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UK defense chief highlights real possibility of Ukraine retaking Crimea amid Russian equipment shortage

UK defense chief highlights real possibility of Ukraine retaking Crimea amid Russian equipment shortage

Contrary to the private ruminations of some other NATO officials, Britain’s defense chief Ben Wallace said there was a real possibility Ukraine could successfully retake Crimea, the peninsula Putin illegally occupied in 2014, this year as Russian forces run out of needed equipment, Washington Post writes.

Wallace said a number of nations were ready to forge bilateral or multilateral “mutual defense pacts” with Ukraine and commit to longer-term plans to build the country’s military capability “to make sure it’s a very expensive opportunity for Russia or anyone else to invade Ukraine in the future.”

That might succeed in deterring Russia because, in Wallace’s view, “Russia’s land forces are going to be significantly depleted for the next 10 years.”

“Until [Russia-]Ukraine [war] happened, there were too many people who didn’t want to see the threat from Putin, and look where we are now.” The same complacency exists today, he said, about the threats posed by China and destabilizing activity in Africa.

As the war grinds on, Wallace said Western countries remain supportive of providing weapons and funding to Ukraine without pressuring leaders in Kyiv to negotiate with Russia or make concessions.

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