Despite heavy oppression in the Russian media regarding content and opinions about the war in Ukraine (which the Kremlin continues to describe as a “special military operation”), a Russian commentator has gone against the grain – on Russian state television – and admitted that the situation in Ukraine is becoming increasingly difficult for the invading troops.
Mikhail Khodaryonok, defense commentator, said US and EU military support would eventually reach Ukrainian forces, and the situation “will frankly get worse” for Russia.
“Ukrainian armed forces have the capacity to arm a million people. They say this themselves. The main problem is to what extent are they able to provide this army with modern weapons and equipment. On their own, of course, they cannot do anything, but considering that the ‘Lend Lease’ program [referring to the aid package approved by the United States] is about to take effect, the resistance of a single senator [Rand Paul] will be overcome quickly, and considering that European aid arrives, the existence of a million armed soldiers has to be seen as a reality in the very near future”, explained the analyst to Russian state television, in a video translated by BBC journalist Francis Scarr, before noting that the “operational calculations and strategies” are not favorable.
In an extremely rare moment of candour on Russian state TV today, defence columnist Mikhail Khodaryonok gave a damning assessment of Russia's war in Ukraine and his country's international isolation. It's fairly long but worth your time so I've added subtitles. pic.twitter.com/0mr7WAgSx6
— Francis Scarr (@francis_scarr) May 16, 2022
When the show’s host interrupted him to argue that Ukrainian soldiers are not as professional as Russian soldiers, Khodaryonok criticized the argument and the “dogma” perpetuated by the regime.
“An enlisted army can be highly professional. How an army is recruited never determines its level of professionalism. In that sense, in our country the dogma that has been firmly entrenched in the minds of some of our political scientists is that if a man is a hired soldier, he is a professional. Far from it,” said the commentator, going so far as to quote Lenin to add that a crucial factor in the battle is the “will to defend the fatherland.”
Khodaryonok also pointed the finger at Russian propaganda indirectly, warning that Russia needs “a sense of political and military realism”. “Sooner or later, the reality of history will hit you so hard that you will regret it”, the commentator shot, about Russian threats against Finland.
“The biggest deficiency of our political and military position is our total geopolitical isolation and, as much as it is difficult to admit this, practically the whole world is against us. It is a situation that we need to get out of”, he said.
The commentator also took the opportunity to demystify some rumors among the Russian media, namely about the low morale of the Ukrainians. Mikhail Khodaryonok said it is necessary to be careful with the information that comes in, as “sometimes information is spread about a mental and psychological breakdown in the Ukrainian armed forces” and this, he said, “is false”.
“There are particular cases, of course, prisoners of war, some units, but they are individual,” he concluded.
Francis Scarr, who shared the footage, describes it as “an extremely rare moment of sincerity on Russian state television”.
The war in Ukraine has killed more than 3,800 Ukrainian civilians, according to data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, but the organization warns that the real death toll could be much higher, given the difficulties in counting casualties in cities. besieged and taken over by the Russians.
Source: With Agencies