Former US general speaks of phase IV in Ukraine war and warns of Russian trick
Created: 11/25/2022, 5:13 p.m
By: Marcus Giebel
Rehearsals for combat: Ukrainian soldiers practice behind the front line.
© IMAGO / ZUMA Wire
The Ukraine war has reached its next phase, according to a former US general.
It's the fourth.
He now sees NATO all the more challenged.
She must not fall for a trick by Russia.
Munich - The Ukraine war has now lasted nine months.
And there is no end in sight.
Rather, the question arises: What's next?
What if the winter makes life even more difficult for both sides and especially for the Ukrainian population?
Mark Hertling thought about it on Twitter.
From the point of view of the former lieutenant general of the US armed forces, who was also stationed in Germany and was awarded the Bundeswehr Cross of Honor in Gold, among other things, the war is now entering Phase IV.
For him, the beginning of the invasion with the rapid Russian advance to Kyiv represents phase I, followed by phase II with the concentration of combat operations in the east of Ukraine, before phase III heralded the counter-offensive of the defenders.
Ukraine War: Ex-US Lieutenant General speaks of Phase IV and warns of Russian trick
Now it goes on with a kind of trench warfare.
Hertling suspects that Russia wants to buy itself time and will therefore rely on a "frozen conflict" in eastern and southern Ukraine.
This could be reminiscent of conflicts in Transnistria, Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Russia may want to use this lull in fighting to regroup troops and then attack again.
"Ukraine and the rest of the world should not fall for this trick," warns Hertling.
The 69-year-old also expects Vladimir Putin to continue his attempts at mobilization.
However, this will make just as little difference as the support from Belarus.
The increasing aid from Iran to Russia is likely to hurt Ukraine significantly more, as Moscow could use more aircraft with long-range missiles.
Deeply concerned about the Ukraine war: Mark Hertling retired from active service as a US lieutenant general at the end of 2012.
© IMAGO / focal width effm
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"Russia's primary focus is on further destroying Ukraine's infrastructure and suffering the Ukrainian people -- with the aim of securing concessions," Hertling continues.
In this way, the morale of the Ukrainians would be tested, but they would persevere.
According to him, although Ukraine would continue to advance on the battlefield, difficult fighting would await east of the Dnieper and in the Donbass.
This is due on the one hand to the terrain with rivers and routes, on the other hand to the longer supply lines.
In addition, new weapons and tactics are always used, which proves to be complicated in the middle of the fighting.
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Although Russia is ailing, it has increasingly strong defensive positions.
Because the front and the supply lines are getting shorter.
For all these reasons, one thing is certain: the war will not end any time soon.
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Ukraine War and the near future: Many more fights and many war crimes expected
Hertling also has expectations of the USA and NATO as a whole.
For example, Russian war crimes would have to be named, Russian naval battles in the Black and Azov Seas would have to be tackled, and nuclear attacks would have to be prevented.
The chairman of the American Battle Monuments Commission also brings up a Marshall Plan for Ukraine, so that the economy and the state can recover.
The invaded country will also receive further military and economic aid from the US and the West.
However, Ukraine must also prepare for further Russian war crimes against the civilian population.
As is well known, Butscha was only the beginning.
More and more evidence of atrocities are coming to light.
Hertling also emphasized once again: Russia must not be allowed to have another “'frozen conflict' with dubious attempts at ceasefires”.
His outlook and conclusion is: “Ukraine will still win this fight and defend its territory and its sovereignty.
But there will still be a lot of struggles."