Polish general proposes ‘mobilizing’ Ukrainian refugees
Western nations should “mobilize” Ukrainians who have fled the conflict against Russia, train them, and send them to the frontlines, retired Polish General Waldemar Skrzypczak said on Thursday. The former commander of the Polish Land Forces expressed doubt, however, about whether there is anything the West can do to help Kiev achieve victory.
NATO should start raising a Ukrainian “army” in Poland, Germany, and France, Skrzypczak told Polish media outlet Wpolityce, adding that the West should not even ask the Ukrainians if they want to fight or not. “You have to mobilize, conscript [them] into the army and that’s it,” he said.
However, the general, who once served as an adviser to the Polish Defense Ministry and as deputy defense minister, painted a rather grim picture of Kiev’s prospects.
“There is no military chance for Ukraine to win this war,” he said, adding that the only way to beat Russia is to “suffocate” it politically and economically. Skrzypczak believes that even supplying modern, Western-made tanks will have little effect on the battlefield.
“Even 100 tanks will not change the situation, in which the Russians are building a multifold advantage over the Ukrainian army. The Ukrainians will not defeat the Russians with a hundred Leopards,” the general said.
Earlier, Warsaw and Helsinki considered sending German-made Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine. London also promised a dozen of its Challenger 2 tanks. Berlin, which has long resisted the idea, warned that sending any German-made military equipment to Ukraine without its consent would be illegal.
Skrzypczak maintained that control over Donbass is well within Moscow’s grasp, and the loss of the region would turn Ukraine into an “agricultural country.” He also expressed doubt that Russia plans to occupy all of Ukraine, saying it is unfeasible.
Western military aid only enables Ukrainians “to fight but not win,” the general said, raising the question of whether “all Ukrainians are to die on the battlefield.”
Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine last February, citing the need to protect the people of Donbass, as well as Kiev’s failure to implement the 2014-15 Minsk accords. Kiev has maintained that the attack was completely unprovoked.
Moscow has repeatedly warned the West that sending weapons to Kiev only prolongs the fighting and increases the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO.