General Hodges: Ukraine may liberate Crimea before end of summer
The ex-commander of US troops in Europe, General Ben Hodges, believes that if there are long-range missiles, Ukraine can liberate Crimea before the end of the summer, and Donbas next year or even earlier.
Source: Hodges in the comments to Ukrinform
Quote: "We are going to do everything possible to make Ukraine win this year."
"It is quite possible, at least, that Ukraine will liberate Crimea before the end of summer."
Details: At the same time, Hodges noted that the liberation of Crimea in such a time frame is only possible if the partners provide the necessary weapons, primarily high-precision weapons of long range. The Armed Forces of Ukraine should be able to shoot at 150–300 kilometres, and for the missile to fall exactly on target, then the Russian Black Sea Fleet will simply have to leave the peninsula, the general said.
Hodges called Crimea a "crucial place", while Donbas is simply "important". He stressed that Ukraine will not be safe if Russia holds the peninsula. He explained that if the Russians are in Crimea, Ukraine will not be able to use the port of Mariupol. And even in Odesa, 140 vessels are waiting for the opportunity to leave the port but cannot.
"We must help Ukraine return Crimea. This year. We want this to happen, and we must give everything necessary," Hodges said.
According to him, what will change the rules of the game will not be any specific weapons, be it tanks or planes, but the decision of partners that Ukraine should win. As for the tanks, he noted that Ukraine has its own, those that it captured from the Russian army, and later Western ones. The Armed Forces of Ukraine use all this very well, and tanks will help isolate Crimea.
Hodges also expressed the opinion that by keeping Russian forces around Bakhmut, the Ukrainian Armed Forces can isolate Crimea.
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