Crimea is a particular point of discussion. There is a widespread view in Washington and Kyiv that regaining Crimea by military force may be impossible. Any Ukrainian military advances this year in Zaporizhzhia oblast, the land bridge that connects Crimea and Russia, could threaten Russian control. But an all-out Ukrainian campaign to seize the Crimean Peninsula is unrealistic, many U.S. and Ukrainian officials believe. That’s partly because Putin has indicated that an assault on Crimea would be a tripwire for nuclear escalation.
It is also Blinken’s acknowledgement that Vladimir Zelensky’s move early this week to force the resignations and dismissals of senior officials means the US is calling the shots in Kiev and Lvov.
A well-informed independent military analyst comments on the Russian options: “The best response is continue the special military operation, destroy the Ukrainian military in their present pockets, complete de-electrification and destruction of the logistics, then either take everything east of the Dnieper or establish a de facto DMZ, including Kharkov. Blinken and the others cannot be trusted to follow through if they think they have a chance to stall for time.USA tries to prevent a Russian offensive in Ukraine by offering a sort of war endgame deal with Russia – The Free