Pentagon doesn’t believe Ukraine can liberate Crimea – Politico

Yuri Kobzar09:10, 02.02.23

The US military held a secret briefing for congressmen, the contents of which got into the press.

Ukraine is unlikely to be able to drive Russian troops out of Crimea in the near future. This was stated by senior officials of the US Department of Defense at a secret briefing for the Defense Committee of the House of Representatives of the US Parliament, writes Politico . 

“It’s not clear what led the speakers to make that assessment. But the clear indication, as reported by three people with direct knowledge of Thursday’s briefing, was that the Pentagon does not believe Ukraine has or will soon be able to push Russian troops out of the peninsula.” – writes the publication.

The briefing was presented more ambiguously, according to a fourth source, but the general message is that Ukraine’s victory is not guaranteed.

Official Pentagon speakers declined to comment on the contents of the secret briefing, but made a general statement: 

“In terms of Ukraine’s ability to fight and retake sovereign territory, their remarkable performance in repelling Russian aggression and their continued ability to adapt on the battlefield speaks for themselves,” Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh told reporters.

The publication recalls that the head of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, is also quite reserved about Ukraine’s ability to expel the invaders.

“It will be very, very difficult this year to forcefully expel Russian troops from every – every inch of Russian-occupied territory in Ukraine. That doesn’t mean it can’t happen. It doesn’t mean it won’t happen, but it will be very, very difficult.” “, he said at a meeting in Ramstein on January 20.

Plans for the liberation of Crimea

Russia has de facto controlled the Crimean peninsula since late February-early March 2014. The occupying country has extended its administrative and legal system to him and is actively persecuting everyone who does not agree with the occupation.

After the defeat in the Kharkov region and especially near Kherson, the Russian command began to prepare for defense in the Crimea . 

Military analysts directly note that the battle for Crimea will begin immediately after the liberation of Melitopol.

The former commander of US forces in Europe, Ben Hodges, believes that the Ukrainian army can liberate Crimea before the end of summer.

(C)UNIAN 2023


  1. Sack Milley. He’s crap.
    In order to liberate Crimea and all Ukrainian land, Ukraine needs and will continue to need for the foreseeable future; one million combat troops, the same number in reserve, a modern airforce, long range ballistic missiles, an integrated air defence architecture, a navy (with subs), 50 more HIMARS; calibrated for ATACM’s, up to 1000 MBT’s, unlimited ammo and a nuclear deterrent.
The above would be the minimum requirement.
    Replace Milley with Ben Hodges, or anyone who shares that vision.

    • Maybe you are judging him too quickly as he might be playing a political game here.

      If he would be optimistic he would reduce the urgency to send more stuff to Ukraine.

      Also, I think we shouldn’t think we know better. Ukraine doesn’t publish losses and if you look at that Oryx website you can see that Ukraine is suffering enormous losses.

      We don’t know if they will be able to pull off what they did in Kharkiv in Zaporizia.

      Also, Ben Hodges doesn’t have the intelligence as the U.S. armed forces have, as Ben Hodges has been retired.

      Milley could be playing a game to try to increase pressure on the Biden administration or he could be simply speaking the truth.

      Don’t get me wrong, my own gut feeling tells me that Ukraine will be able to pull this off, but I think this based on what the Ukrainians tell publicly.

      And the government says exactly what is helpful in the war and they omit what isn’t helpful to the war efforts.

      We simply have no clue on what the Ukrainians have left.

      Also to be fair, I don’t think the assessment on the early days was necessarily wrong. The U.S. intelligence knew what the Russians had on paper and what their tactics were, but had not seen any large scale operation before.

      They couldn’t know Russian paratroopers would be dropped in the sea and freeze to death or that the tires they were using were from China and would burst almost immediately.

      Also, the Ukrainian army was still underfunded, poorly equipped and the government wasn’t preparing for war at all. They did not blow up bridges in Kherson, they did not mine the narrow land bridge to Crimea. The Ukrainians themselves didn’t expect this would be possible.

      If they did, they would have blown up a lot of bridges and then Kherson wouldn’t have been reached. Kherson was captured by Russia completely unnecessarily.

      The official policy of Zelensky was: keep calm and a full scale war is not worth preparing for. He did not mobilise the territorial defense or anything.

      He reasoned that if he would say an invasion is imminent, he would lose either way as it would wreck the economy even if there wouldn’t be an invasion.

      The U.S. intelligence saw a modest army with obsolete equipment, no Navy and only a few dozen fighter jets that were from Soviet times and a government refusing to take the necessarily steps against on paper the world’s second largest army.

      Ukraine was rescued by heroism, Russian incompetence and the amazing Ukrainian civil society that made Ukraine into an army.

      But the U.S. intelligence cannot quantify the civil society but they can count tanks.
      You don’t know in advance if 1% or 10% of Ukrainian civilians would be willing to take up arms so you cannot properly count that.

      So I don’t think the U.S. intel screwed up in February, I just think both parties didn’t play by the rules.

      I do hope Milley is wrong, but I am bert and a nobody and Milley is one of the best soldiers in the world, so I don’t feel I am in any position to criticize him.

      All I can hope for is another miracle like Kharkiv.

      • Sir Bert I agree with many of your points but here are my disagreements
        1. US Intelligence. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but our intelligence community suck. They have been wrong in ever major decision in the past 20 years, that’s it’s hard to believe them. ie Afghanistan withdrawal, Ukrainian war, Russian collusion and the list goes on especially with intelligence telling Obama that he wouldn’t go further in 2014. Sorry they suck at whatever they’re trying to do.
        2. I don’t know what’s in the hearts of people but Miley has been downright negative right from the beginning and frankly I hold him equally responsible along with Sullivan, Austin and Biden in slow walking the military needs.
        3, I believe our intelligence community must not only opine on the current sit rep, I expect them to provide guidance on future developments, of which I’ve seen or heard nothing.

        All IMHO

      • Bert, maybe the Biden administration simply doesn’t want to see a total Ukrainian victory.

  2. These are probably the same ass wipes who said we would fall within three days of the attack. Not happening. Yes, we will take Crimea back.

    • I agree 100%. On paper someone from the Pentagon might say ruzzia looks good but in reality Ukraine doesn’t rattle their sabers as they say and also because THE PEOPLE want it just like in Kherson and Kharkiv. Hell, give the partisans some rifles and RPGs and they’ll take care of the ruzzo-slime…

  3. The Pentagon is an establishment with not only military aspects, but also with plenty of political ones. So, you have to take anything they say with a handful of salt.
    At any rate, if this supposedly secret meeting comes to such a conclusion, it seems to me that the politics of the Biden administration doesn’t want to see a total Ukrainian victory, meaning the liberation of ALL Ukraine.
    This opinion is more than just that. The entire globe has seen what Ukraine is capable of. I think it’s safe to say that every general on this planet worth the nomenclature would consider the liberation of the Crimea to be a realistic goal. But, of course, much of this depends on what kind of weapons the country gets. And this is the crux of the problem. The Biden administration is not handing over the tools necessary to oust the cockroaches completely and as quickly as possible. Ergo, a total Ukrainian victory is not what the cowards in the WH want to see. They want everyone to know this, despite the title of “secret”, otherwise they are pretty damned pathetic at keeping hush-hush.

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