Ukrainian troops are unlikely to be able to liberate Crimea from Russian forces "in the near future", and this is what the employees of the US Department of Defense told the deputies of the House of Representatives, according to the American publication Politico.
According to the newspaper with reference to anonymous interlocutors, four high-ranking officials of the US Ministry of Defense held a briefing for members of the House of Representatives' Armed Forces Committee.
The journalists note that it is unclear how justified this assessment is, which "will undoubtedly upset the leaders in Kyiv, who consider the liberation of the peninsula one of their main goals."
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But the three officials made it clear that the Pentagon does not believe that Ukraine has the ability to push Russian troops out of the peninsula, which Moscow seized 8 years ago.
The fourth said that the briefing was more ambiguous, but the bottom line is that Ukraine's victory in returning the illegally annexed territories is not guaranteed, the article says.
Among the participants of the briefing was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
, as well as director of the operational department of the Joint Staff, Lieutenant General
Pentagon press secretary
refused to comment on the content of the closed briefing:
"As for Ukraine's ability to fight and liberate its sovereign territory, its extraordinary success in resisting Russian aggression and its ability to adapt on the battlefield speak for themselves," she added.
The Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly stated the importance of the deoccupation of Crimea.
In particular, President Uladzimir Zelensky emphasized at the World Economic Forum congress in Davos that Ukraine aims to liberate all its territories, including the peninsula.
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Russia's war against Ukraine
At 5 o'clock in the morning on February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of a military operation against Ukraine in the Donbass at the request of the "DPR" and "LPR" groups.
On February 21, during a televised address to Russians, Putin called the so-called "DPR" and "LPR" independent states within the regions.
On February 22, the Federation Council ratified this decision.
All days of the war, Ukrainian cities were bombarded with rockets, aircraft flew over them.
Russian troops are attacking, including from the territory of Belarus, using airfields, bases and roads.
Representatives of Lukashenka's regime justify the war, his opponents consider the territory of Belarus to be occupied, many call for resistance to the Russian invaders.
On February 27, the International Legion of Territorial Defense was created in Ukraine, and foreign volunteers were invited to join it.
Belarusians also entered there.
In 2022, 17 Belarusians were killed in Ukraine fighting for its independence.
These are ten soldiers of the Kalinovsky Regiment and seven from other units fighting in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
It is known about two Belarusian soldiers who were captured by the Russians.
On March 30, the UN approved the composition of an independent commission that will investigate Russian war crimes in Ukraine.
It included people who worked in the analysis of the genocide in Rwanda and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Contrary to Putin's statements about attacks only on military facilities, the Russians are bombing schools, kindergartens and residential areas of Ukrainian cities.
The Russians are using banned weapons, including cluster bombs, against civilians.
On April 1, Lithuania became the first country in the European Union to completely abandon Russian gas.
Latvia and Estonia followed her example.
Germany has promised to completely stop using Russian oil by the end of 2022.
On April 2, after the liberation of the town of Bucha near Kyiv, photojournalists published dozens of photographs showing hundreds of dead people, victims of mass murders committed by Russian troops.
Many are buried in spontaneous mass graves.
The Russian occupation also brought great destruction to the people of Barodyan.
It is also known about a number of rapes, including babies.
On May 9, the US President signed the Land Leasing Law.
This law restores the program from the Second World War, which will speed up the supply of weapons to Ukraine and increase the amount of such assistance.
On July 29, as a result of an attack on the colony in Alenivka, at least 53 Ukrainian prisoners who defended the "Azovstal" plant in Mariupol and surrendered after completing their mission were killed.
The Russians accused Ukraine of the attack, the Ukrainian side declared the deliberate killing of prisoners by the Russian side.
The Russian occupation authorities prevented the UN and Red Cross missions from entering Alenavka.
Officials of Ukraine claim the death of 10,000 to 13,000 Ukrainian soldiers.
Russia claims that more than 110,000 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and wounded.
The military staffs of the USA and Europe assessed the losses of Russia and Ukraine as parity - about 100,000 soldiers on each side.
During the six months of the war, Russia was able to occupy about 20% of the Ukrainian territory.
In March, the area of occupied land reached 30%.
However, at the end of the month, Russian troops retreated from the north of Ukraine, as well as from most of the Kharkiv region.
At the end of August, Crimea, Luhansk and Kherson regions were completely occupied.
And also 50% of the territory of the Donetsk region, about 70% of the Zaporizhia region, approximately 30% of the Kharkiv region.
Since February 24, Russia has captured only one regional center - Kherson.
Russian troops retreated from it and from the right-bank part of the Kherson region in November 2022.
The city was occupied by Russian troops in the first days of the war without actually fighting.
Kyiv suspects part of the former leadership of Kherson and the region of treason.
The former head of the SBU of the Kharkiv region was also detained on such suspicion.
Now the front line in the Kherson region runs along the Dnieper.
The Russian military regularly bombards Kherson and other territories on the right bank of the Dnieper.
In September, Ukrainian troops launched a large-scale counteroffensive, as a result of which Russian forces began to rapidly flee from their positions in the Kharkiv region.
Only on the day of September 11, Ukrainians liberated more than 20 settlements in Slobazhanshchyna.
In September, Ukraine withdrew its mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo under the AAN to send an aviation unit to defend against Russian aggression.
On September 21, Putin announced the mobilization in Russia.
After this statement, thousands of Russians went to the border crossings and began to leave for Georgia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Mongolia, Finland and other countries.
In Russia itself, opponents of the war set fire to several military offices.
Even people without military experience began to be conscripted into the army, despite promises that only experienced people would go to war.
The mobilization of men into the Russian army also takes place in the occupied territories of Ukraine.
On October 2, Putin submitted a bill to the Russian parliament, which is an attempt to annex parts of four regions of Ukraine.
Two new republics - "LPR" and "DNR" - and two regions - Zaporizhia and Kherson will have to appear in Russia.
But thanks to the counteroffensive of the Ukrainians, the borders drawn in Moscow are not fully controlled by the occupying forces.
In October, Ukrainian troops successfully continued their counteroffensive, at the beginning of October they liberated Liman and Yampal, and also came significantly closer to Svatov in the Luhansk region, and from there the way to Severodanetsk and Lysichansk opens.
On the morning of October 10, the Russians began intensive shelling of Ukrainian territory, including the center of Kyiv.
Rockets also reached Lviv, depriving the city of electricity.
Since then, Russia has launched about 10 missile attacks on infrastructure facilities and other civilian targets on the territory of Ukraine.
On October 10, Lukashenka held a meeting with the Security Council and announced the deployment of a joint grouping of troops with Putin.
On the evening of November 15, Russia fired 100 missiles across the territory of Ukraine, primarily at energy facilities, and in Poland, two missiles fell in the village of Przewodau, 6 km from the border with Ukraine, killing two people.
The Polish authorities summoned the Russian ambassador for explanations.
Then it turned out that it was probably the result of the work of the Ukrainian Air Defense Forces, which shot down a Russian missile.
In November, with the onset of cold weather, Russia intensified its missile attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure.
As a result, many Ukrainian cities and part of Moldova were left without electricity and water.
Ukraine called an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council.
On January 1, 2023, the Department of Strategic Communications of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported the death of almost 400 Russians during the attack on the building of the Polytechnic School No. 19 in Makeyevka.
Russian soldiers were there and mobilized.
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation recognized 89 killed.
On January 14, 2023, as a result of another shelling, a Russian missile hit a high-rise building in the city of Dnipro, killing and injuring dozens of people.
The rescue operation to find the bodies stretched for several days.
As of the end of January, intense fighting is going on for the city of Bakhmut.
It is under the control of Ukraine, but is subjected to massive shelling by the Russians on a daily basis.
Volunteers cannot enter some areas through this.
On January 25, the Ukrainian military leadership recognized the loss of the city of Solyadar.
Presumably, the Russians took it back on January 13.
Independent verification of information about military actions provided by officials of various parties is still impossible.