Ukraine can retake all the territories occupied by Russia, including Crimea, within the next year, Ret. General Ben Hodges, former commanding general of the United States Army Europe, has told U.S. weekly online news magazine Newsweek.
“The Ukrainians have saved their country,” Hodges said on the sidelines of the Tbilisi International Conference of the McCain Institute this week.
“They’ve set the conditions where they can restore full sovereignty, to include Crimea, I think, within the next year.”
According to the general, “half a year after the start of the full-scale Russian invasion, and the supposed second-best army in the world is now the second-best army in Ukraine.”
“After all this time, Russia still controls less than 20% of Ukraine’s territory, and their ability to conduct further offensive operations has been all but exhausted,” he said.
Hodges said it was long overdue for Ukraine’s Western partners to provide the Kyiv government with the material and moral support it will need in order to achieve a full military victory.
“There needs to be a declaration that we want Ukraine to win, that we want it to get all of its territory back, that we want it to be able to defend itself in the future, and that we’re going to do everything necessary to help them do that,” he said.
At the same time, the U.S. general is confident that the relevant parties in Washington are fully aware of Ukraine’s needs.
“We shouldn’t publicly know what those needs are, because you never want the enemy to know what your capabilities are and what your shortfalls are,” he said.
“But I am 100% sure that the U.S. Department of Defense and National Security Council know exactly what Ukraine needs, (and) that the Ukrainians have told them that.”