Ukrainian expert "Crimea could prompt Russia to use nuclear weapons"

Interviews 16:49 24.11.2022

The withdrawal of the Russian army from Liman and Kherson in the past month has given rise to Putin's claims about his fear of losing Crimea. The withdrawal of the army from these cities has also shaken the Russian media, and they associated Putin with admitting defeat in the evacuation of Crimea. Recent events have given messages about the claim that the war will continue in Crimea. According to some experts, on the eve of the Football World Cup held in Qatar, the fighting has subsided and turned into a small-scale situation.

In his exclusive interview to Ednews, director of the Centre for Studies of Civil Society, political expert Vitaly Kulik touched on interesting facts.

Vitaly kulik. All photos by keyword Vitaly Kulik - UNIAN

- Russia is actually evacuating Crimea after Kherson. Does this indicate the continuation of the war from Crimea or there is any secret plan?

- We see that the Russians are already preparing defence lines in Crimea and have announced the evacuation of the population of settlements located on the administrative border of Crimea and Kherson region. The fact is that we have reason to believe that the Russians will not occupy the rest of the Kherson region.

Despite the presence of Russian troops on the left bank of the Dnieper River in the Kherson region, the Ukrainian army is capable of successfully striking bases, troop concentrations, headquarters and, most importantly, roads in the occupied territories and part of the Kherson region.

Let me note that Russia's "dry corridor" from occupied Crimea to Donbas is under threat. However, the Armed Forces of Ukraine can control all these areas and have already struck a large number of blows against the Russian army. Currently, the Russians are shelling Kherson, which they have left. These are terrorist attacks not on military infrastructure, but on residential areas and civilian objects.

I am not a military expert, but it is clear that despite the onset of winter, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have conducted a number of maneuvers. Thanks to this, it seems realistic to start new operations to liberate the rest of Kherson region. Although it is difficult to cross the Dnieper, as long as the frosts do not fall, it will be easy to do.

I simply note that, the Russians will not be able to maintain their position on the current border. They will have to retreat along a line to or near the Crimea. In my opinion, the Russians will first try to move their troops towards that line to maintain control of the land corridor for a while. Fierce battles are inevitable. After defeat in this line, they will be stuck in Crimea.

- Do you think that Russia will easily surrender Crimea to Ukraine?

- No, Russia is not going to give anything. We must return Crimea by military forces. We hope that the Russians will have avoided the first blow. But it is known to us since the history of the last century that military operations in Crimea require disproportionate decisions and great sacrifices.

For Putin, the loss of Crimea is a symbolic defeat. He will mobilize all his power to prevent his army from leaving the peninsula. The Russians will not even give up Crimea. I do not rule out that the Kremlin will threaten Ukraine with nuclear weapons at the last moment, even if Russia can use them outside of Crimea. I am sure that this will accelerate the fall of the racist regime in Moscow.

The liberation of Crimea from the occupation will most likely take place after our troops expel the Russians from Kherson and Zaporozhye provinces. The "way of life" that Russians will run out of in Crimea will be only on the Crimean bridge. Panic and humanitarian crisis will arise.

Let me add that Ukraine considers the Crimean bridge as well as the Russian military bases located in the occupied Crimea a legitimate military target. Most likely, we will be able to destroy the bridge and accelerate the Russians' escape from Crimea.

In addition, there is a possibility that Crimea will be "left behind". The Armed Forces of Ukraine will focus their efforts on the liberation of Donbas. The dynamics of offensive operations in Lugansk region indicate that the next "big operation" will take place there.

- What does Crimea mean strategically for Ukraine?

- For Ukraine, Crimea strategically controls a significant part of the Black Sea focal point. When the Russians leave Crimea, they will have to move their fleet, which is firing at us, to Novorossiysk. In any case, they will leave part of the fleet there, since enemy ships are considered a priority target in an attack on Crimea.

Ukraine has no navy. But Kyiv is actively developing UAVs over the sea. In cooperation with Western partners, we will provide not only freight corridors, including "grain corridors", but also military convoys. In addition, we will start hunting Russian ships.

Crimea is also important as a symbol. With the annexation of Crimea, Putin started a war with Ukraine in 2014. This is his biggest "geopolitical/historical victory". The mythology of his personal autocracy was built around Crimea. If Crimea is lost, the entire ideological and paradigmatic structure of Putinism will not collapse, but it will fundamentally crack.

- Is the scale of the war expected to increase, or will it continue in smaller battles?

- Now some media sources talk about the possibility of achieving a certain "Korean version" of freezing the war along the current front line. Or information is published on how to prepare the front and conduct a low-intensity war without major offensive operations. Russia is really interested in implementing such a scenario. The Kremlin communicates this proposal to its Western partners in various ways. Mass missile strikes and the use of Iranian drones to destroy the power grid are aimed at forcing Kiev to negotiate.

However, the Ukrainian leadership believes that any "respite" for the Russians is an opportunity for them to launch a new offensive in the spring and summer of next year. Putin's resources are running out, his army is not ready for battle, discontent and aggression are growing in the population. I am not talking about a revolution or a coup. Because I don't believe it will happen. I am talking about the riots and looting that will eventually lead to the collapse of Russia.

If Putin sees that the Ukrainian army does not reduce the counterattacks and advance towards Crimea or successfully liberate the Donbas, he may attempt a new invasion from Belarus to Kiev and Volyn to withdraw the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the East and South and cut off arms supplies. It is not an exception for the Russian army to attempt a counter-attack in the direction of Zaporozhye, where the enemy forces have gathered recently.

Therefore, in my opinion, the war is unlikely to be slow. On the contrary, there are all conditions for Kyiv or Moscow to try to resolve the situation in their favor by resorting to a "big attack". Ukraine is not interested in freezing the war and will attack.

I would like to touch on another point. In my opinion, in this war, we have not yet approached the peak, that is, the highest point of the conflict. We observe only the second stage. At the highest point of escalation, any option is possible, and a nuclear strike is not excluded. But even the use of tactical nuclear weapons against Ukraine or to pressure the West beyond Ukraine's borders will not lead to Ukraine's surrender. This is the unified position of Kyiv and it is fully approved by the Ukrainian society. We are in a war for our physical existence as a nation, and a successful conclusion to this war is possible only through our victory, followed by the derationalization of Russia.

By Elnur Enveroglu


US never wanted Ukraine to win, american journalist says - VİDEO

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