Ukrainian army may enter Crimea before liberating newly occupied parts of Ukraine, says military historian
Russians in occupied Crimea are trying to additionally strengthen the coastline (Photo:The Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine)
Ukraine’s army could enter Crimea before liberating the parts of Ukraine newly occupied by Russia in 2022, military historian Roman Ponomarenko said in an interview with Radio NV on Dec. 17.
“The situation at the front may be such that we can enter Crimea sooner – before we liberate (the territory) up to the borders of Feb. 24,” Ponomarenko said.
“For example, if tomorrow the Russian front in the south falls, we will find ourselves on the borders of Crimea. And our troops may decide to enter, because they will see that the Russian troops are not ready for defense, they will panic, they will be ready to flee.”
If given the order, then the Ukrainian army will enter Crimea, despite the fact that parts of Luhansk, Donetsk, and Zaporizhzhya oblasts will remain occupied, the expert said.
“In war, it is difficult to predict when we will get to the borders of Feb. 24 and further develop the offensive. The situation may change, and the command must be flexible enough to react effectively immediately,” Ponomarenko added.
The United States believes that Ukraine has the military potential to liberate Crimea.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in August that Russia’s war against Ukraine should end with the liberation of Crimea, just as it began with its occupation.
And Kyrylo Budanov, head of Ukrainian Military Intelligence (HUR) of the Ministry of Defense, announced on Oct. 1 that the defenders of Ukraine will return to the occupied Crimea by the end of spring.
The Financial Times newspaper wrote early November that after the liberation of the right bank of Kherson Oblast, the three main roads of the “land bridge” to Crimea, where an important supply route for Russian troops also passes through, will be within the reach of the artillery of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
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