In a confidential briefing, the Pentagon informs legislators that Ukraine cannot soon regain Crimea.

Date:

the Pentagon informs legislators that Ukraine cannot soon regain Crimea

  • News by AUN News correspondent
  • Thursday, February 02, 2023
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • Pentagon spokesman Sabrina Singh stated, “We’re not going to comment on closed-door classified briefings, talk about hypotheticals, or speculate on prospective future actions.”

  • The House Armed Services Committee declined to comment.

  • The Joint Chiefs head, Gen. Mark Milley, has made recent allusions to this opinion, supported by the briefers.

  • Regaining control of Crimea has been a controversial topic for months.

  • In an interview on Wednesday, House Armed Services Chair Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) said that the war “has to end this summer,” putting pressure on Washington to quickly prepare Ukraine for an upcoming attack and on Kyiv to come up with a more detailed plan for how the conflict will end.

The briefings were given by Lt. Gen. Douglas Sims, who is in charge of operations for the Joint Staff, and Laura Cooper, who is the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia.

Sabrina Singh, a spokesperson for the Pentagon, said, “We’re not going to talk about closed-door classified briefings, hypotheticals, or make guesses about what might happen in the future.” The statement says that Ukraine’s ability to fight and retake sovereign territory is shown by how well they fought back against Russian aggression and how they kept changing on the battlefield.

The House Armed Services Committee declined to comment.

Gen. Mark Milley, who is in charge of the Joint Chiefs, has recently made references to this view, which is shared by the briefers.

At a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group on January 20 in Germany, he said, “I still believe that it would be very, very hard to use military force to remove all Russian troops from Ukraine and Russian-occupied Ukraine this year.” That does not imply that it cannot occur. It’s not that it won’t happen, but it would be highly challenging.

Since Russian troops have been in control of Crimea since 2014, the peninsula is ringed by air defenses and tens of thousands of soldiers. Along the Dnipro River, where these infantry units are fighting, many of their soldiers are deep inside miles-long, fortified defenses.

Regaining control of Crimea has been a controversial topic for months. This is because American and European leaders say that the peninsula should be a legal part of Ukraine, but they often don’t do enough to prepare Kyiv to invade the area.

As Ukraine gets ready for big offensives this spring, a source who knows how Kyiv thinks said that Milley’s words made the Zelenskyy administration “furious.” The Ukrainians also say that American intelligence about their military strength has always been wrong during the nearly year-long conflict.

In a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last month, Andriy Yermak, an adviser to Zelenskyy, said that Ukraine could not win without taking Crimea.

Yermak says that for Ukraine to win, its internationally recognized borders must be restored. “That includes Donbas and Crimea,” he added.

Ukraine has asked for longer-range weapons like guided missiles and rocket artillery that can be fired from fighter planes and drones many miles behind the battle lines in Crimea. They can hit Russian command and control centers and ammunition stores.

After the U.S. let Ukraine use the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System in the summer, Russia moved many of its most vulnerable assets out of the 50-mile range of the system. All of Crimea would be in jeopardy if the Biden administration sent missiles for the launcher that can travel 300 kilometers.

In an interview on Wednesday, House Armed Services Chair Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) said that the war “has to end this summer,” putting pressure on Washington to quickly prepare Ukraine for an upcoming attack and on Kyiv to come up with a more detailed plan for how the conflict will end.

There is a school of thought that believes Crimea must be included. Rogers did not mention the details of the confidential briefing that his committee got last week; instead, he asserted that Russia would never give up Crimea. Vladimir Putin must choose what he can take with him and use to declare triumph.

What is achievable? And I don’t believe that has yet been decided. So, Rogers thinks that our government and the leaders of NATO will need to put some pressure on [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelenskyy about what it means to win. And I believe that will help us more than anything in our efforts to persuade Putin and Zelenskyy to sit down and resolve this issue this summer.

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