The Ukrainian victory in the village of Ropotyn is of great importance, but it is above all a tactical success, according to international relations professor Rob D. Vick. “Its strategic implications are still unclear.”
And through the strategic implications, de Wijk means whether Ukraine can advance into the war’s center of gravity: Crimea. So far, the answer to this question is “no”. “They’re still scratching a lot outside of the Russian-occupied territories for that,” explains De Vick. “But it’s a boost, that’s for sure.”
Success for Russia
But while Ukraine is making inroads in the south of the country, we should not forget that Russia is also making inroads in northeastern Ukraine. The Russians reported, among other things, that they had recaptured Senekivka. De Vick says the fight is just as interesting. More importantly, it is relatively remarkable that Russia is making inroads there, because it is so far from Orekyev that the Ukrainians are leading again. “We are talking about the northernmost eastern occupied territories of Russia,” he explains. “I look at that with great interest.”
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According to De Wik, the Russians also have a simple motive for gaining as much territory there as possible: to increase control over the Donbass. After all, if it comes to a round of negotiations, this could be an additional leverage.