Russian military equipment has been destroyed in the town of Bucha.
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In a country where independent media and commentary have all disappeared from public view, it is rare to hear dissenting voices on many Russian state-controlled TV networks – especially with the country now at war with Ukraine.
But a well-known military analyst and veteran stood up after appearing on state TV this week and giving a scathing assessment of the Ukraine invasion or what Russia called a “special military operation.”
“The situation is going to get worse for us,” said Mikhail Khodaryanok, a retired Russian army colonel, on the “60 Minutes” talk show hosted by Olga Skabeva. .
“Your informational peace should not be swallowed up,” Khodaryanok told the host, warning that Ukraine was not on the verge of being beaten by Russia, and that Kyiv could mobilize and arm one million people if it wanted to.
Khodaryonok, a defense columnist for gazeta.ru and a graduate of Russia’s elite military academy, had earlier warned Russia against invading neighboring Ukraine, according to Reuters, saying it was not in Russia’s national interest.
Ignoring his advice, Russia is now embroiled in a bloody conflict in Ukraine almost three months east and south with only a few significant regional gains and the attack is likely to turn into a long-term war with the courage of Ukrainian fighters. And resilience underestimated by Moscow.
Moscow has already backtracked on its apparent strategy to invade Ukraine from the north, east and south, and has now concentrated its combat forces in eastern Ukraine in the Donbass region.
Khodaryonok stressed that even if Ukraine had to rely on a few thousand recruits who had only one basic military training, what was important was that their hearts would be at war and it would not be good for Russia.
“The desire to defend the motherland in the sense that it exists in Ukraine – it really exists there and they want to fight to the end,” Khodaryanok said before he was stopped by Skabeva, who was trying to reduce the effectiveness of Ukrainian forces.
Neither Khodaryanok nor Skabeva could be reached for comment, Reuters reported.
‘The World Is Against Us’
On the global stage, Russia is now widely excluded, and even China and India have agreed on how long this conflict can last with its former allies.
“The main shortcoming of our military-political position is that we are in complete geopolitical isolation and – although we do not want to admit it – the whole world is against us … and we have to get out of this situation,” Khudaryanok continued on the talk show. , Other studio guests were shocked by his outspoken criticism.
Although Russia is becoming increasingly isolated, the West seems to be more united than ever. Ukraine’s allies in the west have continued to supply arms to Kiev, and Russia’s invasion has seen the Western military alliance, NATO, tighten its security. Indeed, Russia’s invasion has only served to strengthen the alliance with Finland and Sweden, which are now seeking to join the organization.
Russia has predicted an attack on Ukraine, primarily opposing its accession to NATO (a possibility that was not forthcoming) and has always blamed NATO for the attack, as well as accusing the military alliance of preparing to attack what Moscow sees as former Russian territory. Ukraine, where two pro-Russian, self-proclaimed republics are located in Donbass.
But its response to the forthcoming expansion of NATO to include Finland and Sweden has been muted. Although it initially threatened “retaliatory action” against the expansion, President Vladimir Putin called it a “problem” and has since said that the expansion does not make much difference. Geopolitical analysts point out that Russia’s expansion is unlikely to happen anyway, although Russia has threatened to deploy NATO military infrastructure in Sweden or Finland.
Khodaryonok said Russia must see the reality of the situation in Ukraine: “The main thing in our business is the idea of military-political reality: if you go beyond that, the reality of history will hit you so hard you can’t do it. You know what hurts.”
“Don’t throw rockets at Finland for good – it looks funny,” he said.