Bear with me.
Ukraine looks like a raid. Really big one, but still a raid. Raids may have political and strategic implications. Think a tad bigger than Ranger School.
Political and strategic objectives laid out.Stated non-occupation, which at least implies a planned withdrawal (‘Planned withdrawal’ defining a raid.)
Current operation is a recon in force, doing what those things do:
– Locating opposing units. In this case, fixing them as well.
– Collecting information, particularly SIG and ELINT.
– Determining NATO response/resolve. In this specific case, it also serves to disorganize, tire, weaken, and reduce supplies of Uke units.
The non-commitment of the Guard and Shock units, along with commitment of less capable units early, combined with reports of Uzbek, Tajik, and other ethnic casualties* leads me to believe that there are elements of what I’ve called “Soviet demobilization,” only this time it’s not partisans being killed off, it’s restless ethnics. A loose comparison would be Poland 1944 and Tet 68.
If accurate, current operations serve as recon, stressing of Uke forces,and cleaning up at home.
Destruction of Azov is a separate, though embedded issue. Massive political implications.
It’s what I’d do, at any rate.
*Western yellow journalism has portrayed this as “sending Asiatics to commit atrocities because they have no connection to Europeans” or somesuch. Racist much? No reports of Belgian babies being bayoneted. Patience.