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Ukrainian crisis may be resolved by yearend, says former Virginia senator

"The shortage of artillery and other weapons causes problems, but the critical issue is their shortage of fighting men," Richard Black emphasized

WASHINGTON, May 15. /TASS/. The situation in Ukraine may be resolved through negotiations by the end of this year due to an acute shortage of personnel in the Ukrainian army, Republican Richard Black, a former member of the Senate of the General Assembly of the US state of Virginia, has told TASS.

"Ukraine is desperately short of soldiers. Its bloody June counteroffensive has exhausted their manpower, and Zelensky's unpopular attempts to draft new inductees is hitting strong resistance," Black noted. "Across the battlefront, Ukraine's defenses are worn down and stretched thin."

"The shortage of artillery and other weapons causes problems, but the critical issue is their shortage of fighting men," he emphasized.

At the same time, Black continued, in Russia, "the economy is strong, and the industrial base grows by leaps and bounds."

President Putin has scored "an unusually strong victory in his reelection, and the remarkable turnout confirmed Russia's solid support for the president."

At the same time, according to the expert, Russia's army "is pressing forward on every front," and the success in the Kharkov Region "is forcing Kiev to divert scarce troops to that front, pushing the army farther toward the breaking point."

"Sooner or later, Ukraine's lines will buckle and break; there will be insufficient reserves to seal the breach; the salient will bulge and expand uncontrollably; and the entire defensive line will collapse," said Black, a retired US Army colonel.

"The remaining forces will probably retreat toward Kiev, and serious peace talks may then resume," he believes.

According to the expert, "the $61 billion supplemental aid bill was welcome news for Zelensky."

"But by the time the pipeline fully resumes, it will be too late to make a difference. I expect the war to end sometime this year," Black concluded.

Putin said in an interview with China's Xinhua news agency, published on the Kremlin's website on May 15, that Russia was open to a dialogue on Ukraine for a peace resolution of the conflict, but the talks should take into account its interests and proceed together with discussions on global stability and reliable security guarantees. At the same time, the Russian leader noted that he saw problems with the reliability of such guarantees on the part of the West.