The Risk of Retaking Crimea by Ukraine

On the verge of the arrival of spring, US intelligence warns of Ukraine's intentions of a counteroffensive to recover the Crimean peninsula.

War tank

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LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

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Leer en español: El riesgo de retomar Crimea por parte de Ucrania

The battlefront between Russia and Ukraine has been stalemate for several months. A war that advances in meters or centimeters has left the feeling that neither side has enough strength and deployment to grow and capture enemy bases. However, as the days progress, the arrival of modern war equipment in Kyiv gives the Ukrainian armed forces the possibility that the battlefield will turn favorable.

This occurs due to the arrival of tanks from Western allies, which can unbalance the balance in favor of Ukraine. The Leopard II A6 tanks of German manufacture are considered one of the most modern and necessary for advancing the territory. Luis Alberto Villamarín, a military expert, told CNN en Español that the tanks are essential for land maneuvers in flat parts, vital to advance in the Donbas and protect a possible invasion in the north of Kyiv.

However, the arrival of the tanks may need to be increased. For a land advance, it will also be necessary to use medium and long-range artillery and an anti-aircraft system running out of ammunition.

You can also read: This is how the arrival of tanks in Ukraine can change the war

Deutsche Welle reported that US intelligence recently leaked a warning that Ukraine was weeks away from running out of air-support missiles. This would make Ukraine vulnerable to drone attacks or missiles coming from territory occupied by Russian forces. This information would put the Ukrainian troops in a position of vulnerability and hinder the much-heralded counter-offensive.

Despite these alarms, several military experts believe Russia's military capability has surprised in the negative.

In an interview for Deutsche Welle, Ben Holgers, a retired US lieutenant general, believes that Ukraine will retake Crimea by the end of this year if they are given long-range weapons. Suppose it is true that with the limited material that the armed forces have been receiving in the past, today, they have better tools and will have greater capacity.

Warnings from Russia

Although Crimea has been annexed since 2014, Ukraine still does not recognize the independence of that peninsula or its annexation to Russia. On the contrary, Kyiv sees this territory as an inseparable part of its country. Despite having a predominantly Russian-speaking population and a closer historical connection to Russia, it has never ceased to be a target in the Ukrainian counteroffensive.

However, today Russia has not only annexed the peninsula and has exercised sovereignty over it since 2014. Moscow sees the peninsula as a red line, and it has warned that any attack on this territory will be like an attack on the rest of its country. This means that Putin has not been afraid to threaten a nuclear response if Ukraine decides to retake Crimea. The vice president of the Russian Security Council, Dmitri Medvedev, said that "they will use any weapon" if they see their sovereignty violated. However, using nuclear weapons on an opponent who cannot defend himself could further escalate the conflict between NATO and Russia.

Ukraine's frustrated "special operation" has weakened and cornered Russia. It may lose the ground it has gained in Donbas and Crimea. Additionally, today NATO is increasingly strengthened and encircles Russia. With the inclusion of Finland, NATO doubles its borders with Russia. In short, today, the war results leave Moscow in a worse position than when it started. Even while keeping Crimea. In addition to a much harder hit economy, isolated from Europe and highly dependent on China.

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