Officers and mid-level commanders are refusing to fight.
Russia’s occupying army is rapidly losing resources, equipment and motivation, while Ukraine’s army is mastering modern military equipment and preparing for a massive new aid package from allied countries. When Crimea is liberated this year, the regime in Russia will start to fall. Oleksiy Hetman, a veteran of the Russian-Ukrainian war, a major in the army reserve, has expressed such an opinion in an exclusive interview with Obozrevatel.
– The US National Intelligence Service has made a forecast according to which Putin is planning to wage a protracted war against Ukraine with possible pauses in hostilities. Is there really a danger that the war will last for years? In what way is it possible not to let that happen?
– Unfortunately, it is quite possible, because Russia has accumulated large forces. Mostly infantry, because they do not have heavy machinery. They are trying to advance using infantry without proper support by tanks and other armored vehicles. They also have a certain shortage of shells for their cannons.
This is why it is extremely necessary for Putin to pause for a while to build up his forces. Russia is producing shells, they are producing tanks. Today they can produce about one tank a day, but that is less than what they are losing in battles with the Ukrainian army. So a pause is very much needed.
Especially since Russia has realized that the tactics they used, the use of weapons that were used back during the Cold War, are no longer working. Because today’s war is a drone war, a technological war, a war of the mind, if I may say so, rather than a war of the number of those tanks.
Putin needs to put his armed forces in order, to complete and arm them with heavy machinery.
What are the occupying forces trying to do now? They are trying to advance along the arc between Kreminna, Lyman and Vuhledar. They want to break through Bakhmut to Chasovy Yar or even to Konstantynivka, then jointly advance north from Vuhledar, and then attack Ukrainian positions from the side of Gulyai-Pole in order to get to the south of Zaporizhzhia region. At the same time there will be an attempt to attack from the north from the direction of Lyman and Sloviansk. So they want to make a land corridor between Russia and the Crimean peninsula, to make this runway wider.
– Is that the reason why Bakhmut is so important to the occupier?
– Yes. If they break through our defenses at Bakhmut, they will be able to move towards Bakhmut from the north and move further from the south, from Gulyai-Pole and Vuhledar. That is, to make two massive barriers for our troops. These plans are not a secret, the enemy himself said so.
However, if they fail to implement these plans, they will not give them up. They will just need a pause to accumulate forces and try to implement them again.
What can the Ukrainian army do to avoid this? First, we need to stop the enemy in these three main areas of attack, wait for the final supply of shells to our Armed Forces, that is what Reznikov is talking about. He asked for 250,000 shells, but that’s for the two weeks of proper shelling we need. That is why the Minister has asked to increase that number by at least three times. Then it will allow us to attack properly. Secondly, the heavy equipment we are expecting and everything else we need there. That includes cannon ammunition, armoured vehicles and air defence equipment.
We definitely do not need a protracted war. Putin needs it. Will we be able to avoid it? For now we need to hold the line and prepare for our counter-offensive. It all depends on how well we can prepare the forces.
It has been officially reported that at least eight brigades are being trained under the banner of the Interior Ministry. There is information that certain units are being re-staffed and completed, our military is being trained abroad – almost 10,000 men. In total, as Josep Borrell said, the number of trained and appropriately armed Ukrainian soldiers may reach 30 thousand.
If we can hold out – I hope we can – and prepare for April and May, then after our counterstrike there can be no question of a long term war. For we are planning to liberate the Crimea this year. After Crimea returns to Ukraine, I think there will come internal changes within the Russian Federation, that may make it impossible for Putin to hold on to his position.
– It is true that the Ukrainian army is being significantly strengthened, our soldiers are learning how to handle modern military equipment, and this equipment is being supplied to our country. At the same time, we see signs that the army of the occupying country is actually degrading. There are almost no elite units left, the Wagner soldiers, recruited during the last months from among prisoners, are trained in the same way as the mobilized. There are reports that the morale of Putin’s army has dropped drastically. Can we expect that the front will “crumble” because units of the Russian occupation army will simply start leaving the battlefield and flee?
– They are already fleeing. As for those Wagner forces, at the beginning of the full-scale invasion there were about 45 thousand of them in Ukraine, now there are 7 thousand left. That is, it is a very weakened military formation. By and large, the Wagner PMC is turning into a Nazi paramilitary political organization, trying to make certain political moves inside the Russian Federation. Since we often compare Putin with Hitler, then the Wagner PMC can be compared with the SS.
As regards other military formations, there is information that a Cossack detachment is fighting near Vuhledar. It is known that the fighters refused to go into battle and carry out orders because they were not provided with the necessary support. They understood that they were actually being sent for slaughter. It is also known that some Russian officers and middle-ranking commanders also refused to fight.
As to the rank and file and non-commissioned officers there is no motivation at all. They do not want to fight and are looking for possibilities to surrender or run away. This was especially evident on the left bank of the Dnieper River near Kharkiv. There was complete demoralization of the troops there, especially after they were thrown off the right bank. The Russian National Guard came there to restore order, and the FSB was catching deserters there.
In addition, the “law of the grandfather” is widespread in the Russian army, which also does not add strength to the armed forces. Relations between Russian servicemen differ significantly from those in the Ukrainian army.
As for the Kadyrovtsy, they have distinguished themselves with “heroic” videos on TikTok, but when they get into a real battle, they immediately run away. The main function of the Kadyrovtsy is to act as barrier troops, and they use them along the entire line of contact.
However, I would like to point out that so far more than half a million have been mobilized in Russia. They are concentrated in three relatively small sections of the front, where they can provide a fairly high density of artillery fire and infantry that is attacking wave after wave, and little by little they manage to advance. I hope that the Ukrainian army will be able to hold the line and not waste the available reserves, and then launch the counter-offensive we are all hoping for.
It’s great that parts of the mafia army is disintegrating. However …
“We definitely do not need a protracted war. Putin needs it. Will we be able to avoid it? For now we need to hold the line and prepare for our counter-offensive. It all depends on how well we can prepare the forces.”
The allies have dithered here and dithered there and keep on dithering. We need ATACMS now! We need plenty of tanks now! We need aircraft now! We need plenty of ammo now!
“Since we often compare Putin with Hitler, then the Wagner PMC can be compared with the SS.”
That is a very good quote. Until this obvious truth is universally acknowledged, the putinazis will still have an absurdly high level of support with masses of ignorant people, including politicians and media figures, in the west.
People like Biden, Duda, Rishi etc, should routinely include in their speeches references to the nazi-like atrocities committed on a huge scale by the putinazis. Such as rape of young women, middle aged women, old women, girls, children, babies, boys and young men. Cutting off tongues of women, castration and abominable torture has occurred. Tell the fucking world.
“People like Biden, Duda, Rishi etc, should routinely include in their speeches references to the nazi-like atrocities committed on a huge scale by the putinazis.”
That would be the right and truthful thing to do, as McCain would have, but these people just won’t do that. They won’t mention anything about the mafia aspect, either. Mafia land is still being treated like a regular country, and that’s a huge mistake.