Kyiv 'will not be taken' says former US army lieutenant general
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Ben Hodges explained why Russia would not be able to take over any more Ukrainian cities as he explained Putin’s shift to a war of “attrition” which aims to force Ukrainians trapped there to surrender. He believed Ukraine would win “when the smoke clears” as Russia did not have “endless” time, ammunition, or manpower to enforce a siege of Ukrainian cities. Mr Hodges said the West’s crippling sanctions on Russia have prevented them from holding out for long periods of time and explained the additional errors that Putin has made in the conflict.
Speaking to LBC, Mr Hodges gave his analysis of the Ukraine conflict and praised the defenders for their resolve.
He explained: “Ukrainian soldiers for the last eight years… the Ukrainian army today is so much better than what we saw in 2014.
“I’ve been inspired watching them and I think all of us have been inspired by watching President Zelensky, members of the Rada, their parliament, who all have stayed in Kyiv.
“And just listening to the caller right before, I mean, you can kind of hear it in their voice they really are not just talking patriotism – they are all in.
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“So the Russians clearly failed to anticipate this, most of the soldiers had been told that they were coming in to liberate them from Nazi leadership.”
Presenter Nick Ferrari wanted to know how difficult it was to hold territory once it had been captured by the Russians considering their troops are circling major cities.
The former military man explained: “The Russians have a serious challenge here, first of all, let me say Ukraine is going to win when this when the smoke clears, when this is all said and done, Kyiv will not have been taken.
“In fact, I bet that most of the major cities that are either now taken or encircled will also not be taken.
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“You can see that the Russians are having a hard time holding on to Kherson, they still have not captured Mauripol or Kharkiv which should have been the two easiest for them to take because of the location and proximity to their navy.
“But the Russians have made the decision to transition to attrition, which means you have to have endless time, endless ammunition, and endless manpower and they don’t have any of those three.
“They’re running out of time because of sanctions, they’re running out of ammunition because none of us, including the US Army, the British Army, has enough ammunition normally.
“And the consumption rate, when you’re fighting like they are now, is way beyond what anybody would have anticipated and they do have a serious manpower shortage.”
Ukrainian reports in the first few days of the invasion claimed Russian vehicles were forced to be abandoned as they ran out of fuel and were kept in poor conditions.
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Logistical problems in the north of Ukraine have also slowed down a Russian armoured column as it moves towards Kyiv.
Western sanctions, ranging from asset freezes, denial from Western financial institutions, and travel bans have crippled the Russian economy.
The Russian Ruble has drastically declined in value as ordinary Russians feel the pinch of the conflict.
Despite the sanctions, European leaders have been looking for ways to wean themselves off Russian gas which makes up a large part of the country’s economy.
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