Gen. David Petraeus advised CNN he believes Ukrainian troops will have the ability to push Russian forces additional again this summer time, contingent on arms provide and technique.
It can take profitable combined arms warfare — a complementary method the place a number of sorts of preventing items help 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 least domestically — and hopefully ample 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.
“Should you lower that, you can begin the isolation of Crimea, you’ll be able to scale back it as a logistical help hub, after which you’ll be able to divide the Russian forces. After which should you 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 completely different dynamic” within the battle.
If Russian losses proceed to pile up, “sooner or later, the Kremlin has to acknowledge this battle is unsustainable on the battlefield. And should you proceed to tighten the financial, monetary and export controls, you make it unsustainable (on) the homefront as nicely,” he mentioned.
He additionally mentioned Ukrainians being trained on Western weapons appear to be doing so at exceptional pace.
“The studies (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, and so they’re having to speed up the coaching very considerably. And even once they return to the barracks after a really lengthy coaching day, they’re studying the manuals. They need to get again to the battle, 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’s going to 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’ll have the ability to obtain the type of mixed arms results that the Russians haven’t achieved,” Petraeus reiterated.
CNN’s Cristiana Moisescu contributed to this report.