Beautiful Odessa will be less and less safe. This top holiday destination for Russians before the war is now Ukraine’s last major link to the Black Sea. Taking it would bolster Russia’s hold on Ukraine’s southern flank. Russia’s operations in the south have been going much better than their offensive on the northern flank.
Corridors to allow Ukrainians to flee will probably be used by the Russians to safely supply their armies. In love and war everything is fair, I guess.
The Russians are hitting buildings in cities, but so far they haven’t bombed cities with the kind of barrages you would have seen in World War II. Perhaps because they are smart enough to know that reducing a city to rubble turns it into a citadel with motivated fighters taking cover in that rubble. They may be hitting some buildings to put the scare in civilians so they run away. I suppose the Russians don’t want to deal with too many civilians running around and being a nuisance to their war effort. The more civilians run away to other countries the easier it will be to control the Ukrainian cities after they fall. I am not sure just how cynical the Russians are, but from a purely military point of view it would make a lot of sense. Plus, the less citizens left the less logistical problems for the Russians. How are they going to supply the Ukrainian population if they can’t even keep their own army supplied?
Putin may also use the encircled cities as bargaining chips during negotiations. Give me what I want or I raze these cities to the ground.
Once all major cities are tightly encircled the job of the Ukrainians becomes a lot harder. Coordinating larger scale attacks will be hard. Smaller groups can raid and ambush the Russian army in guerrilla style attacks. Once the Russians have all their heavy equipment in place I don’t think the Ukrainians will be able to break any siege.
What the Russian end game is supposed to be here, is anyone’s guess. Everybody you hear on the news is really just speculating. Personally I think it’s very unlikely Putin will settle for anything less than regime change in Ukraine. Something the US nor Ukraine will ever accept. Putin could also opt to annex all of Eastern Ukraine, from Kiev to the Russian border and leave the rest, by then perhaps a smouldering ruin, to Zelensky.
I find it doubtful Putin would give up prized locations such as Odessa once he controls them.
Overall the Russians are not using anything near the maximum level of violence they could be using. As I have repeated several times already they are using only a fraction of the fire power the US used in its predatory attacks on Iraq. I would like to hear the media say it as well, but here it is one more time: when Israel attacks what’s left of Palestine they kill way more civilians, but then the media spins this and suggests those are unfortunate accidents. When Russia does it? Barbaric!!
Double standards… It’s not even subtle.