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Ukraine war: Why is Crimea so important to Russia and can Zelenskyy’s troops recapture it? | World News


As victories on the Ukrainian battlefield continued with the liberation of the city of Kherson, attention was once again focused on the Crimean issue.

In recent days, many Russian politicians have discussed a possible attack on Kremlin positions on the key peninsula.

They range from Viktor Bondarev saying that Ukraine “has neither the resources nor the military potential” to retake Crimea, to Russian lawmaker Andrei Gurulyov calling on Moscow to calculate the possibility of a NATO-backed attack on Ukraine.

Russian MP Mikhail Sheremet warned that Ukraine’s military would suffer a “final fatal blow” if it launched a major attack on Crimea.

Moscow does not want to change the regime – Live updates of the Ukraine war

Once the crown jewel of the Russian Empire, the strategically important Black Sea territory has a long history, including resistance to the Nazis during World War II and more recently the annexation of Vladimir Putin in 2014.

When Russia launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was initially cautious about publicly expressing his ambitions for the coastal territory.

But as the war continued and the Ukrainian army gained more and more victories on the battlefield, he made it clearer: Crimea belongs to Ukraine, and his armed forces will take it back.

Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Volodymyr Havrylov told Sky News that Ukrainian forces may return to Crimea by the end of December – and the whole war with Russia will end in the spring.

He said the recapture of Crimea was “just a matter of time”, and suggested that this could be helped by the so-called “black swan” event – something unpredictable – that happened in Russia. , such as the sudden collapse of the Putin regime.

“There’s also a military option with some sort of combination of forces, resources, and a few other things.”

“For example, we could enter Crimea by the end of December. Maybe, maybe. That’s not excluded,” he added.

vladimir putin addresses the audience in a rally and a concert entitled "we are together" in support of Ukraine's annexation of Crimea to Russia, with Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov and parliament speaker Vladimir Konstantinov (left) in the background, at Red Square in central Moscow, March 18, 2014.
Picture:
Vladimir Putin speaks at a rally in Moscow in support of Ukraine’s annexation of Crimea to Russia in 2014

What is the chance that Ukraine will retake Crimea by force?

Retired Air Force Vice Marshal Sean Bell told Sky News that Crimea is an important part of Russia’s history and Russia never believed that Crimea was not Russian.

Not only that, the defensive positions left over from the Second World War – when the territory was against Nazi forces – made it a very difficult military target, he said.

“Those defensive positions remain in place to this day,” he said.

“So the outlook from most military points of view, including that of the United States, America’s highest-ranking defense agency, has said that the possibility of Ukraine using military force to take back Crimea is very, very small. “

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Does Russia want to change the Kiev regime?

He added that Ukraine’s superiority in the current stage of the war is driven by Western weapons, of which there is no limitless supply.

“But the real question here is whether Zelenskyy will continue to sharpen and potentially lose tens, possibly hundreds of thousands more in a futile attempt to take Crimea, which he probably will never. do?” he say.

“Or was there a moment when he really had to become a great statesman, where he was faced with making extremely difficult compromises to lose part of his territory, but protect his country?” himself, and in return be able to receive Western support to rebuild his country and provide the security he so desperately needs?”

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