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Crimea may be de-occupied by the end of summer

Apr 11, 2023

By the end of August, Ukrainian troops will be able to liberate Crimea, provided that the West provides Kyiv with long-range precision weapons. This opinion was expressed on Monday, April 10, by the former commander of the U.S. forces in Europe, retired Lieutenant General Ben Hodges.

"I think that the Ukrainian General Staff has done a very good job of preparing what will be a counteroffensive when the right conditions are created. That means weather conditions, when the ground is dry, and also, and this is the most important thing, when the Ukrainian Armed Forces have trained enough and built their logistics. I think we're going to see a very professional offensive, very effective, and the goal will be to isolate Crimea and create conditions for its possible liberation later this year," Hodges said.

Hodges called Russian weapons his peer

Answering DW's clarifying question whether he sticks to his earlier prediction that the Ukrainian Armed Forces will be able to reach Crimea this summer, the former commander of the US forces in Europe said:

"Yes, but by the end of August. Ukraine will be able to liberate Crimea if, and I've always made this caveat, if we provide them with the long-range precision weapons that they need to do so. Yes, of course, they can do it."

Assessing Russia's offensive capabilities, Ben Hodges noted that the weapons "that Russia is now pulling out of stockpiles" are about its age, "so it's about 65 years old." "Russia has no other offensive capabilities. There is nothing to launch a new offensive," he emphasized, adding that, in his opinion, in the current circumstances, the Russian Armed Forces have moved to defense in an attempt to "hold on to what they have."

Author - Serhii Kolomiets, 11/04/2023

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