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Russia's Strategy in Ukraine's Kharkov Region: Objectives and Implications

Russia's Strategy in Ukraine's Kharkov Region: Objectives and Implications

Russia's New Strategy in Ukraine's Kharkov Region Explained

Written by Andrew Korybko for the Korybko substack

Five Goals of Russia's Proxy Warfare with NATO

After over two years of intense proxy warfare with NATO, Russia has outlined five key objectives. This comes after Zelensky announced on Friday that Russia's long-awaited offensive had finally begun with a renewed push into the Kharkov Region. This move aligns with the Ukrainian Intelligence Committee's prediction of political-military troubles as Zelensky's term comes to an end on May 21.

Five Objectives of Russia's Strategy

The following five objectives offer insight into Russia's larger strategy in the conflict:

1. Gaining Control Over New Regions

Russia's recent gains in Donbass highlight the severity of Ukraine's conscription and logistical crises. This has allowed Moscow to push Ukraine to its limits by opening a new front. The ultimate goal is to expel Ukrainian forces from all of Russia's new regions, paving the way for further military-political achievements.

2. Demilitarizing Ukraine's Rump Regions East of the Dnieper

Russia is unlikely to claim Ukraine's rump regions east of the Dnieper due to the high cost of securing, rebuilding, and integrating them. Instead, it will likely demand their demilitarization in exchange for Kiev retaining political control.

3. Deterrence Against NATO Intervention

Russia is keen on preventing NATO's conventional intervention in the conflict. However, if member states like France or Poland do intervene, Russia hopes that its recent announcement of tactical nuclear weapons exercises will act as a deterrent.

4. Influencing Potential US-Backed Regime Change in Ukraine

Russia refuses to negotiate with Zelensky, Poroshenko, or any other Ukrainian figures on its Interior Ministry’s wanted list. With reports of the US exploring potential replacements for Zelensky, Russia aims to influence this process to ensure any new leader will abide by peace agreements.

5. Ending the Conflict in a Way that Protects Russia's Core Security Interests

Given NATO's preparation for a conventional intervention, Russia's goals of demilitarizing and denazifying Ukraine and restoring its constitutional neutrality may not be fully achievable. However, Russia is likely to resort to creative military-diplomatic means to ensure its core security interests.

Conclusion

Russia's renewed push into the Kharkov Region is aimed at ending the conflict by the end of the year, though the fog of war and numerous unknown variables make this uncertain. The five objectives outlined here provide a snapshot of Russia's current strategy after over two years of intense proxy warfare with NATO.

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Some articles will contain credit or partial credit to other authors even if we do not repost the article and are only inspired by the original content.

Some articles will contain credit or partial credit to other authors even if we do not repost the article and are only inspired by the original content.

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