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5 Apr, 2023 12:40

Kiev ‘not ready’ for new offensive – ex-Polish army commander

The Ukraine conflict will not end by military means so President Zelensky is preparing to sue for peace, retired general Waldemar Skrzypczak has claimed
Kiev ‘not ready’ for new offensive – ex-Polish army commander

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky is visiting Poland to prepare a “diplomatic coalition” for eventual peace talks with Russia, retired Polish general Waldemar Skrzypczak has claimed. He argued that Kiev cannot achieve its aims on the battlefield, and will need Western support for negotiations with Moscow.

Skrzypczak was speaking to the Rzeczpospolita newspaper on Wednesday, as Zelensky arrived in Warsaw to meet senior officials. The former commander of the Polish Land Forces rejected the idea that Ukraine should use Western weapons for a last-ditch offensive against Russia – a scenario reportedly being pressed upon Kiev by its foreign backers.

“Pushing the Ukrainians into an offensive is unjustified at the moment, because they are not ready for it. Now it’s time for politicians,” Skrzypczak argued.

The retired general believes that “neither side has an advantage” on the battlefield and that there is “no chance of a military end to [the conflict].”

The Polish government is among the most vocal supporters of Ukraine in its confrontation with Russia. Zelensky has traveled to the country to meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, among other officials.

Warsaw has described the occasion as the first “official” visit by the Ukrainian leader since hostilities escalated in February 2022, even though Zelensky previously passed through Poland on his way to the US and the UK. According to Warsaw, the trip demonstrates Poland’s important international role.

Publicly, the US and other Western nations have pledged to assist Ukraine “for as long as it takes” to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia. Kiev has vowed not to negotiate with Moscow until Ukrainian forces have regained control of all its former territories, including Crimea. Moscow has repeatedly said it is open to talks with Kiev on condition that it recognizes “the reality on the ground.” That includes the new status of four former Ukrainian regions which voted overwhelmingly to join Russia last autumn.

Skrzypczak, who resigned his command under then-President Lech Kaczynski in 2009 but went on to hold several roles in the Polish Defense Ministry, predicted that Ukraine’s chances of a military victory in the long run would be undermined by a dwindling level of foreign support.

“The West is slowly getting tired of the war, and voters that support aiding Ukraine are getting smaller in numbers. That is why it is necessary to build a front of support for Ukraine so that it has a strong voice in future talks,” he explained.