The impending battle between Russia and Ukraine for Kherson is coming in a matter of hours and will result in some "incredible upticks in this war," as Russia "might even be culpable in destroying the city," retired U.S. Air Force Brigadier Gen. Blaine Holt told Newsmax on Wednesday.
"A few days ago, this newly appointed Russian governor in the Kherson region asked Russia for an evacuation, seeing that Russian defenses were starting to break down around [the city of] Kherson," Holt, a military consultant for Newsmax, said on the network's "Wake Up America."
"Almost most of the summer, we expected that Ukraine was going to amass forces coming into Kherson," Holt added. "It's such a key city. It's the gateway to Mykolaiv and Odesa and the entire coastal region."
Last last week, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin announced that residents of the partially occupied Kherson region, one of four Ukraine regions annexed by Russia, will be welcomed to Russia if they evacuate.
"What I'm worried about for the Ukrainians who are being evacuated is that the Russians are going to let that city go to waste and they might even be culpable in destroying the city as the Ukrainians look to liberate it and to also get control of the hydroelectric dam," said Holt.
Holt said nothing is being heard from the White House about negotiations or diplomacy, and pointed out that the same national security team is in charge of dealing with Ukraine that was in place when Kabul, Afghanistan fell.
"While they're being silent, we're hearing that the Black Sea fleet may now be arming itself with tactical nukes," said Holt. "[Russian President] Vladimir Putin is getting ready to give his generals authority to do lots of different things in escalating this. Wouldn't you want to be the State Department that was working so hard in all the capitals to get this thing slowed down? We don't see any evidence of that whatsoever."
The battle, though, will put Putin in a "very bad political place" in Moscow, said Holt.
"We have to wonder [about] that type of pressure from his inner circle," he said. "What does that mean that he's going to have on his mind as we push him further into a corner without options."
Holt also acknowledged that most Americans are more concerned with the situation at the United States' southern border and not with Ukraine, as they see it as more of an issue of national security.
"We're talking about fentanyl and human traffic, child trafficking, and 5 million unaccounted-for people running around our nation, and we don't know what they're doing," said Holt.
Holt also on Wednesday discussed the situation in China and its leader, Xi Jinping, who is expected to be named during the Chinese Communist Party's congress this week to a third term in office.
"We're all waiting for that congress to end," said Holt, adding that once it is over, it could give Putin "the license to go do whatever he's got on his mind."
The announcement that Xi has been named to another five years in office should have already happened today, said Holt, but he expects it to be made tomorrow.
"If we don't hear anything by late Friday, palace intrigue is upon us, and then we're going to wonder what's up with China, but this thing will end by Saturday," he said. "I still expect Xi Jinping to be confirmed."
And when that happens, Holt warned, "you won't even recognize him in the coming months because he's going to consolidate power and become more of a totalitarian than even [Chairman] Mao was."
About NEWSMAX TV:
NEWSMAX is the fastest-growing cable news channel in America!
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.