Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Smart Bombs: Military, Defense and National Security

Putin’s Great Fear: Would Russia Really Run From Crimea?

Ukraine
Ukraine's military firing artillery. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Will Russia Abandon Crimea?: Even with Crimea now within firing distance of Ukrainian HIMARS in liberated Kherson, U.S. Army General Mark Milley doesn’t believe that Ukraine will be able to liberate the southern Ukrainian territory that has been occupied by Russia since it was annexed in 2014.

Speaking this week, the 20th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff cast doubt on Ukraine’s ability to completely force Russian forces out of Ukraine, noting that Russian troops still occupy roughly 20% of Ukrainian territory.

“In terms of probability, the probability of a Ukrainian military victory, defined as kicking the Russians out of all of Ukraine to include what they defined, or what they claim as Crimea, the probability of that happening anytime soon is not high, militarily,” Milley said.

Will Russia Abandon Crimea?

Milley thinks that, should Ukraine ever reclaim Crimea, it is more likely that it will be a result of Russia abandoning the territory.

Despite Russian President Vladimir Putin annexing the territory in 2014 and proclaiming Crimea an inseparable part of the Russian Federation. Milley believes that the Kremlin could eventually make a “political decision” to leave the territory as a result of the Russian military struggling so much in the conflict.

“The Russian military is really hurting bad,” he said. “So you want to negotiate at a time when you’re at your strength, and your opponent is at weakness. And it’s possible, maybe, that there’ll be a political solution. All I’m saying is there’s a possibility for it.”

Zelenskyy Remains Committed

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy won’t want to hear Milley say that Ukraine doesn’t have the capability to liberate Crimea – not just because it flies in the face of what he has been telling the Ukrainian people for years now, but also because it may suggest that Washington, D.C., is not as committed to that goal as Kyiv is.

Zelenskyy has repeatedly promised to reclaim Crimea, even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine began this year. Zelenskyy hasn’t backed down from that pledge, telling Czech TV earlier this month that he intends to visit Crimea as soon as the conflict comes to an end, and once Ukraine has reclaimed the territory.

HIMARS

M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) vehicles with 1st Battalion, 181st Field Artillery Regiment, Tennessee Army National Guard participating in Saber Strike 17 execute a fire mission at Bemoko Piskie, Poland, June 16, 2017. This year’s exercise includes integrated and synchronized deterrence-oriented training designed to improve interoperability and readiness of the 20 participating nations’ militaries. (U.S. Army photo by Markus Rauchenberger)

“I will go to Crimea. I really want to see the sea,” he said.

Milley’s words, however, come as the White House continues to urge Kyiv to express willingness to engage in peace negotiations with Russia. It could indicate that the United States would like to see some resolution come soon, even if it means Russia maintaining control of Crimea.

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

Written By

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive's Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Johnny Ray

    November 17, 2022 at 9:49 pm

    Crimea is the key to ending the war.

    In particular, taking the naval base at Sevastopol would do it. First, losing the base would be a humiliating coup de grace defeat for Putin. He could not survive it. Second, once the flag of Ukraine was raised at the base, Crimean Russians would flee in panic across the Crimean Bridge at Kerch Straits. The war would be all but over at that point.
    Fighting over Donbas is stupid. It’s a wasteland. In any case, all Ukraine must do is target the supply line for the drunken convict conscripts. They will die in the snow by the thousands all by themselves without a shot fired.
    Does Ukraine have a Patton?
    What weapons system will turn it emphatically to Ukraine? Would a thousand cruise missiles do it?

  2. Pitosga

    November 18, 2022 at 10:14 am

    Johnny Ray 100% right!
    Crimea is the key to ending the war.
    Taking the Sevastopol naval base would be like invading Moscow.
    Check Mate

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement