Former army general predicts Ukraine will liberate Crimea “at the end of August”
Retired US Army Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges predicted on Saturday that Ukraine will regain control of Crimea by the end of August.
russian president Vladimir Putin launched its “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24, 2022, hoping for a quick victory. However, the war has exposed weaknesses within the Russian leader’s military, such as his difficulty in maintaining well-trained troops.
These challenges, coupled with Ukraine’s energetic defense effort bolstered by Western military aid, have enabled Ukraine to retake thousands of miles of previously occupied territory and turn the tide of the war in its favor.
As the war slowly approaches its first year with no sign of slowing down, Hodges predicted in Twitter that Ukraine is only months away from retaking control of Crimea.
Crimea is a region that Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014 and has been controlled by Moscow ever since, though it remains a major point of contention between the two Eastern European nations. Ukrainian leaders have said they hope to restore control of Crimea in any potential negotiations to end the war.
Hodges, who served as the commanding general of the US Army in Europe, wrote on Twitter that he believes Crimea will return to Ukraine’s hands by the end of August, citing widespread reports that Putin’s troops lack motivation.
“Of course time is on Ukraine’s side. They have no manpower problems and their logistical situation is improving every week. Not a single Russian soldier wants to be there and the sanctions hurt. Ukraine liberates Crimea at the end of August,” tweeted.
Russia Ukraine Eye Crimea Combat
Hodges’ comments come amid reports that the Russia-Ukraine war could spill over into Crimea. Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman Andriy Chernyak told reporters last week that Ukraine believes that Russia is troop transfer to northern Crimeanear where a land bridge connects the peninsula with Ukraine.
Chernyak added that the war-torn country is planning attacks against Russian targets in Crimea, Ukrinform reported.
“Considering that our foreign partners supply us with new types of weapons, the so-called land corridor to Crimea is certainly not safe. Ukraine will attack Russian positions throughout the occupied territory, ”he said.
Russia and Ukraine divided over the future of Crimea
After more than 10 months of fighting, neither Russia nor Ukraine seem ready to start negotiations to end the war. Both have spoken about what conditions would need to be met to reach a peace agreement.
ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has said it plans to take control of Crimea, saying in an august speech: “This is ours. And just as our society understands it, I want the occupiers to understand it too. There will be no place for them on Ukrainian land… The occupiers must know: we will expel them to the border. To our border, whose line it hasn’t changed. The invaders know it well.”
Russia, on the other hand, has said that it would refuse to accept any peace deal that requires the withdrawal of troops from what it considers its territories.
In addition to this requirement that applies to Crimea, Moscow would also reject a deal ordering its withdrawal from Donbas, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Sergey Lavrov said last month.
news week contacted the Ukrainian Defense Ministry and security analysts for comment.