The remark came at a sensitive time in the brutal nine-month war. Senior US and European officials are nudging Ukraine to welcome a peaceful resolution to the conflict that Russia has unleashed. Ukraine has so far rejected those calls, saying any move for talks now would benefit Moscow more than Kyiv.
In fact, Yermak announced an upcoming military campaign in Crimea, the peninsula Russia claimed to annex in 2014, although he did not confirm an exact timetable for its launch.
“This war, it continues,” he said, adding that “I am sure” that a campaign to retake Crimea will take place.
Earlier on Saturday, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Volodymyr Havrylov told Sky News that Ukrainian troops would be in Crimea by December and the war would be over by next spring.