Ukraine’s goal is to recapture the Crimean Peninsula from Russia. But can that work at all? Military expert Mick Ryan explains why Crimea is so important, what speaks against its recapture and how Ukraine could still make it.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has clearly formulated his goal: “We will restore normality in the territories of Donbass and Crimea. They were taken illegally in 2014.” But how is that supposed to work? How is Ukraine supposed to not only stop the Russian advance, but recapture both areas?

Referring to Crimea, Australian military expert Mick Ryan answers this question in a post on Twitter. He writes that the battle for Crimea could be “the last major battle of this war.” Retired Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, former commander of the US Army in Europe, agrees: “The crucial terrain for this war is Crimea. The Ukrainian government knows it cannot accept Russia maintaining control of Crimea,” he told Insider magazine.

Zelenskyy insists on returning Crimea for three reasons, the military expert writes:

Again, according to ex-General Mick Ryan, there are three things to consider:

According to Ryan, there are four key factors here:

Ryan outlines two different scenarios.

The two scenarios could also complement each other, according to Ryan. It is possible that the Ukrainians will start the second operation and then follow up with the first.

Again, Ryan gives two possible answers: