Serious rise to war. General Macko: Unfortunately, it seems that the last desperate possibility of the Russians is happening

29.03.2022 21:01 | Conversation

General Pavel Macko, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Army of the Slovak Republic until 2018, the highest-ranking Slovak soldier in NATO structures, comments on events in Ukraine and other possible developments of the conflict and the alternative of a quick end to the war.

Photo: Youtube copy
The description: Russian self-propelled howitzer 2S19 Msta-S

Russian Defense Minister Shoigu said: “In general, the main tasks of the first stage of the operation are fulfilled. The combat potential of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has decreased significantly, which allows us to concentrate the attention and main efforts on achieving the main goal – the liberation of Donbass,” Shoigu said after consulting with the army leadership. Can we really speak of a Russian offensive and a Ukrainian failure?

Rather, it is a new attempt to explain and justify Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, although it is true that the Ukrainians themselves report some losses in the Donbass region that they suffered. Of course, this is also part of the propaganda. In short, Russia can focus on taking over Donbass and interpreting it as meeting the objectives of the operation. In fact, it would be a way of keeping a face on the world and, above all, on one’s own nation.

Nevertheless, the Russian Defense Ministry claims that pro-Russian separatists control 93% of the Lugansk region and 54% of the Donetsk region.

These reports may be real, but rather overestimated, but at the moment they cannot be precisely verified.

At a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, on Tuesday, Russian negotiators promised their Ukrainian counterparts a reduction in military activity in the kyiv and Chernihiv region. What can we expect from peace negotiations?

In the meantime, I’ll be careful. Until Putin has sufficient control over the Donbass corridor and territory, he is unlikely to step down as he would admit defeat.

Can you even tell what Vladimir Putin really wants right now? Territories, or above all factories and strategic industrial companies?

It changes over time. At first, he was clearly interested in the territory, he expected to be able to conquer all of Ukraine and occupy the capital kyiv. This was indicated by operations around Hostomľ airport and a rapid incursion into Kyiv, which the Ukrainians liquidated.

Putin obviously wanted to create a situation with a strong coercive operation, where he could quickly establish his government and thereby permanently break the Ukrainian resistance. But it failed. And so, in theory, he was left with only two options.

One possibility was to try territorial gains in the land corridor, at least after Mariupol and Crimea, but the losses so far do not match this, although he deployed his best troops there, who encountered a organized resistance on the Ukrainian side. So unfortunately there seems to be one last desperate possibility – and it’s bad news for both sides that he’ll have to walk away with the unearned one, because in that case he’ll break what he can and can leave a lot of misfortune and great damage..

And what about those big industrial companies?

It’s not that new, it was clear from the start that he also wanted to tackle the military-industrial complexes. These companies are important to him, and he certainly wants to obtain them, or for the moment paralyze their production, and if he really does nothing else, he will concentrate all his efforts on destroying them. Let’s not forget that Ukrainian industry was also essential within the former Soviet Union.

What exactly have the Russians failed in this war so far?

The Russians slowed down not only supply problems, but also the defense of the Ukrainians. The Russians have failed to sow chaos in the country, to occupy administrative and political centers, to break this resistance, to demoralize Ukraine and to carry out a blitzkrieg, or at least to prepare the conditions for a more massive invasion and quickly win major operations.

The Russian army simply did not succeed.

Do you think that within the framework of NATO, countries like the Czech Republic, Slovakia or Poland are currently out of danger?

I think so, we are unlikely to encounter an immediate conflict, and neither the United States nor Russia are thinking of this version. Moreover, Russia has no power for another offensive.

However, as a purely defensive pact, NATO cannot help Ukraine directly. It’s like that?

It’s true, and confirmed by US President Joe Biden, the alliance cannot carry out any reckless attack without the consent of all of its members and will only respond if it is necessary to defend the territory of any of its members. , which will be in direct danger. However, material assistance and economic sanctions remain, which NATO countries use to help Ukraine and at the same time exhaust the Russian adversary.

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author: Tomas Prochazka

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