His optimism that Ukraine could return to Crimea by the end of December and that the war will probably be over by the end of next spring, expressed the Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Lt. Gen. Volodymyr Havrilov.
In an interview with Sky News, he said his country will not stop fighting unless it secures victory. He asked for “additional support” from the EU for the winter.
Havrilov was asked about the possibility of a Russian nuclear attack and replied that it is small, “but it would be dramatic for everyone.”
“God knows what scenario will play out,” he added, but a tactical nuclear strike “is not a threat that will prevent us from continuing our war.”
On peace talks with Moscow, Havrilov said that would only happen when Russian forces were ready to leave every inch of Ukrainian territory. This includes Crimea, which they annexed in 2014, and areas of eastern Ukraine.
The decision within Ukrainian society is to continue until the end. It doesn’t matter which scenario is on the table. We have paid a blood tax, we have put a lot of effort into what we have already achieved and everyone knows that any delay or ‘freezing’ of the conflict will only be the continuation of this war against the existence of Ukraine as a nation,” he explained.
In recent weeks, Ukrainian forces recaptured Kherson and Russian forces retreated to the eastern (left) bank of the Dnieper. The Ukrainian official was asked if this increases the chances of achieving other goals, such as the recapture of Crimea, and replied that “it’s a matter of time, and of course we would prefer that to be done as soon as possible.”
A “black swan”, that is, an unexpected development, in Russia, such as a sudden collapse of Vladimir Putin’s regime, could help this.
“We may enter Crimea, for example, by the end of December. It is possible, possible. It cannot be ruled out that it will happen,” he added.
Finally, when asked about the length of the war, the Ukrainian official said that as a military man it is important to be prepared for a long battle if Russia can build up its forces.
“Of course, in that case, the war will take some time. But my feeling is that by the end of spring, it will be over.”
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