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UK advises Ukraine to go on defensive in country's east and continue targeting Crimea – Sunday Times

Sunday, 17 March 2024, 13:41
UK advises Ukraine to go on defensive in country's east and continue targeting Crimea – Sunday Times
Grant Shapp. Stock photo: Getty Images

During a visit to Ukraine, UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps and Army Commander Antony Radakin advised Ukraine’s senior leadership and military commanders on war strategy against the Russian Federation.

Source: Sunday Times, as reported by European Pravda 

Details: Shapps and Radakin met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Defence Minister Rustem Umierov, and the new commander-in-chief, Oleksandr Syrskyi.


According to the publication, Radakin was concerned that Syrskyi would become overly focused on ground battles, while the UK commander spent two years attempting to develop a Ukrainian strategy based on Western military doctrine and the need to advance on land, in the air, and at sea.

Radakin, in particular, is actively involved in the development of a new Ukrainian Navy that meets NATO standards. He advised paying attention to the Iranian-style fleet, which consists of lighter, more manoeuvrable ships and drones capable of restraining Russia in the Black Sea while also protecting vital shipping routes for Ukrainian exports.

According to the article, during a meeting at the Mariinsky Palace, Shapps and Radakin advised abandoning plans for a frontline offensive in favour of maintaining defence on the northern and eastern fronts and, if necessary, retreating to more advantageous positions to hold off the Russian invaders.


The UK officials hope that this will allow the Ukrainians to concentrate their efforts on the Black Sea and Crimea, where they have inflicted significant blows with the help of Western long-range missiles over the last six months.

According to the publication's sources, Zelenskyy was enthusiastic and upbeat. According to the newspaper, he was also willing to consider their proposals.

According to the article, Ukraine recently achieved significant results against the Russian Federation's Black Sea Fleet, destroying several ships. If Russia once dominated the Black Sea, now its influence has waned. The UK Ministry of Defense believes that for the first time since the Crimean War, Russia cannot operate freely in the Black Sea region.

According to sources, Radakin believes that the key to Ukraine's success in 2024 lies in attacks on Crimea and the Russian fleet, and that attacks on Crimea and the destruction of Russian warships, particularly submarines, hit at the very core of the "Russian mentality".

Shapps emphasised the importance of Putin understanding that he is losing Crimea and the Black Sea. He stated that for nearly 200 years, the Black Sea Fleet had the opportunity to conduct exercises in the Black Sea. However, following a series of successful attacks by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, there are currently no warships in the Black Sea. Shapps believes that this demonstrates the scale of Ukrainian success in Crimea.

According to the article, Grant Shapps was forced to cancel a visit to Odesa due to intelligence warnings about the present missile threat from Russia.

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