Our defense will collapse, nothing will help against the mass of Russian troops now, Ukrainian officers fear

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“There is nothing that can help Ukraine now, because there are no advanced technologies that can compensate for the large mass of troops that Russia is likely to throw at us. We don’t have such technology, and the West doesn’t have it in sufficient quantities either, one high-ranking military official told Politico.

The officer went on to say that at present it is only Ukrainian courage and tenacity and the mistakes of Russian generals that can now change the “bleak” dynamics on the front.

However, senior officers agreed that relying on Russian mistakes was not a strategy, and noted bitterly that missteps by both the West and Ukraine hampered Ukrainian resistance to an unprovoked Russian invasion from the start.

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They also expressed “indignation,” according to Politico, about the West’s indolence, which they said delivered supplies and weapons systems too late and in insufficient quantities to make the difference they could have had they been delivered on time.

Don’t believe that bullshit

“Zaluzhnyi called it ‘the war of one chance.’ By this he meant that the weapons systems are becoming redundant very quickly as the Russians are quickly countering them. For example, we have successfully used Storm Shadow missiles and SCALP cruise missiles. But only briefly. The Russians are still learning, they don’t give us a second chance and they are successful at it,” another official said.

“Don’t believe that crap about them just throwing soldiers into a meat grinder to slaughter them. Of course they do that too, they maximize the impact of their numerical superiority even more, but they also learn and improve,” he continued.

The officers also said shoulder-launched anti-tank missiles such as the Javelin, supplied by Britain and the US in the early weeks of the invasion, arrived in time to help them save Kiev. And so did the HIMARS light salvo missile systems, which were used to great effect, allowing them to push Russia out of Kherson in November 2022.

F-16? It won’t be the same now

“But it often happens that we don’t get the weapons systems when we need them. They will only come when they are no longer relevant,” another officer said, citing the F-16 fighter jets as an example. About a dozen F-16 fighters are expected to enter service this summer after basic pilot training is completed. “Every weapon has its right time. The F-16s were needed in 2023, they won’t be the same in 2024,” he said.

According to him, Russia is ready to face the F-16 fighters. “In recent months, we began to notice rockets being launched by the Russians from Dzhankoy in northern Crimea, but without explosive warheads. We didn’t understand what they were doing and then we figured it out. It measures the distance,” he said.

The officer went on to explain that Russia is calculating where best to deploy its S-400 missile and radar systems to maximize the area they can cover to target the F-16s in order to keep them away from the front lines and Russian logistics hubs.

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We actually need everything

Officers also said they now need more basic conventional weapons as well as drones.

“We need howitzers and grenades, hundreds of thousands of grenades and rockets,” one of them told Politico, estimating that Ukraine needs four million grenades and two million drones.

“We constantly told our Western partners that we have combat experience, that we understand this war. They have the resources and they have to give us what we need,” he added.

Although Europe is trying to help Ukraine compensate for its disadvantage in artillery ammunition, Kyiv has so far only received about a third of the promised million pieces of ammunition.

The proposed bulk purchase of artillery ammunition under the leadership of the Czech Republic, which could increase the total number of artillery shells for Ukraine from the EU and outside the EU to approximately 1.5 million pieces, should help. However, according to high-ranking officials, this is still not enough for what Ukraine needs.

According to Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS), Ukraine will receive the first ammunition in June.

“Without going into any details, we are able, as a result of this initiative, and I note this, to deliver ammunition to Ukraine already in June and then gradually until the end of the year in order to fulfill the expected deliveries in the amount of hundreds of thousands of pieces,” he told reporters on Tuesday at the base of the North Atlantic Alliance in Lithuania’s Rukla Fiala.

Fiala: Ukraine will receive ammunition already in June

The war in Ukraine

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We have few soldiers

The officers stressed that they also needed many, many more men. The country currently does not have enough men on the front lines, further exacerbating the problem of insufficient support from the West.

Meanwhile, Ukraine has not yet pulled the trigger on recruitment ahead of the expected Russian onslaught, as authorities fear the political fallout the mobilization measures could bring against a backdrop of draft evasion and evasion of military documents. Already in December, Zaluzhny publicly called for the mobilization of additional troops and estimated that Ukraine needed at least 500,000 additional men.

Last week, the commander of Ukraine’s armed forces, Zaluzhny’s successor, General Oleksandr Syrskyi, announced that Ukraine might not need so many new soldiers. After a review of sources, the number was “significantly reduced”, with Ukraine “expecting to have enough people capable of defending its homeland”. “I’m not only talking about mobilized, but also about volunteer fighters,” he added.

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According to the paper, Syrsky’s plan is to move as many uniformed and non-combatant personnel as possible to the front lines, following an intensive three- to four-month training.

However, senior officers who served under Zaluzhny said that Syrskyj is wrong and that he “conforms to what the politicians say”.

Then on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi signed some other parts of the old mobilization law, which tighten the legal requirements for registering data on conscripted men from Ukraine and lower the minimum age for conscription from 27 to 25.

“We don’t just have a military crisis. We also have a political one,” said one of the officers. While Ukraine is avoiding a major draw, he said, “Russia is gathering resources now and will be ready to launch a major offensive around August, and maybe even earlier.”

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The article is in Czech

Tags: defense collapse mass Russian troops Ukrainian officers fear

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