A military expert says Ukraine has a good chance of liberating all of its territory — except Crimea — by the end of 2023.
According to former military intelligence officer Philip Ingram, cities like Severodonetsk, Melitopol and even Mariupol could be liberated if Volodymyr Zelenskyi’s forces continue their counterattack.
As we approach the end of a year that has seen Vladimir Putin. Russia Attacking its neighbour, causing untold destruction and an unprecedented return to war in Europe, Sky News looks at what could happen in Ukraine in 2023.
In the months since the Feb. 24 offensive that saw Kremlin forces a long way from Kyiv, Ukrainian defenders have recaptured more than half of the land held by Russia since the start of the war.
President Zielinski It has insisted that its forces will eventually liberate all of its territory, including parts of Donbass and Crimea that have been seized since 2014.
Although experts are divided on whether this will ultimately be possible, Ukraine’s forces have repeatedly demonstrated their intelligence and determination on the battlefield.
The early days of the war saw the historic defense of the port city of Mariupol, in which a small group of soldiers held out for 82 days against terrible odds. Buying significant time for defense forces elsewhere to reorganize and acquire Western weapons.
more recently, Brilliant counter-attacks In the east and south, Russian forces have retreated from Kharkiv and Kherson.
So what could happen next year?
Mr Ingram, a former intelligence officer, says it all depends on what Ukraine does in the next few weeks as it looks to make progress again.
He told Sky News: “If their next counter-attack is as successful as they’ve already been – and I see no reason why it shouldn’t be – there’s certainly a strong possibility. that they had recaptured all of mainland Ukraine by the end of the year.
“So I think 2023 will be a year of more counterattacks and successes by Ukraine.
“I think at this point we will discuss the possibility of operations to retake Crimea.”
Mr. Ingram said that further successes in Ukraine would lead to increased dissent within Russia, perhaps threatening President Putin’s rule.
He said that the recapture of Mariupol in particular would have a huge psychological impact.
However, not all experts agree on the future of Ukraine in the next 12 months.
Western arms supply ‘not a bottomless pit’
Retired Air Vice Marshal Sean Bell argued that the West can only support Ukraine for so long, as arms supplies dwindle and some countries’ resolve may weaken amid high domestic energy costs.
“When you look at the scale of weapons provided, there is no bottomless pit,” he told Sky News.
“Militarily it is very difficult to see the West being able to hold Ukraine for more than a year.”
He said that while President Zelenskiy is publicly calling for the return of all territories, behind closed doors he is talking “practically” about the future.
“I think that’s where you have great statesmanship, because if winning is about gaining more territory, then yes, Putin won.
“If Putin’s strategic objectives are indeed to block NATO expansion, it has failed.
“If his goal is to restore Russia’s greatness, he has failed. If he wants to build a more powerful economy, he has failed.
“So depending on what metric we choose from a grand strategy perspective, it’s very difficult to see this attack as anything other than a failure.”
He said it may well be that peace finally comes where President Zelenskiy accuses the West of handing in but privately accepts that this is the only way to prevent further casualties.
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