... and we needn't expect much detailed news on it. There's a very good essay as to why this should be so, in the opening 4 paragraphs of Wednesday's assessment from the excellent ISW. Obviously this development has been widely anticipated, and Ukraine's systematic, highly successful interdictions into Russia's lines of communications and supply over the past few weeks have reinforced that expectation.
In strictly observer mode (OK?): another reason why there won't be much detailed news is that we needn't expect any sweeping arrows on the map, as we were treated to in February when Russian armoured convoys and air-assault operations burst clean through the borders on their way to Kherson, Mariupol, Kharkiv and, errrr, Kyiv. My assumption would be that Ukraine will prosecute this campaign largely as a foot-infantry operation, kilometre by kilometre.
Why? Well, (1) as we periodically remark hereabouts, there's no such thing as strategic surprise, but there can be tactical surprise. In this case, Ukraine has at least pulled off several of the latter - the supply interdictions mentioned above, particularly in Crimea: but such is the ubiquity on both sides of persistent / loitering aerial reconnaissance these days (drones), a covert build-up of armour is well-nigh impossible. So a "surprise" lightning armoured thrust, so beloved of 20th C military writers, is highly unlikely, at least at an early stage.
(2) It doesn't seem likely Ukraine has major tank forces left to it (western material aid has mostly been in terms of artillery and lighter weapons); and anti-tank defences for a set-piece action aren't difficult to muster when you've had four months to prepare (i.e. since I wrote my little memo to Putin, saying that defence of Kherson should be his primary strategic goal).
(3) Ukraine's massive advantages are (a) near-perfect intelligence (from western sources, plus the fact that the population of Kherson oblast is very hostile to its occupiers, with a long tradition of partisan warfare) ; and (b) the morale, determination and tactical skills of their infantry - up against what is, on average, the ultimate in non-coherent, unmotivated, rag-bag rabble. In infantry actions, this matters more than almost anything. It's a rabble that turns and flees.
Artillery? Both sides will have made sure they are as well-placed as possible in this dimension. Russian preponderance is clear: but their supply lines are very ropey into this part of the occupied territory (right bank of the Dnipro), the bridges having been put out of commission and the ammo dumps having been blown up. Obviously they have effectively limitless reserves, but they are relying on pontoons to get ammo etc forward. If they stream forward in large numbers on known crossing-points, there will be carnage.
And while artillery is great against (e.g.) armoured build-ups or static targets, that isn't going to be what Russia is faced with. You can't easily use artillery against 1,000 adroit platoon-sized attacks across a 100 mile front.
Russian response? We're already seeing it.
- laughable PR
- stirring up trouble in Moldova again (and probably Belorussia shortly) to conjure the spectre of new fronts opening up
- more bombardment of civilian targets deeper in Ukraine (particularly when the main IAEA mission has left)
- presumably some enhancement of their stunts at Zaporizhzhia in the coming days
- simultaneous diversion of troops to the south, away from the Donbas front; and increasing fireworks at the latter (this combo achieved by maintaining artillery there)
The biggie will come, if and when Kherson city is recaptured, or even on the brink. Worst case? This happens, say, in October, after the Russians have conducted the spurious "referendum" they have long been trying to carry out**, and which presumably records 104.6% of the population of Kherson declaring itself to be now a province of Mother Russia. Then Putin can declare - see that second link again - that Russia herself is in mortal peril, and ...
Have a great weekend!
** now looks like a colossal mistake by Putin not to have done this already