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Ukraine's Crimea attacks seen as key to counter-offensive against Russia


This week saw spectacular Ukrainian attacks on the Crimean Peninsula, hitting Russian warships and missiles.

Estimates of the damage done ran into billions of pounds and raised the question: is Ukraine getting ready to retake Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014?

Crimea is a Russian fortress, so it is important not to get carried away.

"The strategy has two main goals," says Oleksandr Musiienko, from Kyiv's Centre for Military and Legal Studies.


"To establish dominance in the north-western Black Sea and to weaken Russian logistical opportunities for their defence lines in the south, near Tokmak and Melitopol."

In other words, operations in Crimea go hand-in-glove with Ukraine's counter-offensive in the south.


"They depend on each other," Musiienko says.

Let's look at Ukraine's recent successes in Crimea.

On Wednesday, long-range cruise missiles, supplied by the UK and France, dealt a heavy blow to Russia's much-vaunted Black Sea fleet at its home port of Sevastopol.

Satellite images of the scene at the Sevmorzavod dry dock repair facility showed two blackened vessels.

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