Russia's 'total collapse is surprisingly close' as Ukraine told Crimea retake now possible

Russia’s “total collapse” is not beyond realms of possibility, a military expert has claimed, as Ukraine continues to fight valiantly in the east of the country. Colonel Richard Kemp, a former infantry commander, has explained how taking back the Crimean Peninsula could be key to inflicting defeat on the Russians.

Russian President Vladimir Putin illegally annexed Crimea in 2014, and has since tried to claim the territory as Russian.

But, writing in the Telegraph, Mr Kemp explained how Ukraine could take the territory back.

He cited the expertise of the former commander of US forces in Europe, Ben Hodges, who suggested Ukrainian troops could isolate the peninsula by striking against the two land routes connecting it with Russia.

A large-scale offensive accompanied by precision strikes and bombardment targeting Russian air, ground and naval forces could help drive Putin’s men out of Crimea, General Hodges explained.

Mr Kemp then added: “This concerted attack against the peninsula – isolating it, neutralising and inflicting severe damage against its military infrastructure by long-range strikes – would be a major blow for Russian morale.

“In the absence of decisive battlefield success elsewhere, it would represent a defeat for Moscow that it could not disguise, and could lead to collapse of Russian forces in the field and even to Putin’s downfall.”

However, Mr Kemp warned that this coup for Ukrainian forces could only be achieved if Western allies bolster their support for Kyiv.

Mr Kemp said countries like the US, UK, and European nations would need to up their military production, but the political will to do this is “shaky”.

He said some leaders are now trying to push Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky towards peace talks with Moscow, which could see Ukraine give up some of its territories.

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