Onwards towards Odessa

Monday, 31 October 2022 —  The van says…

Aside from its size as a city, Odessa’s importance as a port is immeasurable to the Ukraine


A lot has been said of late regarding happenings near Kherson, yet with the promised Ukrainian advance being as elusive as the Ghost of Kiev, there may be more to events in the area than meet the eye. This article will look both at Russia’s future push westwards as well as other matters which will see Ukrainian fortunes fall faster than the mercury in Siberia during December.

Accumulation before the Advance

More than one pundit has stated that Russian forces in the Kherson region have apparently come to a standstill, vastly inferior Ukrainian forces having halted the Russian war machine. Whilst skirmishes occur daily, Russian forces are not presently moving because they are not under orders to do so, they playing the long game whilst Kiev’s forces play for tomorrow’s western headlines. As fall becomes winter, not only does the climate become more favorable to the better-equipped Russians, but it allows Moscow’s forces to build up the resources necessary for the operations which will be carried out through winter and into next year. The Russian government has repeatedly stated that in spite of western accusations of failure, it will continue with the military operation until all objectives are achieved, there being no fixed timetable in place to complete them.

Winter Woes for a Western War

As covered in a previous article, Ukrainian forces are ill-equipped to even be on operations in winter, but with the situation being what it is, dispirited soldiers will freeze in order that their desperate government survives another day. This gives the Russians a decisive advantage in a number of ways, a better equipped army fighting against a poorly kitted enemy at the same time as the civilian population is also cold, hungry and wanting its suffering to end as soon as possible.

Weakness through Numbers

As has been documented on innumerable occasions, this is absolutely a NATO war, just with Ukrainian troops on the ground doing the fighting. As much as the West has assisted Kiev in any way it can, the whole operation hinges on the Ukrainian Army having manpower in place to fight. All the weapons and technology in the world serve no purpose if there is nobody to operate them, and if a long winter war slowly drags the number of combat-ready troops down and casualties up, this makes the jobs of Kiev and its western backers harder by the day.

Losing the Loonies

The war has now been raging for eight months, yet despite the drubbing that Ukrainian forces have suffered, there are still a very good number of extremists within the ranks, these Azov and Aidar idiots attempting to keep not only keep the ideology of Stepan Bandera alive, but to recruit fresh blood into their ranks. With Russia not only keeping up the pressure, but also slowly grinding their fascist dreams into the ground, those nutjobs who still stick to their political guns will slowly isolate themselves from the rest of the Ukrainian population who just want to get on with their lives. Moreover, when Moscow does conquer territories, it does not want ‘stay behind’ groups harrying its effort to rebuild what has been destroyed. Every fascist dreamer that has been eliminated beforehand is one less nightmare for Russia to worry about later.

With all that said, now we need to look at the advance proper.

Nikolaev is Next

With the front lines being where they are today, in a straight line, Russian forces are a mere forty miles from the city of Odessa. At first glance, it seems that Russian forces could cover that in a day, yet the city of Nikolaev and its half-million population fifty miles northwest of Kherson first needs to be brought under Moscow’s control. With the Kremlin fighting a war in the hope of reducing civilian casualties at the same time as it reduces Kiev’s ability to wage war, any hopes of victory in a week are simply not going to materialize.

Onwards and Westwards

Once Nikolaev is firmly under control, the operation can then concentrate its efforts on pushing towards Odessa. The natural barrier of the Southern Bug river will hardly present difficulties, the Russians now becoming adept at building pontoon bridges. The Varvarivskiy Bridge is the only one crossing the river in the vicinity, yet it can be taken as read that Ukrainian forces will destroy it along with other infrastructure as the Russians close in. Once this area has been made secure, plans will be made to further advance towards Odessa.

Advancing Apace

There are no large towns or cities en route from Nikolaev to Odessa, yet there are obviously a large number of villages and smaller settlements along the way. Although this may seem an easy advance, the Ukrainians have had eight years to both build fortifications and create any number of obstacles. Whilst Russian intelligence will doubtlessly have spotted most of the hurdles which lie in its way, there are two factors that Moscow must consider as it forges ahead.

A Storm from the Side

For the time being at least, areas further to the north do not appear to be a priority for the current operation, yet with a spearhead being what it is, there is a risk of a flanking maneuver by Ukrainian forces in order to isolate the lead groups. This is a real danger to Russia’s plans and Moscow must ensure that Kiev has neither the men nor the resources to effect a defensive strategy, this giving Zelenskiy a ‘victory’ he so desperately needs.

Nearing NATO

The further that Russian forces push to the west, the nearer they comes to NATO forces in Romania. With the present political situation in Chișinău being as volatile it is, by the time Moscow’s men approach Odessa, there may also be western assets stationed in Moldova as well. Whilst a strike from actual NATO forces is at present improbable, rather than it just being arms that are crossing the border, Ukrainian troops may also cross NATO territory in their efforts to better attack the Russians. Quite how that fits in with international diplomacy is quite another matter; with western powers already doing what they are, it is not an idea that can be discounted out of hand.


This crucial city has a population of over a million, and was very pro-Russian during the first troubles in 2014. Tens of thousands of those who sided with the separatists now live in Russia, yet when Kiev loses control, many are sure to return. Aside from the city’s size, its importance lies in it being the last port of any significance still under Ukrainian control. Whilst there are another hundred miles or so of coast before reaching the Romanian border, once this key city is taken, the Ukrainian government has lost access to commercial shipping.

Over from Odessa

Having effectively neutralized the Ukrainian navy by denying it a coastline, certain Ukrainian vessels will evidently be operating from NATO bases, these complementing guerrilla and maritime drone attacks such as have been seen over recent days. There is one further objective that Moscow has in its crosshairs however, this bringing Russian forces very close indeed to the NATO troops already stationed in Eastern Europe.


The breakaway state of Transnistria has been covered in much greater detail in this article, yet suffice to say it is a very pro-Russian republic surrounded by very western-leaning states. The area of Bessarabia in which it lies has been a revolving door of languages, cultures and governments as centuries and occupations have come and gone. A force of Russian peacekeepers have been present since 1992, this area being hotly contested between the government of Transnistria in Tiraspol and the Moldovan government in Chișinău who want the republic to return within its borders. With the hammer and sickle on the state flag and the Russian flag being co-official, it’s safe to say that the Transnistrians not only feel affinity for Moscow, but also do not want to be any part of the western world.


Wishful thinking from the West aside, this war is by and large being run to Moscow’s convenience. The assistance rendered by NATO has aided Kiev immeasurably, but for as long as it is only Ukrainians who are doing the fighting, the Ukraine is in a corner.

The Kremlin has its objectives and with the immense resources, equipment and experience gained over the last eight months, is poised to make the gains it feels necessary in the manner it sees fit.

Odessa and subsequently Transnistria will naturally leave Kiev’s control once Russian forces arrive, and they, just as with Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson, will either become parts of the Russian Federation or their own bona fide states.

When and how this will all happen is yet to be revealed, yet with Moscow on a roll and Kiev rolling back, it is only a question of time before Russia rolls westwards…

2 thoughts on “Onwards towards Odessa

  1. WillD says:

    The collective west must surely understand all of this – factually, but appears to have huge problems absorbing it psychologically and emotionally. The absurdly delusional and usually ridiculous statements that they trot out all the time seems to confirm this. Even statements and comments from non-political organisations, such as the UK’s Ministry of Defence are full of hatred-laden, politically charged rhetoric and propaganda. Many of the so-called facts in these statements and comments are pure fiction.

    I wonder if this actually is to Russia’s advantage, even though it comes with a huge risk of escalation, it does appear to help them in the ground battle. How else does Ukraine keep ‘feeding the grinder’ giving Russian forces exactly what they want in order to de-militarise Ukraine with huge numbers of casualties? And Ukraine keeps attacking non-strategic targets repeatedly despite overwhelming losses and clear evidence of its inability to overcome Russian defences.

    To an observer, it must seem suicidal – a war run by incompetent strategists and commanders. Almost as if it were deliberate!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.