Ukraine’s deputy defense minister flags pre-Christmas capture of Crimea as he predicts end of war against Vladimir Putin’s Russia forces in northern Spring.
A senior Ukrainian general has predicted Kyiv will secure a major victory in the war against Russia by early 2023 and end the brutal conflict.
Warsaw Security Forum Chair Katarzyna Pisarska says Ukraine and NATO partners have been invited to be part of the investigation into a missile launched into Poland, as reports are conflicted as to whether the missile was fired from Russia or Ukraine. “I think it’s going to be critical to find out exactly what happened and how it happened,” she told Sky News host Erin Molan. “But at this moment, nothing that we know would say that there was any intention of any side for this missile to fall into Polish – and by extension to NATO – territory.”
Ukrainian retired general and deputy defence minister Volodymyr Havrylov has predicted his country’s forces could take back Crimea by Christmas and end the war in early 2023.
Ukrainian forces have continued their counter-offensive into the eastern and southern stretches of the warzone in attempt to drive Russia back before the winter freeze.
Last week, the country secured a major victory by retaking Kherson which Russian forces had occupied for eight months.
But Mr Havrylov has forecast further Ukrainian victories well into winter, arguing his country would not welcome peace talks until it had recaptured every inch of land.
“It doesn’t matter what kind of scenario is on the table,” Mr Havrylov told Sky News UK.
“People paid a lot of blood, a lot of efforts to what we have already achieved.
“And everybody knows that any delay or frozen conflict is only the continuation of this war against the existence of Ukraine as a nation.”
Despite recent significant gains in the east in Kharkiv and the recapture of the southern city of Kherson, western allies have signalled Ukraine’s push will begin to slow.
Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said the “very very cold” winter would naturally halt tactical operations, adding that the frontlines on both fronts were “beginning to stabilise”.
“But Kherson and Kharkiv, physically, geographically, are relatively small compared to the whole, so the military task of militarily kicking the Russians physically out of Ukraine is a very difficult task.
“And it’s not going to happen in the next couple of weeks unless the Russian army completely collapses, which is unlikely.
“The probability of a Ukrainian military victory defined as kicking the Russians out of all of Ukraine to include what they define or what the claim is Crimea, the probability of that happening anytime soon is not high, militarily.”
Vladimir Putin annexed the key region in 2014 providing Russia greater access to the Black Sea, while also giving Moscow another staging point for its eventual invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
However, Ukraine’s deputy defence minister was more optimistic of his country’s forces taking back Crimea.
When asked if Ukraine’s recent successes embolden the country to recapture the rest of its occupied territories including Crimea, Mr Havrylov said: “It’s only a matter of time and, of course, we would like to make it sooner than later.”
He also said his “feeling” was the war would be over by the next year’s northern spring.
“We can step in Crimea, for example, by the end of December. Possible, possible. Not excluded that it be so,” Mr Havrylov added.
“They’re interested in just making a pause in this war to regroup, to bring more people from the motherland… that’s the dream.
“That’s why… we have no right to stop. We have to advance,” he said.
Russia continues to ‘thumb its nose’ to the international community.
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