A former Kremlin colonel and military strategist gave a very critical assessment of the Russian invasion of Ukrainein the first open critique of official propaganda stories on Russian state television.
In Russia’s most watched talk show, Mikhail KhodarenokKremlin military strategist and retired air defense colonel, called on political leaders and the Russian public to stop taking “informational sedatives” and accept that “the situation for us is clearly going to get worse” as the Ukrainian resistance continues.
The retired colonel added that the Russian population had received lies about the lack of morale and psychological breakdowns in the Ukrainian ranks and dismissed claims that the mood in Ukraine was “close to crisis”.
“At the very least, it’s not truehe said, adding that Ukraine would soon have mobilized more than a million troops who will be trained and ready to “shed blood for his country.
He argued that, despite the fact that most are recruited, are “ready to fight” to defend their country, which ultimately determines “victory on the battlefield”. He added: “The main thing in our job is to have a sense of politico-military realism: if you go further, the reality of history will hit you so hard that you will not know what is hitting you.”
Khodarenok also criticized the Russian government’s reaction to Finland’s and Sweden’s decision to join NATO in light of the invasion: “Don’t wave rockets over Finland, for God’s sake, it’s pretty funny”mentioned.
What former head of the Main Operations Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces and editor of an influential military magazine, Khodarenok has close ties to senior active duty officers. He was previously skeptical of Russia’s prospects for success in Ukraine.
Rejecting the frequent interruptions of the program presenter, Olga Scabayevawhich follows the Kremlin line so closely that it is known as Putin TV’s “iron doll”, Khodarenok described the Russian situation from the “general strategic position”.
“Given that European aid will start to work fully, we must treat this million Ukrainian soldiers as a reality in the near future,” he added. mentioned.
As Skabeyeva objected that these men would be conscripts, the former colonel insisted that what really matters is not how an army is recruited but its will to fight.
“A will to protect his homeland, in the sense that it exists in Ukraine, it really exists there, they intend to fight to the last man“, mentioned. “As a last resort, victory on the battlefield is determined by a high level of morale among personnel, who shed blood for ideas they are willing to fight for.
As for the world stage, he said: “The biggest problem with our military and political situation is that we are in complete geopolitical isolation. The whole world is against us, even if we don’t want to admit it.”
“Sooner or later, reality will hit you so hard that you won’t know what hit you. . . We have to understand that.”he added.
Khodarenok’s comments came as US defense officials revealed that Russia had now committed 80% of its battalion battle groups to the war in Ukraine.and Putin “doesn’t have much” to add to the fight.