Zgurets: Germany and France would only survive a week of such a war as in Ukraine


Translated from Ukrainian via Google and OFP

The head of the information and consulting company Defense Express and journalist Sergei Zgurets is a well-known military expert. That is why we advise you to read his interview within the framework of the Orestocracy project, where Sergey told a lot of interesting things about military assistance to Ukraine from Western partners – about the latest air defense system, aircraft, tanks, and about the logic of slow provision of the Ukrainian army. Together with Orest Sohar, the head of Defense Express spoke the logic of the so-called. slow help from the United States and how ordinary breast pumps save the defense of the Russian Federation.

– Defense Express was the first to write about a missile with an imitation nuclear warhead shot down in Ukraine. You must know why the Russians are “playing”?

– We are talking about a one-time case regarding a missile shot down over Kyiv. This is the X-55, it did not have a warhead, a simulator of a nuclear warhead was put in its place.

“What’s the point of launching a rocket that doesn’t have explosives in it?”

– Right! Here we are just trying to understand what is going on. There may be several versions.

First. Relatively speaking, Putin gave the command to launch 100 missiles. They are not there, they collect everything that is, the plan was fulfilled.

Second version. This missile passed along a route that was somehow specially tracked by the Russians in order to see the telemetry of the passage of this missile over a certain area. All cruise missiles launched in Ukraine follow an individual route. A special group of Russian thieves are programming these missiles. And each route is quite difficult.

Third version. It is possible that a certain module was installed in the rocket, which could suppress the operation of radar systems during the flight of this rocket. But this means that this module must be of the same size as the nuclear warhead where it is installed.

In any case, the situation is extraordinary, and the most dangerous component is that it is a provocation. The passage of a missile identified as a potential carrier of nuclear weapons, against the background of the fact that such missiles fly along the border with Poland, may have been a challenge not so much to Ukraine, but to the Americans and Europeans to test the reaction of the American or European side: do they see such missiles, do they feel the difference. That is, will there be any reaction to this case.

So there are many versions, but I repeat: this is still a one-time case, which can range from complete Russian sloppiness to some kind of insidious plan to test European and American reaction to a potential missile with a nuclear warhead.

“NATO members have said that they are able to track the movement of nuclear potential. Like, you can’t detonate a bomb secretly, it’s an obvious process. Should such a missile be subject to the monitoring process?

– I believe that all the means at the disposal of NATO countries are largely aimed at controlling all nuclear weapons: both strategic and tactical. I think that the movement of tactical nuclear warheads from storage to the airfield should be tracked. And I think that this process is well established among the Americans. Because this is the greatest threat, and then there is no point in the entire tracking and intelligence system if it fails in such a key component. I think that the fate of all cruise missiles with nuclear warheads is being monitored by the American side. And perhaps this partly explains that there were no reactions.

– As much as we communicate with experts and the military, we have been hearing since June that the Russians are running out of missiles. In September-October, they say that they have already fallen below the reserve stock. Nevertheless, rockets fly and fly. What is known about their number?

– When we talk about missiles and quantity, we must understand that each type of missile has its own quantity. Relatively speaking, the S-300 with which they fire at our cities in the front zone, the number of non-resource missiles is about 7 thousand. When we talk about “Daggers”, which are put on the MiG-31 taking off from the territory of Belarus, everyone believes that there are a maximum of two dozen of them, no more. When we talk about Kh-101 missiles – the most technologically advanced model in the arsenal of the Russian army, before the war there was evidence that there were 400 of them. On October 12, Reznikov said that during the period of the first stage of hostilities (from February 24 to October 10), out of these 400 missiles, 200 with something remained. During the last attacks – these are three waves with an interval of two weeks – more than 20 were launched, which means that there are only about 180 left.

But the question arises: what if we were wrong in our assessments? And now in parallel they are trying to produce these missiles. They are now buying processors that are in refrigerators and breast pumps. Through Armenia, they bought a significant number of these breast pumps, and through Kazakhstan, a significant number of refrigerators. These chips are American-made civilian ones. And they just become unified modules that are used in the Kh-101 missile, in the Iskander missile and in the Ka-52 helicopter.

In fact, they are now producing these missiles using these civilian components. By the way, the remains of the Kh-101 missile found in Kyiv after the preliminary attack date back to the third quarter of 2022. What does it say? Usually, when there are a lot of missiles, new missiles go to the warehouse, and older ones are fired. If we now find fragments of fresh ones, then, in fact this means that the new X-101 missiles are already being used to carry out terrorist operations.

As for the old stockpiles of S-300, Kh-22, Kh-59 missiles, the quantitative indicators there can be different. Now we should not talk about the remnants of Russian missiles, but about the creation of our air defense system, which will allow us to ignore any number of missiles from the enemy.

– What is known about the supply of new air defense systems? We know that we have one IRIS-T, we are waiting for HAWK, we are waiting for other systems. Is there any specific information on when they will arrive?

– We have IRIS, we have two NASAMS systems, they can cover a range of up to 40 km. We expect HAWK from Spain and other countries. Now we, as I understand it, are trying to negotiate either with the French or with the Italians about the SAMP-T complex. If I’m not mistaken, the Italians have 10 such complexes, and the French have 15.

Why is this complex interesting? Because this is the only complex capable of performing the functions of anti-missile defense. That is, to destroy targets that fly at a speed of, relatively speaking, more than 3 thousand m / s – ballistic missiles, which we now cannot shoot down with our standard systems. Now, Sweden has recently announced a new assistance package, there are air defense systems, RBS 70, which have a shorter range, and I do not exclude that they can give us IRIS.

There is a certain dynamic associated with the acquisition of air defense systems. We haven’t reached the Patriot yet. I think that the best option for us now is to increase the number of NASAMS. And now we have to close everything at the expense of HAWK, of which there are just a lot. In addition, 40,000 missiles have been manufactured there. Because the question is not in the complexes, but in how many missiles we can use from it. Because if the complex is cool, and there are 5 or 10 missiles, then what is the point of such a cool model? HAWK – this will just be the first level of such strengthening of our air defense, adding to our S-300s, Buk and other systems. So I think there is a dynamic. I would like it to be faster.

It should be remembered that in fact the air defense system in NATO countries is based on the fact that aircraft are hunting for enemy missiles, and the air defense system is an assistant. But ours was a little different. Our basis was on air defense missile systems, and the aircraft performed an auxiliary function. Now I think it will be possible to combine this with the receipt of foreign aircraft, but this will take longer. This war is for a long time, and we really need an air defense and missile defense system, so we need to look for non-standard solutions. In particular, to loosen Israel, which has the most advanced models.

But can you hear any numbers?

– I think another IRIS-T will come by the end of this year … In any case, we cannot clearly predict the arrival of all complexes. Just a part is being produced.

– And HAWK – do they exist?

– The American side allocated funds for HAWK and for the modernization of missiles. I think that now, as soon as these missiles are finalized, we will receive the first HAWK before the end of the year, as it seems to me. And then we can increase this with the help of those complexes that will be delivered along the way, because we have to train personnel on the HAWK system. We have calculations for NASAMS, we have calculations for IRIS, now let’s take on SAMP-T and HAWK. By the way, this is quite significant assistance for our Armed Forces and quite prompt, given the inertia in certain European countries. Here we see that, in principle, it succeeds.

Waiting for Patriot. But Patriot is a completely different philosophy, and in order for us to switch to Patriot, we still need to rebuild the entire air defense system for these systems. This is a serious challenge. As serious as the transition to other people’s aircraft and tanks.

– Tell me, please, what does the appearance of the Patriot mean?

– We have an air defense system built on our radar stations, on our own methods of transmitting data from stations to anti-aircraft missile systems, we have our own analog signal or digital-analog command posts. It’s hard to squeeze some detail from “Zaporozhets” into Mercedes and assume that it will interact in some cool way. The transition to Patriot, even the old Patriot, requires the creation of a new system of interaction between the means of detecting information in digital formats, data exchange. This is such a huge piece of work. Separately, take the air defense system and just use them … this will not work. Take Romania or Poland, who tried to pack the Patriot system into their Soviet-made air defense systems. Still, they refuse. So I think that now this is such a conceptual task,

What do you know about airplanes? Will they, won’t they? And what type: F-16 or A-10?

– The American side has indeed allocated about $100 million for this program… But the point is that our pilots are ready to take on any aircraft. Ranging from light F-16 to the heavy F-15. The F-15 is like a tank, and the F-16 is like a light BMP. Given the extent of our territory, I am a fan of the latest versions of the F-15, which can work both as ground attack and in the air. It’s like an air HIMARS – it can do everything. The F-16 is a common vehicle, there are many of them, they are easy to maintain, the Poles have them. This is, in fact, such a workhorse. And usually you need a pair – F-15 and F-16. In our proposals to the American side, we wrote about both the F-16 and the F-15. The American side nods its head, but so far the stake has been placed on finding options for restoring our aircraft fleet using Soviet-made equipment, transferring components.

I think that the issue of F-15, F-16, Patriot – it lies in a new frontier of interaction with the United States, when we will finally overcome this ladder and enter a different format of interaction. This will. But the impression is that so far our foreign friends believe that we are successfully fighting even with the symbiosis of weapons that we have today. And in this “hodgepodge” we try to crystallize victories on the battlefield. We succeed, but a more powerful weapon is more of a cool result, which, in fact, is demonstrated by HIMARS. Although HIMARS were made back in the 80s! This is an example of the concept of the last war. That is, HIMARS is followed by new samples, which we would also need, but I see that we still need to overcome the first stage.

– And what is the successor to HIMARS?

– A feature of American weapons is modularity. They are now testing missiles with a range of more than 500-800 km from the same launcher. With the same unique accuracy that the same HIMARS now has – up to 3-4 m deviation. The Russians don’t have that. Their MLRS can cover the near front line, up to 50-80 km, then cruise missiles are required. Americans with the same launchers use new long-range missiles. And then there are missiles with a range of 3-5 thousand km, which are now being supplied to the American army as new promising models. 

– What about missiles with a range of 300 km? The Russians are heartily destroying the critical infrastructure of Ukraine, but the United States is now silent about the supply of this type of missiles to us. Why?

– They believe that they are now helping us with air defense equipment and our demand is thus satisfied. When we talk about missiles 300 km away, they say: “What are your goals?” “So-and-so, so-and-so.” And in fact, 90% of the goals that we agree on or define are now being solved due to the current quantity and quality of HIMARS. That is, these individual elements of strikes for 300 km are much smaller than the list of those targets that we must destroy. But there are such goals.

– An article appeared in Spiegel that the Germans are going to rebuild their Armed Forces, because the generals consider it highly likely that the Russians will attack the NATO countries, and in particular the invasion of Germany. There was similar information about the UK – it is going to disperse its defense budget to 100 billion pounds. Similar story with France. That is, the military considers the possibility of a war on their territory with the Russians as being high. Why don’t they defeat Russia today with the help of Ukraine?

“The truth is somewhere in the middle here. There were assessments of the actions of the armies of France and Germany, if they were attacked with such intensity by the Russian Federation, as it is now in Ukraine. According to this computer simulation, it turned out that France and Germany could resist the number of weapons that were used against Ukraine for a maximum of a week, without using the nuclear potential of NATO countries.

Just one example related to the number of manufactured shells. Everyone can see that there really are not enough shells. An American company producing 155 mm shells produces 15,000 of them a year. This amount is spent by the Ukrainian army per month. And this is a problem for all European armies. They are not ready for such a war, relatively speaking, in the last century, where a lot of conventional weapons are required. And therefore, of course, panicking, they are now raising budgets.

But it is necessary to promote the defense industry in order to meet the needs of these armies, and now the demand for weapons is growing tremendously. Because everyone has money – there are not enough weapons and not enough time. The race for weapons is the main factor affecting, among other things, our desire to obtain certain types of weapons for the Ukrainian army. The same IRIS-T – they were produced for Egypt, for seven years no one needed this complex, it was in the German company Diehl Defense, and now “let’s go!”. And they say: “Guys, but here we can hardly do one complex a year, and you want us to give you four.” So, in principle, now the pursuit of weapons is becoming a trend. And even if the European armies are preparing to fight Russia, they have this negative background – few weapons, little experience, little stability. Therefore, what the Ukrainian army demonstrates, I am not sure what any European army will demonstrate.

What about Lend-Lease? This summer, this bill was signed to provide Ukraine with military and financial assistance. And it was announced that Lend-Lease would start somewhere in the fall, in October-November. We already have November, but somehow we are not talking about Lend-Lease. What happened?

– Lend-lease is a form of obtaining a particular service or product. And lend-lease is to rent. The Americans are now saying: “Guys, why should you pay this additional rent if we are actually transferring weapons to you for free. All this year we have been receiving weapons under two programs. In particular, one program is presidential powers, when weapons are taken from the arsenals of the US Department of Defense and is given to us, the second component is when these weapons are manufactured and delivered to us, and the third form is lend-lease, when we also order, but we rent it. of what is either in stock or what will be produced.These two forms are quite satisfying to us, because anyway, each package of weapons – it is consistent with the Ukrainian side, and “pantries”

Now the question is not Lend-Lease. The question is to push through the receipt of armored vehicles. Because in the American army there is a significant amount of Bradley, a significant amount of Abrams in warehouses. The question is to get artillery. We run after M777 howitzers, but there are Paladin M109 howitzers, and there are also useful M198 howitzers, of which the Americans have a lot. And when Reznikov and Zaluzhny say – give us artillery, then we are not even talking about modern models. We need a much larger amount of conventional, even old artillery, which can fire a significant number of shells at the enemy. Now we are just at the stage when the old models of weapons – Bradley, Abrams, M198 howitzers – can be transferred to Ukraine, here the question is only a political component.

– Why is there such a big lag between our requests and the reaction of our Western partners? In March we asked for guns – they told us “no”, we asked for air defense – they told us “no”. It takes two or three months – and something appears. We asked for MLRS in April – they appeared in the summer.

– Let’s start with the fact that the Europeans and Americans gave us three days to resist.

– But in June there were no three days, in July there were no three days.

– Yes, but in any case, this is an understanding of those red lines, so as not to give, probably, too much, so that we do not fight so powerfully. Perhaps some kind of controlled process of increasing our power. I think it still exists.

– Can you tell me more about it? There are many legends about this. What is this controlled process of our victory over the Russians or the control of our power?

– Alternatively, the Americans or the Europeans (rather Americans) estimate that we are holding back the Russian Federation very well, and do not give weapons so much that, relatively speaking, the situation does not suddenly turn on the battlefield. Because in this case, there will be a threat that the Russians will start to fall into hysterics and brandish a nuclear baton. In addition, it is necessary to ensure in parallel the controllability of the process of the collapse of the Russian Federation and / or the controllability of the process of transfer of power in the Russian Federation. I think that these two processes – the controlled strengthening of our capabilities and the controlled process of controlling the collapse of the Russian Federation – are somehow coordinated in time. And anyway, sooner or later it will lead to the collapse of the Russian Federation and our victory.



  1. “By the way, the remains of the Kh-101 missile found in Kyiv after the preliminary attack date back to the third quarter of 2022. What does it say?”

    These are brand-new missiles, with electric breast pump or washing machine chips in them.

    “Now we should not talk about the remnants of Russian missiles, but about the creation of our air defense system, which will allow us to ignore any number of missiles from the enemy.”

    This has top priority, to save civilian lives. Even older systems would be highly welcome!

    “In our proposals to the American side, we wrote about both the F-16 and the F-15. The American side nods its head, but so far the stake has been placed on finding options for restoring our aircraft fleet using Soviet-made equipment, transferring components.”

    The nodding is just Biden, falling asleep. Next time, just hand him an ice cream cone…

    “-Q: What about missiles with a range of 300 km? The Russians are heartily destroying the critical infrastructure of Ukraine, but the United States is now silent about the supply of this type of missiles to us. Why?
    – A: They believe that they are now helping us with air defense equipment and our demand is thus satisfied. When we talk about missiles 300 km away, they say: “What are your goals?”

    Really? We ask the Ukrainians, “What are your goals?” How about WINNING A WAR????

     “According to this computer simulation, it turned out that France and Germany could resist the number of weapons that were used against Ukraine for a maximum of a week…”

    A very optimistic computer.

    Liked by 2 people

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