Russian-backed general admits his troops ‘cannot win’ against Ukraine and suggests freezing the front line where it is – DAVID RAUDALES

DAVID RAUDALES

Businessman, musician / former Full Stack Developer

DAVID RAUDALES UK

Russian-backed general admits his troops ‘cannot win’ against Ukraine and suggests freezing the front line where it is

Alexander Khodakovsky, chief of the pro-Russian Vostok Battalion of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic

Vasily Maximov/AFP via Getty Images

A Russian commander said Thursday that the war is entering a phase “of neither peace nor war.”
Alexander Khodakovsky, who leads the Vostok Battalion, said his troops “cannot win” against Ukraine.
The Vostok Battalion was forced to surrender a key Ukrainian village earlier this month.

A Russian-backed general admitted his troops “cannot win” against Ukraine and suggested freezing the current front line.

In a lengthy Telegram post on Thursday, Alexander Khodakovsky, who leads the Vostok Battalion fighting in southern Ukraine, predicted a stalemate between the two sides.

“Can we bring down Ukraine militarily? Now and in the near future, no,” Khodakovsky said, according to a translation by the Kyiv Post. 

“When I talk to myself about our destiny in this war, I mean that we will not crawl forward, like the [Ukrainians], turning everything into [destroyed] Bakhmuts in our path. And, I do not foresee the easy occupation of cities,” he added.

Khodakovsky went on to say that he believes the war is entering a phase “of neither peace nor war.”

His comments come as Ukraine’s military recaptured some key villages in the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions, including Staromayorske and Urozhaine, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported.

The Vostok Battalion was among those who were pushed out of Urozhaine, with Khodakovsky saying earlier this month that they left because their “defensive position had become untenable,” The Kyiv Post reported. 

By taking both Staromayorske and Urozhaine, which are only separated by a small river, Ukraine’s troops have gained a key position from which to attack Russian troops, CNN reported.  

Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said on Monday that over the past week, Ukraine also retook around 40 square kilometers of territory in the highly-contested Bakhmut area.

Khodakovsky is a former commander of the Alpha special unit of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). But after Russia attacked the Donbas region in 2014, he defected and became the security minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic. He left that post in 2014 and has been commanding troops in the Donbas region ever since. 

In December, Khodakovsky suggested that the only way Russia could win the war is by using nuclear weapons against Ukraine, according to The Kyiv Post. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy previously said that his country will not agree to any proposal to freeze the current frontlines in its conflict with Russia in order to “calm” Moscow, Reuters reported. 

Read the original article on Business Insider