To what extent is Ukraine ready to repel Russia: “5 questions” with military expert Oleh Zhdanov

Photo Facebook of Oleh Zhdanov

International partners support Ukraine in the issue of territorial integrity and in the context of the military threat from the Russian Federation. Ukraine is ready to defend, but will Russia go on the offensive? And what can be the support of our partners in the event of such a scenario?

The military expert Oleh Zhdanov told about it in the program “5 questions” of the UA TV channel.

Oleh Borisov hosts the program.

– Increasing threat from Russia. What support from international partners can we count on?

– In fact, we already see this support. We see a constant presence of NATO ships in the Black Sea. By the way, another destroyer with Tomahawk cruise missiles on board is on duty now.

As for military-technical assistance, it is also ongoing. That is, the supply of weapons and ammunition continues, according to the approved plan, within the framework agreement between the Pentagon and the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

In addition, as you know, the White House is developing a package of sanctions against the Russian Federation in the event of a direct invasion of Russian troops into Ukraine.

– And how real is the increase in aggression by Russia? Is this another “rattle of weapons”?

– Every year it is more like “rattling weapons”. Why? Because, no matter how much the Russians want to, but our combat power is growing, our combat potential is increasing. And although not at such a fast pace as we would like, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are still being re-equipped.

And the more powerful our Armed Forces, the less chance there is of a successful military operation against Ukraine. And this, by the way, may be one of the main deterrents to Russia, as the price of the issue will be very high for them. That is, the number of losses will simply be unreasonably high in the event of their invasion of our territory.

– But at the same time near the borders of Ukraine more and more Russian weapons. In particular, in the temporarily uncontrolled part of Donbas, I am already silent about Crimea, which has been turned into a common military base.

– This is a separate story with Crimea. Because Putin sees it as an achievement of his political career. So there, until every resident will be conscripted, will be with a machine gun and will be put on the bench.

And let’s not forget that the Crimean peninsula is an ideal place as a launch pad for ballistic missiles. Draw a radius of about 2.5-3 thousand km, and you will see that the zone of defeat of these missiles fall on key countries in the Middle East and the entire European Union, up to the Scandinavian countries. So there is a separate story with Crimea.

As for the European part of Russia or its western borders. The Kremlin plans to form a group of troops in the European theater of operations by 2030, which they believe would balance NATO’s presence in Eastern Europe.

– As President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said at his last press marathon: in addition to the external enemy, Ukraine is also fighting the internal one. And here I mention the quote of the Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Hanna Malyar that “fear and panic are sown in society, even in social networks, in the information space.” How should Ukraine deal with these information intrusions, manipulations of fear, danger, etc.?

– I, in turn, will recall the words of President Zelenskyy, which he said immediately after his inauguration – that we need to start an information war and win it.

So, the Ministry of Defense must start this information war. And the information war begins with informing the population.

I believe that our Ministry of Defense should not just say that “we are ready.” And to state in numbers, and perhaps even in options on the map for society and for the world community, that we are ready to repel external aggression, even such an enemy as the armed forces of the Russian Federation. And then it makes no sense to sow panic on social networks or elsewhere in other media. Because every inhabitant of Ukraine and every person in the world who has reviewed this information will understand the realities of today.

– Such a threat from the Russian Federation, which is now being talked about by all the media, is, in fact, a push for Ukraine to move even faster to NATO standards. Is Ukraine using it now?

– Unfortunately, I don’t use it. Today, we are a little behind in that we still do not have such a document as military reform. I think this is our main disadvantage. Therefore, neither we nor the world community can explain the systematic action in the modernization and re-equipment of our Armed Forces.

Re-equipment, modernization is and continues. But due to the lack of a general plan and a general strategy set out on paper clearly and concretely, from the outside it may seem like a situational measure to re-equip the army.

I think this is a big minus. And again, this is a minus for the Ministry of Defense. I hope that the new Minister of Defense, Mr. Reznikov, will soon present us with a promising model of the Armed Forces, which we are creating, which we are striving for, and which we will be able to boldly apply for, say, NATO.

To remind, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered to be a mediator between Ukraine and Russia against the background of the activity of Russian troops near the Ukrainian borders