Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

How Ukraine Wins

by Peter Zeihan on October 8, 2022

A Ukrainian attack has severely damaged the Kerch Strait Bridge, the primary supply line for Russian food, fuel, ammunition and reinforcements into the Crimean Peninsula and southwestern Ukraine. It is, simply put, the single-most important piece of infrastructure in the war.

Should the damage prove to be as serious as it looks – one of the road spans has been dropped, and a fuel train is a burning inferno – it heralds the first true turning point in the Ukraine War. Kerch was not only the most important logistical flow for Russian forces, it was the only logistical flow which remained beyond the range of Ukrainian artillery. If it truly is gone, then the numbers that Russia can throw at this war do not matter nearly as much. If the Russians cannot adequately resupply, this war shifts from its present David & Goliath feel to more of a fight between two peers…with one of those “peers” being backed by the planet’s most powerful military alliance.

One more thing. Kerch is only half the solution to Ukraine’s problems. Now that Ukraine has severed the supply connection, it will need to prevent the Crimea from supplying itself. It would do that by recapturing the cities of Kherson and Nova Kokhova, both on the Dniepr River. From there Ukraine can disable the sluice gate which provides water to the Crimean Canal. Without irrigation, food production in Crimea would drop by at least two-thirds. Unable to ship in food via Kerch, the result (months later) would be a famine from which Russian forces would be unable to recover.

Ugly? Yes. But this is how Ukraine wins.

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