Ukraine’s Offensive Will Succeed, Says Former Top US General

General David Petraeus, former US commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, outlined his views about the where and what of the anticipated Ukrainian move to recover its territory.

by Kyiv Post 

General David Petraeus. PHOTO: AFP

The American general who led US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and headed the CIA, has said he believes that Ukraine’s upcoming offensive is likely to be focused in southern Ukraine and feature fresh Ukrainian troops – and will be successful.

In an interview with Radio Liberty, General David Petraeus

addressed questions about the future Ukrainian offensive against Russian-occupied territory, the possibility of Ukraine recovering Crimea, the Battle of Bakhmut, Russia’s war-time mistakes and other geo-political topics.

With regard to the upcoming offensive, according to Petraeus, the Ukrainians are likely to have two objectives: 1) to cut the Russian-occupied land bridge between Crimea and eastern Ukraine, and: 2) to cause enough destruction of Russian forces in southern Ukraine that they must retreat from “most” of the currently occupied territory, with the exception of Crimea.

“What we will see in the spring-summer offensive are fresh Ukrainian forces, which are currently training in Germany, Poland, Great Britain and Ukraine. And, in my opinion, they will achieve their goals,” Petraeus said.

Petraeus further said that the Ukrainian offensive will be significantly based on tanks including as the basis for: advancing mechanized infantry; optimizing artillery activity, and; providing cover for de-mining efforts. He noted that MiG-29 jet fighters donated by allies will be important to, in turn, provide air cover for Ukrainian tanks.

The diplomat predicts that Serbia will join sanctions against Russia.

In terms of Bakhmut, Petraeus said that it has no substantive significance in military terms.

“I think, however, that [the Ukrainians] have understood the value of defending this territory from an army that is acting very unprofessionally… and effectively permitting the death of Russian soldiers,” Petraeus said. “Zelensky has also come to understand the necessity of not giving Russia anything that looks like a victory or the achievement of its goals.”

On Russia’s mistakes, the military leader said that Russia completely underestimated Ukrainian strength and completely overestimated its own strength. He pointed out specific Russian deficiencies in communications, which led to the death of unprecedented numbers of generals and other senior commanders, and the lack of quality among NCOs (non-commissioned officers) in the Russian military.

The general particularly noted the Russian military’s inability to learn and improve.

“The Russian military is not an organization that learns… They have in no way recognized their own errors.. When I was commanding [US] forces in Iraq and Afghanistan… we clearly gave ourselves the goal of being an organization that learns,” Petraeus said.

“I can see that the Ukrainians are learning, developing and getting better and better. And that’s why I can say that they will do that which the Russians have not been able to – conduct a broad-scale military operation,” Petraeus said.

However, the general sounded a warning as well.

“This war is continuing. It requires constant support, constant decisiveness not only from the Ukrainian side, but from the side of those who are helping what is in my view a clear contest between good and evil,” Petraeus said. “Ukrainians are doing their part through their resilience and through their independence. They are willing to do what is necessary and we [in the West] ought to be decisive and also do what is necessary.”



  1. Its funny when you go back and read the ill predictions of doom and gloom from Feb/March of last year but General Petraeus has been supportive of Ukraine’s potential all along. I’ve gone back and read other pieces from the restart of Poopin’s genocide and many publications changed direct quotes to “Senior intelligence official” or something like that since their predictions of Ukraine’s demise in 3 days didn’t happen. If they were wise they would leave their names as-is and make them eat their own friggen words, damn them.

  2. I wish Ukraine could donate some of its decisiveness to Washington, Berlin and Paris.

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