The Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) will not be able to regain control of the Russian peninsula. That was the conclusion reached by Pentagon officials at a secret briefing, Politico reported, citing sources familiar with the contents of the meeting. The agency declined to comment officially.
Ukrainian troops are unlikely to regain control of Crimea in the near future, four senior Defense Department officials said in a secret briefing to the House Armed Services Committee in the US Congress.
According to the publication, it is unclear what led the speakers to this assessment of the situation, but the clear indication, according to three sources familiar with the contents of the briefing, was that “the Pentagon does not believe that Ukraine has or will soon have the ability to push Russian forces out” of Crimea.
However, another publication source said the briefing was more ambiguous, but the main message was that “victory for Ukraine in an offensive to retake” the territory “is not guaranteed”.
This assessment is certain to disappoint Kiev, which considers the return of the peninsula to its control as one of its main goals, the weekly said.
It is noted that the speakers included Laura Cooper, deputy assistant to the US defence secretary, and Lieutenant General Douglas Sims, chief of operations at the Joint Forces Headquarters.
The newspaper quoted Sabrina Singh, a Pentagon deputy spokeswoman, as saying that the agency “does not intend to comment on secret briefings, talk about hypotheses or speculate on possible future operations”.
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