Ukrainian Major-General: I Don't See How Ukraine Can Win: We Must Negotiate

"Russia is preparing for an offensive around the Kharkiv and Sumy regions."

by Sead Dedovic
Ukrainian Major-General: I Don't See How Ukraine Can Win: We Must Negotiate
© Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images News

Ukraine seems to be losing ground on the front lines, and many believe it's only a matter of time before the Russians make further advances. The war, which has been ongoing for over five years, has showcased the bravery of Ukrainian soldiers. However, Ukraine lacks the military strength that Russia possesses, and it also faces significant issues with its armaments. 

The current situation on the front lines does not bode well for Ukrainians to confront an opponent like Russia. Major-General Vadym Skibitsky, deputy chief of Ukraine's HUR military intelligence directorate, highlighted in an interview with The Economist that he doesn't see how Ukrainians can win this war. Even if they were to push the Russians back to the border, it wouldn't end the conflict.

He emphasized that such wars can only end with agreements. Both sides seem unwilling to compromise, especially Russia, which feels it can exploit its opponent's weaknesses. Ukraine has been facing issues with armaments and military strength for months, given the significant number of soldiers killed, and fewer Ukrainians willing to be recruited. 

Skibitsky expects negotiations to potentially begin only in the second half of 2025 at the earliest. Although Russia and Ukraine have been open to negotiations before, it seems that there hasn't been a complete readiness on both sides to truly make compromises. The Russians are not giving up on their war goals, believing they have legitimate reasons for them.

He is aware that the Russians are already crafting a plan to strike again, especially in regions they deem important and where they believe they can succeed. Vladimir Putin and the Russian leadership are well aware of the weaknesses of their opponents. Many believe that this is the ideal moment for Russia to advance, but the world and Europe hope that Putin will be stopped. This is also one of the reasons why the US approved aid worth $60 billion.

"Russia will initially continue with the implementation of the plan to seize the areas of Donetsk and Lugansk. The success of the advancement will be determined by when and where the Russians will attack next," said Skibitsky. "Russia is preparing for an offensive around the Kharkiv and Sumy regions in the northeast."

Skibitsky expects that the Russians will begin their offensive by the end of May or the beginning of June. The military leadership of this country has carefully analyzed the situation over the past few months, preparing for the largest offensive to date. Military experts have no doubt that the Russians have crafted a perfect plan that will enable them to advance and capture other territories.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has repeatedly warned of the danger posed by the Russians, demanding that aid arrive as soon as possible. The Ukrainian leader has placed the greatest emphasis on air defense, considering it the weakest point for Ukrainians. 

The assistance coming from the US could be crucial for Ukraine, at least to sustain them until the end of this year. Peace between these two countries must be achieved sooner or later, and the priority should be for it to happen as soon as possible. In such an atmosphere, there is less and less room for optimism.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Volodymyr Zelenskyy© Drew Angerer/Getty Images News

The Ukrainian president had the opportunity to meet with Foreign Secretary David Cameron, discussing various topics such as the peace summit scheduled to be held in Switzerland. Cameron expressed readiness to assist Ukraine both now and in the future. Specifically, the UK is expected to provide Ukraine with at least £3 billion annually. 

Cameron is aware of the difficult situation facing the Ukrainians, being attacked by a powerful enemy like Russia. He considers this war a generational challenge and emphasized the necessity for the UK to provide assistance to Ukraine in these difficult times for the country.

For now, the UK has helped Ukraine in the form of 628 million dollars for an air defense system. Zelenskyy thanked Cameron and the UK political leadership. In moments when Ukrainians are facing huge problems at the front, this help is crucial for them.

"The provision of this package, along with the crucial decision of the United States to provide assistance, is of great importance to us at this key moment," Zelenskyy said.

The President of Ukraine can be fortunate to have allies such as the UK and the USA. The assistance that has previously come has been crucial for Ukraine's success on the front lines. However, Ukrainians need assistance from month to month, given that they are facing one of the largest military forces led by Vladimir Putin on the other side.

That is the only way to defend and prevent Europe and the world from experiencing even greater catastrophes.