Zelenskyy: Crimea and battle in Black Sea will become war’s centre of gravity

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy believes that in 2024, Crimea and the related battle in the Black Sea will become the war’s centre of gravity.

Source: Zelenskyy in an interview with The Economist

Details: Zelenskyy says little about what Ukraine might achieve in 2024, noting that leaks before last summer’s counteroffensive helped Russia prepare its defences. But if he has anything to say, it is that Crimea and the related battle in the Black Sea will be the war’s centre of gravity.

As Zelenskyy noted, isolating occupied Crimea and weakening Russian military capabilities there “is extremely important for us because it is the way for us to reduce the number of attacks from that region.”

The president is convinced that a successful operation would be “an example to the world” and would also have a major effect inside Russia – the loss of a central element of Kremlin propaganda would show that “thousands of Russian officers died only because of Putin’s ambitions”.

But Zelenskyy says the speed of any success will depend on the military assistance Ukraine receives from its Western partners. He has asked for the Taurus, a German-made long-range cruise missile with the ability to explode deep inside a target. This could allow Ukraine to destroy the Kerch bridge, effectively isolating the Crimean peninsula from Russia, the newspaper writes.

“Russia has to know that for us, this is a military object,” Zelenskyy stressed.

As the president said, his immediate task in the land war will be “to defend the east, to save these very important cities of Ukraine, east and south, Kharkiv, Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Mykolaiv,” as well as to protect Ukraine’s critical infrastructure.

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