The American general who led US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and headed the CIA, has said he believes that Ukraine’s upcoming offensive is likely to be focused in southern Ukraine and feature fresh Ukrainian troops – and will be successful.

In an interview with Radio Liberty, General David Petraeus

addressed questions about the future Ukrainian offensive against Russian-occupied territory, the possibility of Ukraine recovering Crimea, the Battle of Bakhmut, Russia’s war-time mistakes and other geo-political topics.

With regard to the upcoming offensive, according to Petraeus, the Ukrainians are likely to have two objectives: 1) to cut the Russian-occupied land bridge between Crimea and eastern Ukraine, and: 2) to cause enough destruction of Russian forces in southern Ukraine that they must retreat from “most” of the currently occupied territory, with the exception of Crimea.


“What we will see in the spring-summer offensive are fresh Ukrainian forces, which are currently training in Germany, Poland, Great Britain and Ukraine. And, in my opinion, they will achieve their goals,” Petraeus said.

Petraeus further said that the Ukrainian offensive will be significantly based on tanks including as the basis for: advancing mechanized infantry; optimizing artillery activity, and; providing cover for de-mining efforts. He noted that MiG-29 jet fighters donated by allies will be important to, in turn, provide air cover for Ukrainian tanks.

Ukraine's Precipice
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Ukraine's Precipice

The $61-billion military aid package from the United States, if passed as expected, will allow the Armed Forces of Ukraine to bomb troops and operations behind enemy lines.

In terms of Bakhmut, Petraeus said that it has no substantive significance in military terms.

“I think, however, that [the Ukrainians] have understood the value of defending this territory from an army that is acting very unprofessionally… and effectively permitting the death of Russian soldiers,” Petraeus said. “Zelensky has also come to understand the necessity of not giving Russia anything that looks like a victory or the achievement of its goals.”

On Russia’s mistakes, the military leader said that Russia completely underestimated Ukrainian strength and completely overestimated its own strength. He pointed out specific Russian deficiencies in communications, which led to the death of unprecedented numbers of generals and other senior commanders, and the lack of quality among NCOs (non-commissioned officers) in the Russian military.


The general particularly noted the Russian military’s inability to learn and improve.

“The Russian military is not an organization that learns… They have in no way recognized their own errors.. When I was commanding [US] forces in Iraq and Afghanistan… we clearly gave ourselves the goal of being an organization that learns,” Petraeus said.

“I can see that the Ukrainians are learning, developing and getting better and better. And that’s why I can say that they will do that which the Russians have not been able to – conduct a broad-scale military operation,” Petraeus said.

However, the general sounded a warning as well.

“This war is continuing. It requires constant support, constant decisiveness not only from the Ukrainian side, but from the side of those who are helping what is in my view a clear contest between good and evil,” Petraeus said. “Ukrainians are doing their part through their resilience and through their independence. They are willing to do what is necessary and we [in the West] ought to be decisive and also do what is necessary.”

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Comments (9)
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I'm surprised that an American top general from Afghanistan would literally say what the Ukrainian army hopes to achieve and what the Russians are doing wrong. If you tell them only a small part of their mistake, they tend to figure out the rest of it fairly easy. If the Russians haven't learned anything, why was the Ukrainian army halted from liberating the west side of southern Ukraine? It's because everyone including the general was telling how the Russians were failing and they changed their tactics stopping the Ukrainian army from moving. Loose lips sink ships, a quote from ww2. Back then nothing was talked about publicly until after it happened. And then, very little until 50 years after the war ended. I wish the media and those who are selling this information to the public for their own mouths shut. I have a right to say that, but do you know who's paying attention here? Think about it. The reason I have a right is because I live in occupied territory. I don't go anywhere, I'm like Ann Frank. And losing hope especially when I read what my general is saying. The meaning of sinking ships is simple you get people killed. Stop giving info away!
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And so says this "expert" that lost a war in Iraq and Afghanistan...
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More ammo, long range systems, F-16’s
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Decisiveness and timely provision of 100% of Ukraines’ counter offensive requirements are key to minimising overall duration, cost and casualties during this war .
Macron still doesn’t get it,
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More weaponry for Ukraine please.
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Macron needs to wake up n.smell the Razi murderers