Russian State Pundits Admit to Ukraine’s Power on Battlefield


Ukrainian servicemen fire a 105mm Howitzer toward Russian positions near the city of Bakhmut, Ukraine, on March 4, 2023. In inset, Ukrainian soldiers ride an infantry fighting vehicle along a road not far from Bakhmut, Donetsk region, on March 5, 2023. On March 7, 2023, a guest on Russian state-run TV said that Ukraine’s defenses are powerful.ARIS MESSINIS / AFP; ANATOLII STEPANOV / AFP/GETTY IMAGES

ARussian pundit recently admitted that Ukraine’s defensive effort on the battlefield is “powerful” amid the ongoing war, which began its second year on February 24.

Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s minister of internal affairs, posted a video captioned “Russian propagandists praise the Ukrainian Armed Forces.” The video shows a segment from the Russian state TV show Soloviev Live, hosted by Sergey Mardan.

In the video, one person can be heard saying “our respected experts say that the enemy defense is powerful. It is true,” and Mardan is seen agreeing with the statement.

“It relies first and foremost on effectively prepared fortifications, including fields and wooded areas. It is most effective in populated areas,” the guest said. “These fortifications, engineering preparation of the enemy is good, we should admit that. We are really dealing with clever, trained and equipped enemy.”

Newsweek reached out to Gerashchenko on Twitter for verification of the guest’s name.

While fighting has taken place in several Ukrainian cities, some of the Russian mercenary soldiers from the Wagner Group have focused on attempting to take Bakhmut. Dmytro Vatagin, a 48-year-old Ukrainian soldier stationed near Bakhmut, told the New York Times that Wagner mercenaries appear to be different than “regular Russian soldiers.”

“Wagner and the mobilized are being just thrown like meat,” the solider said of the fighting in Bakhmut. “It’s easier to fight the Russian army because you understand what they’re going to do and how you’re going to work against them.”

A Ukrainian solider previously spoke with the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) and said Russian soldiers are executing “fairly successful infiltration techniques” in Bakhmut.

Despite recent comments made on Russian state TV, Magomedsalam Magomedov, the head of the Russian presidential administration, recently said that President Vladimir Putin had “no other choice but to launch the special military operation” because of “the open support and promotion of the neo-Nazi ideology, a speedy militarization of Ukraine, constant calls for the annexation of Russian territories, an increasing threat to our national security and stability.”

While Russian forces have made advancements in Bakhmut, they recently lost several tanks in a battle in the region of Vuhledar.

Mark Cancian, a senior adviser for the Center for Strategic & International Studies International Security Program told Newsweek last week that the losses in Vuhledar showed that “Russians are not able to effectively attack the Ukrainians, that they are at the tactical level, still not coordinating very well.”

Newsweek reached out to the Russian Foreign Ministry for comment.

One comment

  1. “Russian propagandists praise the Ukrainian Armed Forces.”

    The ultimate praise will be shown one day soon by the few surviving cockroaches waving white flags, ending this war.

    “While Russian forces have made advancements in Bakhmut, they recently lost several tanks in a battle in the region of Vuhledar.”

    Matthew Impelli, that’s just plain bad journalism. The losses suffered by the mafia army in Vuhledar can hardly be called “several”.

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