(MENAFN- UkrinForm) Ukraine can win the war and return all territories occupied by Russia, including Crimea, the former commander of the U.S. Army in Europe, retired General Mark Hertling, has said.
According to Ukrinform, Hertling said this in an interview with the Austrian newspaper wiener zeitung .
'Yes, Ukraine can win this war. It is, of course, up to President Volodymyr Zelensky and the Ukrainian people to decide what constitutes a victory. However, as an outsider, my definition of victory would be the reconquest of all occupied territories, including Crimea,' he said, when asked whether he thinks Ukraine's victory in the war is possible and what can be considered a victory in general.
Commenting on the most important lessons of the war, Hertling called a good coordination of the overarching political strategy with battlefield tactics and operations. According to him, 'Ukraine is doing very well, the Russians are not, and that is also the reason why they are failing in many areas.'
'Another lesson, not really a new one but the one that must be learned over and over again, is that the army that can adapt the fastest will win. Here, too, Ukraine has advantages,' he added.
According to Hertling, 'Russia still does not have the necessary amount of troops for the tasks it wants to accomplish.' He also pointed to poor training and a lack of leadership culture in the Russian army.
Commenting on the development of the situation in the coming months, the U.S. general noted that the Russian army would be reinforced with many mobilized soldiers. Ukraine needs to solve the problem of training its military and 'also simultaneously integrate many new weapon systems with which the soldiers are unfamiliar.' However, Hertling noted, the Ukrainian army has proven very capable in this respect.
'I think we will see offensive operations in the southeast and smaller tactical skirmishes in Donbas to regain terrain. But the main effort will probably be to cut off the Russian logistics flows coming from Crimea,' the general predicted.
Hertling said he considered 'fatigue' to be the main challenge for both sides. 'I was also in action, but I didn't experience nearly as intense a fight as the soldiers at the front are currently doing. In Bakhmut, there is an unbelievable number of dead as a result of the endless waves of attacks by the Wagner troops. This has a massive effect for both sides, even if it's maybe a bit smaller and different for the Ukrainians. The Ukrainian soldiers are forced to kill almost without a break, dead bodies are literally piling up on the front line,' he said.