The entire south controlled by Ukraine is entering a phase of strategic security, as an amphibious assault by Russia looks unlikely, while now a ground offensive has also been rendered impossible.
4.The Ukrainian army can now reduce two groupings (Mykolaiv and Kryvyi Rih) down to one (Kherson), considerably scaling down the density of troops, especially scarce assault units and armored vehicles. The positions on the high right bank of the Dnieper allow Ukrainian troops – even without a unified line of defense and many fortified areas – to set up outposts and create reserves that can repel landings and provide artillery cover. Experienced advanced units and armored vehicles can now be transferred to another, promising direction – for example, Zaporizhzhia.
5.Russia, meanwhile, will need to have on the 300 km-long front not only "posts" and reserves to stop a landing, but a system of fortifications to be built from scratch—moreover, it will have to be built along a considerable distance on the low left bank, which can be shelled from the opposite, high bank for many kilometers. Since a Ukrainian landing is quite likely, substantial resources will have to be spent on reserves. If the operation goes well, the Ukrainian landing force can get to the Crimean isthmuses and “cut off” the entire Russian Zaporizhzhia grouping. Overall, it will be much more difficult for the Russian army to transfer troops to the Zaporizhzhia front than for Ukraine.
6.Residents of Kakhovka, Nova Kakhovka, Oleshky, Hola Prystan and other cities and villages along the left bank will have to be resettled, and all economic activity there stopped. This means that the already-low potential of the part of Kherson Region still under occupation will be reduced further. Instead, new problems will arise related to the resettlement of the residents.
7.This could set up potentially the most “gainful” Ukrainian operation of the war, i.e. a breakthrough in the Hulyaipole or Vuhledar area, opening the way to Berdyansk, Melitopol and Mariupol along a short route through sparsely populated steppe (which can be easily shelled by HIMARS). An additional advantage is that in the forest belts, the leaves are falling, leaving Russian equipment without natural cover from reconnaissance and drone strikes. Thus, there is a chance to finally liberate southern Ukraine and considerably “tighten up” the frontline, driving Russian troops back to where they came from – Crimea.
Russian bloggers have been talking about such a scenario for months now. The Russian army is now sluggishly trying to build fortifications against such a breakthrough in the area of Mariupol and the Arabat Spit leading to Crimea. Still, Russia has been building up reserves in this area since about August, including new armored vehicles that were spotted crossing the Crimean Bridge (before it was attacked). Thus, as soon as November-December we could see a major battle between the two armies or an offensive by the Russian army in Zaporizhzhia (Boris Rozhin – Russia’s most popular war blogger, based in Crimea – predicted this in a November 10 post).
The withdraw without a fight from Kherson, which had been the capital of the annexed region, is a clear sign that it is a matter of neither command errors (as in Kharkiv Region), nor planning errors (as in the case of Kyiv and Chernihiv Region).