Larry Johnson pointed me to a good solid professional, former US Army, Jacob Dreizin, who surely understands the issue. I give you some taste of Jacob's sitreps here:
It will be difficult for the Ukraine to use regular motorized forces on the offense in this area, as they would be traversing flat, open country, and would be hugely susceptible to air and rocket strikes, especially as Russia has largely finished off the Ukraine’s high-altitude air defenses east of the Dniepr in the last week. However, in place, they could conceivably blunt a Russian effort to deepen the Donbass blockade substantially westwards in line with the Little Saturn (1942-1943) playbook.
I like, in fact--love, references to Little Saturn, and if we begin to draw parallels to WW II (some of them are correct), and you know how squeamish I am drawing those parallels, recall what Zhukov did in Winter of 1945 in Pomerania and WHY he did it, instead of going for the jugular of Berlin. That explains a lot in terms of Russian view of this operation and blocking and liberating Mariupol the way it was done.
Right now Kadyrov guys started storming of the Azov Steel plant and US media go bananas making all kinds of shit up with new BS of the week that Putin suffers from cancer. As I say all the time--they are single cell creatures in US media. And now another living fraud, Nikita Khrushchev's seed, Nina, spews her ignorance around (she has degree in Russian language and comparative literature, face-palm) and now predicts Russia's "dark fate":