The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Key Victory for Ukraine?

Posted on | March 22, 2022 | Comments Off on Key Victory for Ukraine?

If you look at a map of Ukraine, the strategic importance of Makariv becomes obvious. Makariv is on the intersection of a major north-south highway (T1019) and another highway (T1015) that heads west to Radomyshl. Furthermore, Makariv — about 40 miles west of Kyiv — is just north of the intersection of T1019 and the major east-west highway (M06) that connects Kyiv to Zhytomyr, Lviv, Lutsk and Poland. So reports of a Ukrainian victory in Makariv are important:

Ukraine said it retook a strategically important suburb of Kyiv on Tuesday, while its forces battled Russian attempts to occupy the encircled southern port city of Mariupol. . . .
Explosions and bursts of gunfire shook Kyiv, and heavy artillery fire could be heard from the northwest, where Russia has sought to encircle and capture several suburban areas of the capital, a crucial target.
Early Tuesday, Ukrainian troops drove Russian forces from the Kyiv suburb of Makariv after a fierce battle, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said. The regained territory allowed Ukrainian forces to retake control of a key highway and block Russian troops from surrounding Kyiv from the northwest.
Still, the Defense Ministry said Russian forces partially took other northwest suburbs, Bucha, Hostomel and Irpin, some of which had been under attack almost since Russia’s military invaded nearly a month ago.

(Hat-tip: Jazz Shaw at Hot Air.)

Again, look at a map, and you can see why Bucha, Hostomel and Irpin are crucial battlefields. Irpin is closest to Kyiv, and also within artillery range of the M06 highway, so that by controlling that town, the Russians are able to deprive Ukraine of using the most direct route to bring in supplies from the west. The Russians want to push south from Irpin, to cut off that route and encircle Kyiv from the west, while the Ukrainians want to push the Russians back northward. Pushing the Russian invaders out of Makariv is part of the overall strategic picture in terms of keeping the supply routes of Kyiv open. And, of course, killing more Russians.

As mentioned last night, Russia’s casualty rates are nearly 10 times what the U.S. suffered in the worst year of the Vietnam War. Mere control of territory is now less important to Ukraine’s survival than their ability to inflict further losses on the Russian invaders. The “fierce battle” that drove the Russians out of Makariv almost certainly added to the death toll for Putin’s army. The Ukrainians have wiped out entire regiments of the Russian army, and killed a half-dozen of their top commanders, and the higher the price the Russians are made to pay in blood, the more likely they are to decide that their invasion is a bad bargain.



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