His forces have been building their forces in the Black Sea, signalling plans cut Ukraine off from its access to the sea. Former Spanish Naval officer, Admiral Juan Rodríguez Garat, told Spanish media outlet ’20minutos’ about the maritime capacity of the Ukrainian Army. The naval expert said: “When the Black Sea Fleet of the former Soviet Union was divided, Russia got practically all the combat units and Ukraine got one frigate that it doesn’t even have at the moment.”
Admiral Rodriguez added: “Russia has no chance of conquering Odessa, not even of reaching its vicinity.”
He added that Odessa is a desirable target for Russia, but not a viable one.
He said: “It is a desirable target for Russia, obviously, strategically it makes sense that Russia would want to take Odessa.
“However, in practice, with the military capabilities that the Russian president has at his disposal, he has no chance of conquering Odessa, not even of reaching its vicinity.”
The naval commander said there would be no possibility of Russia conquering the entire south coast of Ukraine, and cutting the nation off from the sea, in order to create a corridor to Transnistria.
When asked a question about Russia cutting Ukraine off from the sea, Mr Rodriguez said: “No, certainly not and that this is simply because Russia does not have the necessary military capabilities.
“The US intelligence director spoke just this week of the imbalance between Putin’s desires and strategic ambitions and the capabilities of his army. Conquering Odessa would be much more difficult than Mariupol.
“The city is larger and much farther from Russia and Russian bases, so all the difficulties of Mariupol would be multiplied.
“It should be remembered that it is not even managing to drive the Ukrainian Army out of the part it holds of the Donbas.
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“If he does not succeed in that, much less can he add new ambitions to his plan.”
The Spanish naval commander said that a possible ceasefire in Ukraine is looking more and more distant.
He added that an extension of the conflict is more and more viable.
He said: “We all expected a quicker ceasefire, but it had to happen only after the Russian Army conquered the Donbas.
“And as it has not happened, the war will drag on.”
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.