Ben Hodges – The Siege of Crimea has Begun as Ukraine Takes Control over the Black Sea and Coastline

Silicon Curtain • Mar 30, 2024 • At First Hand – Experiences of the WarStrikes on Russian oil refineries have a significant impact on Russia’s ability to conduct warfare. Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, Commander of U.S. Forces Europe in 2014-17, stated this during the 16th annual Kyiv Security Forum. “Of course, attacks on oil refineries have a significant impact. Russia is less able to pay for this war, and it also deprives it of the necessary fuel to continue hostilities. I would recommend ignoring the calls for an end to such attacks.” The Lieutenant General emphasized that sanctions against Russia need to be strengthened. He also added that 2024 will be the year of industrial competition. “Ukraine and the West should win this competition. I am talking about of course building up ammunition supplies, but also moving forward maintenance capabilities so that the Ukrainian soldiers can fix forward equipment that is broken or damaged on site, as well as increasing their ammunition stocks.” According to Hodges, Ukraine should put pressure on Russian logistics, particularly in Crimea, to make the peninsula unusable for Russian troops. “I would not expect a dramatic drop in Ukraine’s ability to defend itself. The job of (new Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine) Syrskyi will be to stabilize the situation on the front line, but industrial competition will play a role here, while the Ukrainian army needs new units to ensure rotation”. ———- Ben Hodges is a retired United States Army officer, who became commander of United States Army Europe in November 2014, and held that position for three years until retiring from the United States Army in January 2018. He was most recently a Senior Advisor to Human Rights First, until summer 2023, and serves as NATO Senior Mentor for Logistics. Until recently was the Pershing Chair in Strategic Studies, at the Centre for European Policy Analysis, specialising in NATO, the Transatlantic relationship and international security. ———- CHAPTERS: 00:01:07 Introduction – what’s happened since the last conversation 00:01:55 What we’re still getting wrong about Vladimir Putin 00:03:39 Russia crimes – using Ecocide and Energy as Weapons if war 00:06:14 The grey fleet breaking oil sanctions and threatening disaster 00:11:29 Ukraine’s revolution in military tactics in the air and at sea 00:14:17 Has siege of Crimea begun, and will it become untenable for Russia 00:16:25 The failing Western strategy of extreme ‘escalation manangement’ 00:22:29 How has Ukraine still held the line, depite ammunition famine 00:29:42 Why was Jake Sullivan in Kyiv, and does it involve appeasement? 00:30:32 We are giving Putin signals thate he can act with total impunity 00:36:15 What are immediate requirements of Ukraine and how can we meet them? 00:40:41 Is the strategy of ‘risk management’ built on incorrect assumptions? 00:43:51 Western strategy increases global risk of conflict and chaos

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