Russia Needs Odessa to Chokehold Ukraine Economy

If Russia wants to have a puppet or obedient government in Ukraine then Russia must hold the port and maritime facilities at Odessa.

Possession of Odessa, however, would provide Russia with effective control over Ukraine’s maritime trade – given that the port handles 70% of the country’s shipping and few viable alternative ports exist – and thus give it a long-term veto over Ukraine’s foreign policy. The area, with its large Russian population, may be viewed by the Russians – correctly or otherwise – as likely to be quiescent in the face of such a change.

Holding Kyiv the capital would be symbolic but it would be very costly to maintain.

Odessa seems to be the key military objective for Putin.

SOURCES – Royal United Services Institute
Written by Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com