Defense estimates that the fighting in Ukraine could last between four and ten weeks and lead to a months-long "guerrilla war"
The Spanish military believe that the Ukrainian resistance can hold out for several more weeks at the current level of confrontation against the Russian troops. This was expressed by the Defense Minister, Margarita Robles, during her appearance in Congress in which the PNV spokesman, Aitor Esteban, was interested in this issue. The chief of the Defense Staff (JEMAD) has passed her a "note" that she has proceeded to read so that it would be clear that there is no political background in her response. "The duration of the combats with the current extension is unpredictable. Perhaps between 10 and four more weeks, then a situation of attrition conflict that can lead to a guerrilla war for months," consider the military. "But it is something that we cannot know, as always, in wars," Robles pointed out. "We are going to see Putin for how long he is willing to continue in this madness, not forgetting that he has nuclear weapons with all the risks that this entails," she stated in his speech.
That Volodímir Zelenski has been resisting the Russian federation's attack for fourteen days is "Putin's first failure", according to Robles. Two weeks ago, the reports that the government was handling is that it would take just 48 hours for Ukraine to fall due to an aggression by the military power, according to government sources. But the scenario has changed and that is why the allies continue to send weapons to Ukraine. "Time plays against Putin," these same sources explained. In the government they are convinced that Putin's intention is to overthrow Zelensky to establish a "Russian puppet government", but they consider that it would be difficult for Putin to control a country the extension of Ukraine. "We must not conceive the current situation as an isolated scenario but as one more link in a long-term design that is not limited only to Ukraine," the Defense Minister warned. The allies consider that the Russian president seeks to destabilize the international order.
Robles has denied that the weapons that have been sent to Ukraine could end up in the hands of other countries on the "black market", as the deputies of EH Bildu and the CUP have stated. "The weapons provided by Spain are for single use, there is no risk of them falling into the hands of another country", replied the Minister of Defence, who explained that "they are defensive in nature and can be used by people who do not belong to the army" because its manipulation is simple. However, Robles has not wanted to detail all the weapons that have been sent so as not to give clues to Russia, although he has given some models. "That material, which is the one that had just arrived unused for our troops, and that we will replace later, is the one that has been given," she replied, visibly upset by the accusations that the weapons were expired or in poor condition.
However, in the appearance in the Defense Commission, the fair play that is not usually seen in Congress and has even served to bury the controversy within the coalition for the rejection of Podemos to send bilateral weapons to Ukraine. "The Government knows that from my group it has the support in these hard times because we are clear about what we are pursuing and the magnitude of the challenge", said the deputy of United We Can, Juan Antonio Delgado: "Of course we can have some discrepancy about what is the best way to achieve it and it is not only something legitimate and humane but the most honest thing in democracy and what differentiates us from authoritarian regimes like Putin's. I am not going to feed any tabloid of the media powers always eager for bait to fracture the Government progressive coalition.
Some groups, such as EH Bildu or the CUP, have raised their doubts regarding this decision, which, on the other hand, has been endorsed by the right. "For countries to contribute arms effort is not to want to be the one that collaborates the most with the arms effort, but for Putin to see that there is unity and that all countries are against his unacceptable aggression against an independent country," said the deputy of PP Fernando Gutierrez. Vox has questioned that it took time to make that decision since Pedro Sánchez initially rejected it and just 24 hours later he changed his mind. The parliamentarian of the extreme right has asked if it is due to an "inferiority complex" or to "having communists in the government, like Putin". "Not far-right communists," he specified. Robles has asked him in response if he thinks she has a complex. And it is that the Minister of Defense is the one who has the best relationship with the right-wing parties. The spokesman for Ciudadanos, Miguel Gutiérrez, has made it clear, who has said that her group gives her "a vote of confidence" that she does not give to other members of the Government, as he has expressed.
Robles: "We are all anti-war"
"We are all anti-war. We are all in favor of peace," Robles responded to those who criticize the government's shipment of weapons. "The obsession that the countries of the EU and NATO had was to reach an agreement through diplomatic channels. It was tried by all possible means", she said before recalling that Putin denied that he was going to attack and just hours later he invaded Ukraine. The minister has maintained that "when one is unfairly attacked, he has the right to legitimate defense and proportional legitimate defense " and that is what he believes that the allies should help Ukraine in its "heroic resistance". "Peace is defended with great declarations but above all by working for peace with the most vulnerable and those who need it most ", He said in his opening speech.
Robles has also pointed out that in Spain the "state of alert in cyberspace" has been increased to "level three". "The means of surveillance of the basic networks have been increased, especially those from Russia and Ukraine," he explained before recalling that "the cybersecurity committee has been created under the crisis committee of the presidency of the Government led by the Cryptologic Center National".
“The violation of international law deserves a forceful and resounding condemnation”, said Robles, who has insisted on the need to maintain the “unity” of the political forces and especially of the EU and NATO as a “key piece” in the face of that attack. The minister has shown her confidence that Vladimir Putin will face a "strong and adequate response from international courts" for violating international law with the invasion of a sovereign country.
From there, Robles, who has appeared at his own request, but also from the PP and groups such as ERC or EH Bildu, as a result of the war in Ukraine, has broken down the missions in which the Spanish army participates. The Minister of Defense has begun with the "deterrence" operations that NATO is carrying out on the eastern flank in countries such as Latvia, which Pedro Sánchez visited on Tuesday, in Lithuania or in the Black Sea. In total, these missions accounted for 168 million euros for public coffers in 2021.