The main goal of the Ukrainian counterattack will be to break the corridor between Russia and occupied Crimea.
This opinion was expressed by Ben Hodges, former commander of U.S. forces in Europe, in an interview with Deutsche Welle.
He shared the opinion that Ukraine's upcoming counteroffensive will be on a very narrow section of the front to have the effect of breaking through a land corridor between Crimea and Russia.
"Crimea is a decisive territory. You can kill every Russian soldier in a radius of 200 kilometers around Bakhmut, but it won’t change the strategic situation. But if you liberate Crimea, it will change everything. Therefore, the counteroffensive will focus on the liberation of Crimea. And the rest of Donbas will be later," Hodges shared.
As for the situation in Bakhmut, he noted that the fighting around the city had a very high cost, but it was necessary. "The General Staff saw that it could stop Russian troops in Bakhmut and deplete them, force them to use a lot of resources," Hodges explained.
He noted that the AFU is actively preparing for an offensive, but the Russians will try to be proactive. "But I think the Ukrainians will pick the right moment and place when the weather, the state of the roads, all the conditions will be favorable so that they can bring in more long-range weapons. And that will allow them to make Crimea vulnerable. Doing targeting of command posts, ammunition depots – hitting large numbers of troops is possible by targeting such single targets," he explained the situation.
Hodges noted that Ukraine's Western partners, including the United States, Germany, Britain and France, realize how important this counterattack is, so they must "see Ukraine succeed".
"We want Ukraine to win. I mean, I wouldn't say it's all or nothing here. Only ... I'm sure that Ukraine, the General Staff has done a great job of preparation. They continue to do it, and I think this offensive will be capable of, hardly potentially having a devastating effect on Russian troops," he said.-
Author – Anastasiya Glotova, 07/04/2022