The Telegraph: Ukraine will take back Crimea if we let it
The Telegraph published an article titled “Ukraine will take back Crimea if we let it,” by Ben Hodges.
“With the right weapons, Ukraine can prevent a major Russian penetration almost anywhere on the battlefield,” Hodges wrote in his article.
“More than that, Ukraine can regain Crimea this year,” he added.
Hodges pointed out that at the present time it appears that Kyiv is building an armored force, the size of a division or larger, that is ready to serve as a penetration formation for the next major offensive phase of the campaign.
Hodges noted that Zelensky has now turned his attention to long-range precision missiles, which he knows will be crucial in efforts to liberate Crimea.
“It could be used to isolate the peninsula, which would then allow his forces to attack exposed Russian facilities,” he added.
Hodges considered that without the restoration of Crimea, it is almost impossible for Ukraine to win this war.
He explained, “As long as Putin has a foothold on Ukrainian soil, he will always be able to manipulate Ukrainian society and economy… Simply put, do we want Ukraine to win or not?”
He recounted how “Russia’s most famous land line of communications in Crimea, which runs over the Kerch Bridge, has been badly damaged for months and won’t be fully repaired before spring”.
He expected the Ukrainians to try to ensure it was not completely reformed.
The other major land line of control, the so-called land bridge between Crimea and Rostov, is also targeted by Ukrainian forces.
“These are the only two bridges connecting Crimea with Russia… Both are clearly weak… Ukraine can easily destroy them in a matter of weeks, but only if we send in our most advanced long-range missiles”.
“We could easily provide the army with a tactical missile system, for example, which would significantly improve the ability of Ukrainian forces to hit the Russian land bridge, hit river crossings, logistics centers, rail links, troop concentrations and ammunition storage sites”.
“These missiles can be complemented by armed Gray Eagle drones and small-diameter bombs launched from the ground,” he added.
He pointed out that “there is the ability to strike weak targets in Crimea, including the Russian naval base in Sevastopol, the main logistics center in Dzankoy and the air base in Saki”.
He pointed out that some questioned the feasibility of sending the tactical missile system.
“This is the same pessimistic approach that delayed the dispatch of other major equipment, such as the Patriot systems, several months ago,” the author commented.
It is also the approach originally taken to send Abrams tanks, which was fortunately reversed yesterday.
Time and again, the Pentagon’s pessimism has been wrong, and yet it persists.
He concluded by saying, “It is our duty now to set the record straight, because despite all the nice rhetoric on the part of Western leaders, there is no victory for Kiev or NATO without the liberation of Crimea”.