JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine’s Counteroffensive: Will It Retake Crimea?” – Council on Foreign Relations

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“… Kyiv’s leaders say they are determined to regain all territory lost in last year’s Russian invasion, as well as those areas — like Crimea itself — that were seized by Moscow’s ‘little green men’ in 2014. Washington policymakers routinely insist that Ukraine’s war aims are for Ukraine alone to decide, yet they suspect that such grand aims exceed the country’s military capacity. They worry too that … Putin might even be ready to use nuclear weapons to hold on to the Black Sea peninsula …. Only two roads connect the Ukrainian mainland with Crimea[,] one cross[ing] a narrow isthmus and the other … a vulnerable bridge. Satellite photographs … indicate a major Russian buildup of defensive fortifications on Crimea over the past year. These would hamper … any quick breakthrough. Crimea[] … is also a staging area for Russian operations on Ukraine’s southern front, where the fate of Kyiv’s counteroffensive may well be decided. … Ukraine’s military leaders seek longer-range weapons that can keep the peninsula from serving as a Russian sanctuary. Such extra reach would hardly make it easy to retake Crimea, but could contribute significantly to the success of Ukraine’s counteroffensive on the mainland. …”

Click here for: “Ukraine’s Counteroffensive: Will It Retake Crimea?” – Council on Foreign Relations/ Stephen Sestanovich