Gen. David Petraeus advised CNN he believes Ukrainian troops will be capable to push Russian forces additional again this summer time, contingent on arms provide and technique.
It’ll take profitable combined arms warfare — a complementary strategy the place a number of sorts of preventing items assist each other — to succeed, Petraeus advised CNN’s Nic Robertson on the Munich Security Conference in Germany.
“You may get the enemy to crumble and ideally collapse — and that’s potential this summer time, at the very least domestically — and hopefully adequate to chop that land bridge that Russia has established that allows them to attach into Crimea alongside the southeastern coast of Ukraine,” mentioned Petraeus, who was the US and coalition commander of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and later served as director of the CIA.
“In case you lower that, you can begin the isolation of Crimea, you’ll be able to scale back it as a logistical assist hub, after which you’ll be able to divide the Russian forces. After which for those who can take down the Kerch Strait bridge, you have actually remoted them,” he added.
Petraeus mentioned if that situation performs out, mixed with long-range weapons for Excessive Mobility Artillery Rocket Programs (HIMARS), there’d be a “very totally different dynamic” within the battle.
If Russian losses proceed to pile up, “in some unspecified time in the future, the Kremlin has to acknowledge this struggle is unsustainable on the battlefield. And for those who proceed to tighten the financial, monetary and export controls, you make it unsustainable (on) the homefront as properly,” he mentioned.
He additionally mentioned Ukrainians being trained on Western weapons appear to be doing so at outstanding pace.
“The stories (from Western colleagues) are that the Ukrainians are simply blowing proper via their coaching. They’re finished inside day one at midday, and also you’re on day two, they usually’re having to speed up the coaching very considerably. And even after they return to the barracks after a really lengthy coaching day, they’re studying the manuals. They need to get again to the struggle, again to defending their households,” he mentioned.
Ukrainian troops are receiving coaching on Leopard 2 tanks in Poland, the UK authorities mentioned earlier this month that it’ll start training Ukrainian pilots on NATO-standard fighter jets, and the primary group of Ukrainians completed training at a US base in Germany on Friday.
“I feel they may be capable to obtain the type of mixed arms results that the Russians haven’t achieved,” Petraeus reiterated.
CNN’s Cristiana Moisescu contributed to this report.