There are many signs that Russia’s resources are dwindling and the Kremlin is not generating new capabilities, Minister of National Defence Arvydas Anušauskas said on June 8. Nevertheless, the minister does not rule out that the war in Ukraine could last for a calendar year – from February to February next year, Indrė Naureckaitė writes in lrytas.lt.
When will the war end?
Answering questions on his Facebook account on Wednesday, Minister of National Defence A. Anušauskas said that the most frequently asked question is when the war in Ukraine will end.
“When will the war end? When will Ukraine win? I think that the war may take a while, but it all depends on the capabilities of the countries.
First of all, of course, the capabilities of the aggressor itself, Russia. They are not unlimited – we can see this in the change in the resources they use in military action.
For example, how the missiles used to strike Ukrainian infrastructure are changing and what changes are coming to those battalion battle groups already fighting in the east and south of Ukraine. We are documenting many things that show that Russia’s resources are far from infinite”, Anušauskas said.
According to him, Russian forces are using stockpiles, missiles that were manufactured decades ago. Russia has also started sending T62 tanks to Ukraine, which were built in the 70s.
“Many things show that Russia is not generating new capabilities. But war can take a calendar year – from February to February.
Even if there were a possibility to end it earlier, under some conditions that are not known now, it would still take a long time – perhaps even longer than a calendar year – to conclude all the agreements,” the Minister noted.
Already training troops
Asked why the Western countries are delaying the supply of long-range artillery to Ukraine, Anušauskas said that the problem is the countries’ own capabilities.
“The capabilities exist, but they are not sufficient for a large-scale war, and Ukraine is fighting a really large-scale war. Therefore, long-range artillery is vitally needed, and the agreements on the supply of this weaponry to Ukraine are extremely important,” Anušauskas said.
According to him, Ukraine will receive more than one unit of the HIMARS long-range rocket artillery systems from Western countries, which are capable of reaching targets 70-80 kilometres away.
“Countries have not only concluded specific agreements with Ukraine but are already training Ukrainian soldiers to operate these systems. Because you have to learn how to operate them,” Anušauskas said.
The Minister stressed that the Ukrainians would be trained to use these systems in record time – it has been announced that the training will take three weeks.
Like all the Baltic States, Lithuania has also planned to purchase HIMARS systems. However, according to Anušauskas, Lithuania could have long-range systems in a few years’ time – the priority now is to help Ukraine.
“They will strengthen our defence capability immensely,” he said.
Questions about Germany’s credibility
Questions have also been raised about Germany’s credibility as one of Lithuania’s main allies in the event of a possible war. Following the ambiguous behaviour of German politicians towards Ukraine, there are fears that on the fateful day X, German troops in Lithuania could “pack their bags” and go home.
For his part, Anušauskas assured that Germany is a responsible partner that has and will continue to fulfil its commitments to the end.
“In order to change something, you need to have that capacity. Germany is one of those countries that has very clearly declared its position and its change of position towards war – it has announced investments of 100 billion euros in defence, and it is starting to rebuild its armed forces, which were really strong a few decades ago, especially during the Cold War. The Germans have a very strong capability here.
If you are talking about somebody packing up on day X, there is no such possibility. This is evidenced by military and political agreements, how our troops interact in exercises, how we know each other, and how we are able to work together – many things that perhaps an outsider cannot even appreciate”, the Minister explained.