Ex-foreign minister of Azerbaijan: "Heaviest battles in Ukraine are yet to come"
According to former Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Tofik Zulfugarov, even if Russia does not use nuclear weapons, in the new stage of the war, serious blows to Ukraine’s infrastructure can be expected. He also stated that the heaviest fighting in Ukraine is yet to come.
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“Ukrainian infrastructure may suffer a serious blow”
“The parties do not want to accept the conditions put forward during bilateral negotiations. More precisely, Russia’s demands which sound more like an ultimatum, are not accepted by Ukraine. The President of Ukraine says that they cannot accept them and are ready to fight.
At the end of last week, threats were made by Russia against Ukraine. There was even talk of the possibility of using nuclear weapons. But I do not believe that they will resort to this. But it is possible that they will deal serious blows to the Ukrainian infrastructure”, Zulfugarov said.
“Fighting will result in heavy losses on both sides”
The ex-foreign minister of Azerbaijan believes that the goal of the Russian army is to encircle the remaining Ukrainian forces in Donbas and Luhansk and destroy them. Thus, Russia wants to annex the rest of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions to the territory of the self-proclaimed republics.
The second goal of Russia is to keep under occupation the coastal territories of the Sea of Azov up to the Crimean peninsula. In order to achieve these goals, the Russian army is trying to completely exterminate the units of the Ukrainian army fighting in this direction.
All this shows that serious military clashes should be expected in Ukraine. Unfortunately, these battles will result in heavy losses on both sides. In parallel to this, serious blows to infrastructure facilities (bridges, communication hubs, etc.) can be dealt with in other territories. For some time, intense fighting will not stop.
Sanctions against Russia
Tofig Zulfugarov also discussed the issue of international sanctions against Russia:
“The sanctions imposed against Russia will not work immediately. It takes a little time for the population of the country to feel their effect.
At present, the population of Russia supports the leadership of the country, but soon this will turn into discontent. This only takes a few months. According to experts, it is wrong to expect results of sanctions before June. In other words, all the fun will begin in June – the population will feel the first effects of sanctions. But the impact of these international measures will continue until the autumn and the end of this year”.
“All this strongly resembles the Syrian war scenario”
When describing the situation on the Russian-Ukrainian front, Zulfugarov said that in a military sense, the balance has changed:
“Some of Ukraine’s military successes are largely due to Russian tactical mistakes. But if at the beginning of the second phase of the war, the Russian side uses tactics that are more suitable for the new warfare, we will witness bloody battles.
Now further “Syrianization” of the process is already visible, i.e. all this strongly resembles the scenario of the war in Syria. Of course, the reasons are completely different. But the infrastructure of Ukraine is being destroyed, the situation is actually approaching catastrophic.
The scheme proposed in Istanbul for the sake of peace between the parties will remain out of the question for the time being. In any case, Ukraine will have to, albeit temporarily, but accept the loss of control over some of its territories.
The most likely scenario, in my opinion, is that the parties will sign a document on a temporary ceasefire”, the former foreign minister of Azerbaijan concluded.