice before shelling it. If this happens, Kyiv will have to deal with hostilities of much larger scale.
According to Resident Telegram channel, Russian passports in the Kherson region are issued in 10-15 days. This is five times faster than in Russia itself. About 90,000 people in the region have already received Russian citizenship.
The situation is going to change dramatically as similar referendums continue taking place on the territory of former Ukraine. Russia will defend its territories, and other Ukrainians will be able to see that life in those regions improves and goes back to normal. It will also become clear to all that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are unable to fight effectively. In addition, the West may turn its back on Zelensky. It is not ruled out that the whole story may end up with an attempt of his physical elimination.
Eventually, the new candidate for the Ukrainian leader will not be able to do anything for the West, and he will sign capitulation.
An intense movement of NATO aircraft was reported at Poland's Rzeszow airfield near the Ukrainian border