Military analysts believe it is 'entirely realistic' that Ukraine could gain control of Crimea: report
Before Russian forces, on orders from President Vladimir Putin, launched a full-fledged invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, some pro-Putin pundits in Eastern Europe believed that he should be satisfied with having Crimea and leave the Ukrainian government alone. Essentially, they were worried that all all-out invasion would be more than Russia could handle militarily, and they remembered how much of a drain the invasion of Afghanistan was on the old Soviet Union during the 1980s.
Regardless, Putin proceeded with a full-fledged invasion of Ukraine, and the Ukrainian military proved to be much better fighters than Putin anticipated. Now, according to Newsweek, some military analysts believe that Russia is in danger of possibly “losing” Crimea during its war with Ukraine.
Journalist Jon Jackson, reporting for Newsweek in an article published on January 12, explains, “Crimea has emerged as a central talking point in the war in Ukraine, and as President Volodymyr Zelensky's military forces continue their momentum on the battlefield, Russia faces a legitimate threat of losing the peninsula it took by force in 2014, according to military analysts. After Ukraine surprised many experts around the globe by mounting a strong defense against the Russian invasion that began in late February, Zelensky began publicly stating that he wants Crimea to be once again considered part of his country.”
Jackson adds, “Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin will not only refuse to relinquish Crimea, but he has said he wants four Ukrainian territories he illegitimately annexed in September to be recognized as part of Russia before he agrees to any potential peace talks.”
One of the military analysts Newsweek interviewed was John Spencer, a retired U.S. Army major. Spencer believes it is a “possibility” that Ukrainian forces could gain control of Crimea.
Spencer told Newsweek, “I think it is not unfeasible with the 'Arsenal of Democracy' that the Ukrainian military couldn't militarily create a situation where it wasn't tenable for Russian formations to be in (Crimea's largest city) Sevastopol and places like that.”
Similarly, Sean Spoonts, who serves as editor-in-chief of the military news outlet SOFREP and is a U.S. Navy veteran, said it is “entirely realistic” that Ukrainian forces could retake Crimea.
Spoonts told Newsweek, “Ukraine has blown this up. Finally, there is a narrow causeway from Russia that runs on the eastern border of Crimea, which would be a death trap to any supply convoys trying to use it. Ukraine could cut it on the north and south ends, trapping everything on it with water on both sides of the causeway.”
Spoonts added, “If Ukraine can cut the supply routes on the west and north, it will be all but impossible for Russia to supply its military units in Crimea, which are considerable. The Black Fleet would have to evacuate the port of Sevastopol and move east to ports in Georgia. Ukraine would push down from the north, bring its missiles into range of these transportation choke points and cut the Russian Army and Russian civilians off from supplies and even retreat by land.”
Michael Kimmage, a history professor at Catholic University of America, told Newsweek, “If Crimea would be lost, it would provide a sense in Russia that Putin is not able to manage things and would definitely weaken him politically.”
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