Crimea will be "taken out of the game": Hodges predicts counter-offensive of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and names the main condition for Ukraine's victory in the war

General believes defence of Bakhmut is "actually a story about Crimea"

Ukraine's armed forces will launch a counter-offensive on a very narrow section of the front in the south of the country to break through the enemy's defences, reach the Sea of Azov, cut the land corridor and begin isolating Crimea. Ukraine will win the war by the end of 2023 if it receives the military assistance it needs from the West.

This opinion was expressed by the former commander of US forces in Europe, General Ben Hodges, in an interview with Deutsche Welle. According to him, the defence of Bakhmut "is actually a story about Crimea" (to watch the video, scroll to the end).

According to him, Ukraine's defenders have been holding the fortress city for nine months, building up forces that they plan to use in a counter-offensive.

"I think it (the Ukrainian counter-offensive - Ed.) will start in a few weeks and will be aimed at isolating the Crimean peninsula, and then eventually preventing Russian troops from defending Crimea," Hodges said.

According to the military, what the Ukrainian Armed Forces did was "amazing, it cost them huge casualties, but they did not bring in the forces they needed to counterattack."

"We would call it a saving of forces. Sacrifices that buy time for a future offensive. ...Thanks to the nerves of steel, courage and incredible resilience of the Ukrainian soldiers, they are able to buy time that will ultimately give the Ukrainian armed forces a huge strategic advantage."

Hodges expects the Ukrainian armed forces to launch a counter-offensive in June, as soon as they are ready and weather conditions permit.

"The counter-offensive will be on a very narrow section of the frontline to break through the Russian defences, reach the Sea of Azov, cut the so-called land corridor and begin to isolate Crimea. They can then use HIMARS and other precision long-range weapons to strike Sevastopol and other Russian targets on the peninsula to put it out of the game. This is the beginning of the end for the Russians in Crimea," the US general said.

According to Hodges, in this scenario, Ukraine will win the war by the end of the year if the West provides it with "what it needs" - long-range precision weapons "capable of hitting Sevastopol, Saky, Dzhankoy" - the places from which Russia is launching attacks on Ukraine.

As reported by OBOZREVATEL:

- Hodges called the war against Ukraine a disaster for Russia. According to him, Russia is ready to fight Ukraine as long as it "has bodies that Putin is ready to throw into a meat grinder".

- According to the general, the liberation of Crimea is crucial in the war. He suggested that the Ukrainian Armed Forces' counter-offensive would be aimed at de-occupying the Ukrainian peninsula.

- The Ukrainian Armed Forces said that the occupiers have intensified shelling of southern Ukraine as they panic about the upcoming counter-offensive of the Ukrainian army. They are trying to hinder the training of the Defence Forces.

- On April 19, US National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby said that the coming weeks and months would be critical for Ukraine.

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