What can we imagine under the information that the second phase of the war begins in Ukraine?
Below, I imagine the Russians have consolidated their main line, which they are in the process of declaring, that is, the de facto region of Donbask. That is, they control the entire historical border of the Lugansk and Donetsk regions. They will continue to try to go deeper into the depths of Ukraine, I would say generally to the Dnieper. Of course, this includes the southern part, the oft-mentioned Mariupol and logically the area stretching along the Black Sea coast towards Odessa.
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How do you think the Ukrainians are ready for the next fights? They had said before that they were preparing for it, in the Donbass for eight years.
The Ukrainians claim, and it is clear from the course of the fighting so far since February 24, that they are indeed very well prepared for this direction. There, the Russians did not perform any major procedures. The area is still very well defended, so I think the Ukrainians are well prepared. We’ll see what it will look like after the Russians make the changes that are definitely underway and have also started. The question is whether the main offensive they want to carry out will actually be able to stop the Ukrainians and, if necessary, carry out counterattacks.
We can say that the Russian army is betting on numerical superiority. The Ukrainians probably expect to be aided by weapons and other military equipment from the West. The question is whether the Ukrainian soldiers can actually control it? I am also asking because, for example, US Army instructors will start training Ukrainian gunners in the next few days, who will receive M777 guns from the Americans. However, they have a different caliber of ammunition from that used by the Ukrainian army.
So far, it seems that the Ukrainians have really mastered such a more modern way of fighting, which they acquire in their studies. Not only since 2014, Ukrainians have already gone to study in Western schools. In 1984, I had a classmate, also a Ukrainian general, at the War College.
Indeed, more and more taught modern way of conducting combat operations and it is proving very effective. And even though they are weaker in numbers and have lower quality technology, the Russians, who still adhere to such a classic, old-fashioned way of warfare, show much better war leadership in that sense, with a higher moral status. . This is generally known.
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They also receive more modern technology. You mentioned 155mm howitzers, but that applies to other weapon systems as well. We’ll see if they can combine modern warfare with the more modern, high-quality weapon systems they receive. This is a huge problem for the Russians, and we will see how they deal with it at this stage, where they are trying to renumber Ukrainian troops in quantity. I think the Russians are going to have a very difficult time, and we hope that the attack that the Ukrainians announced tonight or last night can be stopped.
The Ukrainian side informs about the terrible behavior of some Russian soldiers. How do you explain that? Are they trained to do it, do they receive such orders, or is the brutality also based on the fact that they do not know how to handle themselves?
I think there are two aspects. First, the unit is what the commander is. In this, I think the Russians have fallen asleep, because the progress of civilization must also be reflected in the armies, and the Russians certainly do not succeed in this. The commanders are oblivious to what the soldiers are doing, and I think this is one of the main tasks – the inexperience and moral decline of the Russian soldiers.
Second, there is definitely something associated with the psyche of soldiers who suffer huge casualties. The Russians actually have relatively high casualties, in which case the human psyche takes on a whole new level. People behave, I don’t mean like animals, it’s different, in short, they behave very brutally, very inhumanely, and I think that’s one of the traits that is starting to deepen in Russians.
This means that it is essentially a concept of training people, the command corps, which does not deal with this question at all. Moreover, they are unable to modernize warfare, which in turn brings great sacrifices. Then Russian soldiers take revenge on civilians, captured Ukrainian soldiers, etc.
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