The extent and course of the Ukrainian counter-offensive in the regional capital of Cherson is still unclear, but according to military expert Carlo Masala, success would have a major impact on the further course of the war - for several reasons. "A recapture would be of great symbolic value," says Masala. "It would be a massive defeat for the Russian armed forces, which cannot be concealed at home."
But Cherson is also important militarily, because if they were successful, the Russians would be pushed back across the Dnieper. A river that big is not that easy to cross. "The defense of Cherson would become much easier for the Ukrainian armed forces," the politics professor analyses. That would allow Ukraine to move troops and deploy them to other sectors of the front. Recapturing Cherson would also prevent the Russians from creating a land bridge between the occupied East and Crimea. "At the same time, the capture of Odessa would become almost completely impossible for the Russian troops," Masala said.
The military expert is skeptical about the latest proposal by Chancellor Olaf Scholz to set up a new European air defense system. The Israeli system Arrow 3 is the favorite for this. "There hasn't been a single system capable of launching a massive number of incoming missiles," Masala said. The opponent would not be Iran. Arrow 3 can handle five ballistic missiles, but not 50 that an adversary Russia could fire. "It's not absolute protection from a massive attack."