Ukrainian political and security analyst Sergey Shapovalov said that the intensification of his country's forces offensive on Crimea reflects a remarkable development in their performance, expecting this to affect the course of the war with Russia, while Russian security and political expert Grigory Trovichuk agreed with him that Moscow's threats of direct confrontation with NATO are "empty" and not serious.
Shapovalov explained that Ukraine is escalating its capabilities and victories through strikes in the Russian depth and the occupied territories, including Crimea, as he put it, noting that Kiev did not use drones or cannons at the beginning of the war, while it now uses them effectively, which reflects the development of its combat performance.
This comes in the context of the episode of the program "Beyond the News" on (2023/9/26), which was devoted to the continued intensification of Ukraine's attacks on Crimea using drones, missiles and cyberattacks, and Russian warnings of the possibility of a comprehensive confrontation with NATO against the background of the West's provision of advanced weapons to Kiev, the latest of which is the advanced American "Abrams M1" tanks.
The episode questioned what goals Kiev seeks to achieve in order to intensify its attacks on Crimea recently, its chances of success in achieving these goals, Moscow's options in return, and the extent to which this development will reflect on the course of the war.
Shapovalov explained in his interview with "Beyond the News" that Crimea is a large Russian military base where ammunition and soldiers are kept, and the aim of these operations is to prevent the use of what is in Crimea, as well as to limit the use of the air force aircraft to stop the Ukrainian counterattack.
The Ukrainian expert stressed that during the strikes on the center of the Black Sea Fleet, missiles coming from Britain and France were used, considering the lack of negative reactions from those countries important and reflects its conviction of Ukraine's right to do so, as it was previously afraid of escalation if its weapons were used to target what Moscow considers its territory.
He considered that the threat of Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council, to direct confrontation with NATO is nothing more than an escalation of words, which in his estimation is "funny to everyone," asking: How can Russia confront NATO when it loses in its battle with Ukraine?
Shapovalov, the guest of the episode, Russian foreign policy, defense and security expert, Grigory Trofimechuk, agreed that these threats are not serious, describing them as "empty talk" that leads to the other side (Ukraine) to take sharper actions through the use of more advanced weapons that raise the level of conflict.
He pointed to the increasing condemnation questions among Russian military correspondents and influencers recently, due to Moscow's lack of strong and strict responses to the intensity of Ukrainian attacks on Crimea, and that everyone is looking forward to those responses so that such attacks do not recur and continue.
Trofimchuk believes that under these circumstances it is better to focus on work more than talk other than what is happening, as such threats would reduce the impact of any subsequent talk that could aim to affect the opponent's psyche, pointing out that despite these threats, Western support for Kiev is freed from any inhibitions or fears.
Maj. Gen. Fayez al-Duwairi, a military and strategic expert, said Ukrainian politicians' statements spoke of a distant goal in the foreseeable future, according to available data, which is to regain control of Crimea.
Al-Duwairi added in his interview with "Beyond the News" that the minimum goal stems from considering Crimea as a rear base for Russia from which to supply all kinds of supplies, and therefore cutting this vital artery by imposing a state of insecurity and stability would reflect negatively on the Russian forces fighting on the front.
Al-Duwairi predicted relative success in achieving this goal even if Russia can shoot down 90% of Ukrainian drones, because the arrival of 10% will achieve the equation of instability, and then it will have strong repercussions on the war in general.
The military expert considered that the use of missiles and drones to keep the war going on is a very dangerous indicator and the beginning of the two sides entering a strenuous war of attrition that may extend for years, and those who achieve almost daily achievements are the ones who will have space to talk months later about a change in the approach to the war, and who will prolong himself is the one who will win the battle in the end, as he put it.