Russias total collapse surprisingly close in Ukraine

Russian ammunition depot in eastern Ukraine explodes after reported strike

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Russia’s “total collapse” is not beyond realms of possibility, a military expert has claimed, as Ukraine continues to fight valiantly in the east of the country. Colonel Richard Kemp, a former infantry commander, has explained how taking back the Crimean Peninsula could be key to inflicting defeat on the Russians.

Russian President Vladimir Putin illegally annexed Crimea in 2014, and has since tried to claim the territory as Russian.

But, writing in the Telegraph, Mr Kemp explained how Ukraine could take the territory back.

He cited the expertise of the former commander of US forces in Europe, Ben Hodges, who suggested Ukrainian troops could isolate the peninsula by striking against the two land routes connecting it with Russia.

A large-scale offensive accompanied by precision strikes and bombardment targeting Russian air, ground and naval forces could help drive Putin’s men out of Crimea, General Hodges explained.

Mr Kemp then added: “This concerted attack against the peninsula – isolating it, neutralising and inflicting severe damage against its military infrastructure by long-range strikes – would be a major blow for Russian morale.

“In the absence of decisive battlefield success elsewhere, it would represent a defeat for Moscow that it could not disguise, and could lead to collapse of Russian forces in the field and even to Putin’s downfall.”

However, Mr Kemp warned that this coup for Ukrainian forces could only be achieved if Western allies bolster their support for Kyiv.

Mr Kemp said countries like the US, UK, and European nations would need to up their military production, but the political will to do this is “shaky”.

He said some leaders are now trying to push Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky towards peace talks with Moscow, which could see Ukraine give up some of its territories.

But Vadym Skibitsky, Ukraine’s deputy military intelligence chief, has vowed that his country will “liberate all occupied territories – including Crimea”.

Mr Kemp added: “With Ukraine denied the resources for decisive success, the scene would then be set for a period of relative quiet followed by the next round of Russian aggression.

“General Hodges’s plan for Crimea may be overly optimistic, but he is absolutely right to suggest that long-term peace is contingent on Russian battlefield defeat.

“The scenario that Nato leaders are now planning equals the vanquishment of the West and the emboldenment of both Russia and China. It is a crying shame when the possibility of a total Russian collapse remains within reach.”

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