Patterico's Pontifications


Russian Military Analyst Boldly Says The Quiet Part Out Loud: …The Whole World Is Against Us … We Need To Get Out Of This Situation

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:18 am

[guest post by Dana]

Three months into a humiliating war, a well-known Russian military analyst and veteran shocked his fellow guests on state-controlled television by offering an honest, no holds barred assessment of Russia’s current status in the unprovoked war with Ukraine while simultaneously giving Ukraine a much-needed gift of hope:

“The situation, frankly speaking, will get worse for us,” Mikhail Khodaryonok, a retired Russian army colonel, told the “60 Minutes” talk show on Rossiya-1 TV program hosted by Olga Skabeyeva, who’s renowned for her pro-Kremlin stance.

“You should not swallow informational tranquilizers,” Khodaryonok told the host as he warned that Ukraine was in no way near being beaten by Russia, and that Kyiv could mobilize and arm a million people if it wanted to.

The report notes that Khodaryonok had warned against invading Ukraine. Russia has faced several humiliations in the face of Ukrainian determination to push back the invaders. As a result, Russia is now focused on Eastern Ukraine. Khodaryonok also noted the difference between the invading force and the everyday Ukrainians willing to take up arms to defend their homeland:

Khodaryonok emphasized that even if Ukraine had to rely on hundreds of thousands of conscripts that only had rudimentary military training, what mattered is that their hearts would be in the fight, and that would not bode well for Russia.

“The desire to defend one’s motherland in the sense that it exists in Ukraine — it really does exist there and they intend to fight to the last,” Khodaryonok said before he was interrupted by Skabeyeva who was trying to downplay the effectiveness of Ukraine’s forces.

“We need to treat this million Ukrainian soldiers as a reality in the nearest future,” he said.

I’ll leave you with Khodaryonok’s inarguable observation that left his fellow guests stunned:

“The main deficiency of our military-political position is that we are in full geopolitical solitude and — however we don’t want to admit it — practically the whole world is against us … and we need to get out of this situation”…

**It’s so shocking to hear such blunt unvarnished truth coming from a Russian veteran (and on state television), that I’m left wondering if Khodaryonok will soon disappear, or at the very least be compelled to publicly recant his observations? I suspect it’s only a matter of time…

Here’s Gary Kasparov confirming Khodaryonok’s concerns about the willingness of Ukrainians to fight for their homeland:

Moreover, in a recent report about the Mozart Group, which is currently in Ukraine to help train troops, the organization, which is made up of special-operations vets and whose two goals are: “to increase the Ukrainian military’s capability and sustainable capacity in a manner consistent with US foreign policy and to protect vulnerable civilians,” group leader Andy Milburn offered his observations on Russian and Ukrainian troops. Unsurprisingly, his views were similar to Khodaryonok’s when it came to troop resolve and morale, or the lack therein:

In areas where Ukrainians have fended off the Russian offensive, what do you think has allowed them to be successful?

Morale and resolve have been key components of success — but the terrain has been an important factor in enabling Ukrainian forces to hold their ground.

In the north and urban regions, the Russian proclivity to remain on the roads has played against them. Outside the cities in the north, the ground is either thickly wooded or swampy, and this has allowed the defenders to infiltrate easily through Russian lines to strike armored columns from the flank.

What’s your assessment of the Russian military’s performance so far? Is there anything it did well, and to what would you attribute its struggles?

Russian units here have proven to be singularly unimpressive. Almost without exception, they are poorly trained, ill-disciplined, and lack cohesion. Their tactics belong to a bygone era — little understanding of combined arms and no infantry integration with their armored attacks.

**I wrote this post yesterday afternoon, and this morning checked for any updated information on Khodaryonok. Sure enough, he is backpedaling on his assessment:

Regardless of his corrections, the damage is done and we all know it. Especially Ukraine. Also, Khodaryonok gets to live another day.


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