by Batko Milacic for the Saker Blog
Recently, the Ukrainian army launched a counter-offensive on the southern and eastern front.
The Ukrainian leadership seems to have started to sober up and it has become clear to them that they have no use for false praises about successes on the southern front because in the end the people will find out the real truth.
For this reason, the Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Anna Molyar, criticized those bloggers and journalists who speak prematurely about the victories of the Ukrainian army, while the former Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Alliance, General Serhiy Krivonos, harshly criticizes the military and state leadership for the large number of victims.
– We have the right to ask the authorities why we have hundreds of thousands of wounded and dead? What did you do to save their lives, General Krivonos said on his YouTube channel. That general believes that more and more citizens will ask the country’s leadership why so many soldiers are dying.
Also, the American Institute for the Study of War admitted that the Ukrainian counterattack in the south of the country cannot lead to significant successes.
At the end of August, a document signed by the commander of the armed forces of Ukraine, General Valerii Zaluzhny, reached social networks. According to that document, at the beginning of July 2022, – 76,640 Ukrainian soldiers were killed, and 42,704 were wounded. At that time, 7,244 Ukrainian soldiers were captured, and 2,816 of them were missing.
Ukrainian counter-offensive in the east it’s also going slow with a lot of casualties.
Kiev has been trying to compensate for the fiasco of their counteroffensive on the southern (Kherson) front – where they lost two motorized brigades and over 300 tanks, other armored fighting vehicles and heavy artillery – with strikes northwest of Kharkiv for the second day. They are suffering heavy losses, as evidenced by the fact that they have been sending reserve forces into the fighting.
Because of all of the above, my interview which I did with the respected Russian analyst Mr. Yuri Podolyaka, who has 2.2 million followers on Telegram, regarding Ukraine (but not just Ukraine) has great importance. The conversation was long, because two Italian journalists took part in it also, but here I will outline Mr. Podolyaka views in short. What is important to emphasize is that Mr. Podolyaka is under the protection of the Russian special services, because his security is threatened by the Ukrainian intelligence services. Unfortunately, the Ukrainian intelligence services use terrorist methods, all with the aim of neutralizing critics who use arguments to expose the lies of the regime in Kiev.
First of all, I was interested when, the special operation in Ukraine will end?
Mr. Yuri Podolyaka: Next year if we’re lucky. Otherwise, in 2024.
Me: Will the Russian army liberate all of Ukraine up to the Vinitsa-Zhytomyr line or will they agree to the division of Ukraine?
Mr. Yuri Podolyaka: In my opinion, most likely the entire Ukraine will be liberated up to the line Vinitsa-Zhytomyr.
Me: Will there be a mobilization in Russia, bearing in mind that the ratio of the number of soldiers is 1:3 in favor of Ukraine?
Mr. Yuri Podolyaka: I think there will be no need for mobilization in Russia, because the situation at the front does not require it.
Me: And if Russia decided for mobilization, how would the Russian people react?
Mr. Yuri Podolyaka: The people would accept it, the majority of Russians are patriots.
Me: We saw that the liberation of Mariupol was difficult, with many victims. Do you expect it to be the same with other major cities in Ukraine?
Mr. Yuri Podolyaka: No. Ukraine no longer has the resources it used to have. And the longer the conflict lasts, the weaker Ukrainian resources will be.
Me: How many soldiers does Russia lose monthly in Ukraine?
Mr. Yuri Podolyaka: About 1,500, which is small number for such a demanding special operation from the perspective of the military doctrine. On the other hand, Ukrainians have huge losses.
Me: In your opinion, was the Russian army prepared for the special military operation? Was there a need to provide combat drones and a larger number of soldiers?
Mr. Yuri Podolyaka: Above all, the Russian army and the Russian state wanted peace. This operation in Ukraine was imposed on them by the West. As for readiness, no army is ever fully prepared. Problems always arise. However, the Russian army successfully solves everything as it goes.
Me: Have combat drones from Iran arrived in Russia? Since the flights of transport planes on the route Iran – Russia have been recorded.
Mr. Yuri Podolyaka: Yes, they arrived. Cooperation was established for mutual benefit. Iran, on the other hand, will receive sophisticated Russian weapons.
Me: In your opinion, did the Russian army make a mistake when it immediately started liberating Kiev? Should Odesa and Kharkiv be liberated first and only then Kiev?
Mr. Yuri Podolyaka: Absolutely, a big mistake was made there, people were lost. The larger pro-Russian cities had to be liberated first, and only then Kiev.
Me: Bearing in mind the bad position of the Russians in Kazakhstan, could the issue of the position of the Russians and the decentralization of Kazakhstan be opened there in the future?
Mr. Yuri Podolyaka: No. Cooperation between official Moscow and Nur-Sultan is good, so all misunderstandings will be resolved by the agreement of the leaders of the countries. Also, Kazakhstan and Kazakhs need Russia, primarily for economic reasons. On the other hand, Kazakhstan is a soft underbelly for Russia.
Me: In your opinion, what is the future of Belarus?
Mr. Yuri Podolyaka: After the departure of Lukashenko from power and the settlement of the situation in today’s Ukraine, Belarus will become part of Russia.
Me: If a conflict broke out in the Balkans (Kosovo and Bosnia) in the near future, would Russia have the resources to help the Serbs?
Mr. Yuri Podolyaka: Now there will certainly be no conflict in the Balkans, for one simple reason. The West cannot lead a conflict on two fronts. The West knows that in that case, Russia would solve the situation in Ukraine very quickly.
Me: However, if Russia were to suddenly begin to forcefully win in Ukraine. And if the West then wrote off Ukraine and started a fire in the Balkans, would Russia be able to help the Serbs?
Mr. Yuri Podolyaka: Certainly, Russia has enough resources for a conflict on two fronts. Serbs would get help.
Author: Batko Milacic