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Online: One analyst says Ukraine probably won’t kick the Russians out this year. In addition, the will of the allies is missing | radio

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Alan Binder
Alan Binder
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Ukraine is unlikely to expel all Russian forces from its territory this year. This was stated by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, to the Defense One server, commenting furiously on the goals and ambitions of politicians, diplomats, and senior defense officials from Washington to Kiev.



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Russian tank in Luhansk region | Photo: Alexander Ermoshenko | Source: Reuters

Zelensky has stated publicly many times that Ukraine’s goal is to expel every Russian from Russian-occupied Ukraine. This is a big military mission.


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“I’m not saying it can’t be done. I’m just saying it’s a very difficult task. But that’s their goal. They certainly have a right to it, it’s their country. And here they have the moral superiority.”

However, Milley said Russia has “failed” strategically and operationally and “now has failed tactically”. According to him, Russian forces are being “beaten” by Ukrainian forces, in part due to poor training and human wave tactics.

There is a lack of political will

According to Milley, there is not yet the political will of the United States to supply Ukraine with ATACMS ballistic missiles.

There are also some overestimations of what they can do, said Milley, who said the US has “relatively few” of them, who said there are better systems for Ukraine, and the US is currently exploring those options.


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The former commander of US forces in Europe, retired Gen. Ben Hodges, said he was unhappy with the reason why the US did not provide ATACMS ballistic missiles to Ukraine.

“Given the talent of the people involved, I’m amazed at how incoherent these excuses are,” said Hodges.

According to him, the Ukrainians need to be able to strike at the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the Crimea.

“The distance from Odessa to Sevastopol is exactly 300 kilometers. So you can start ATACMS now,” Hodges said. The Ukrainians have bombed facilities in Crimea with drones, but these strikes have been more or less isolated.

Article continues under Online Report.

Fears of escalation of the conflict

The real reason behind the Biden administration’s reluctance to send ATACMS to Ukraine stems from ongoing concerns about an escalation of the conflict. A former senior US diplomatic official who handled Russian-Ukrainian issues told the server on condition of anonymity.


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The administration’s problem has always been that they don’t want the Ukrainians to use anything we give them against Russian targets and against Russia for fear of escalation. The Ukrainians have always been very reliable and fulfilled all the conditions that we set for them for the equipment we offer.

“But do we prevent escalation or do we support Russian escalation?”

The former official identified ATACMS as an important part of any ceasefire negotiations.

“Having long-range systems that can threaten valuable Russian targets will be a deterrent against possible renewed aggression if a mutually acceptable truce is reached in the coming months,” he said.

CTK

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