Over the course of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Russian military’s elite 4th Guards Tank division, also known as the Kantemirov division, has virtually ceased to exist, Andriy Nikolaychuk, an officer of the mechanized battalion of the 93rd Independent Kholodnyi Yar Mechanized Brigade, told Radio NV on June 25.
"The power of the Russian army is exaggerated, they are fighting like in the Soviet Union — [excuse my French] — with cannon fodder,” Nikolaychuk explained.
“That is, throwing into battle as much equipment, people and trying to opt for quantity over tactics. The fact that they are human beings [in the sense] that they make mistakes and it's not as scary as they make out in their news and they are not as strong and confident.”
Nikolaychuk also noted that the Russians are trying to counterbalance their own shortcomings in tactics.
"Those units that are here, of course, alter their tactics, those new units that arrive, they do not abandon the tactics that were at the beginning of the war,” he noted.
“Of course, they draw conclusions very thoroughly. If they used to move in columns, approaching the front edge and falling under fire, now there is no such thing. If before they tried to go on frontal attacks and approach our positions closely, now they shoot [at us] from a distance, which, let’s say, is not very comfortable. But we also learn, we also have our techniques.”
According to Ukrainian officers, the Russians are using a significant number of different armed formations on the front line.
“(Private military companies) were here, ‘militias’ (from the Donbas puppet authorities) were here, even Russian paratroopers and marines,” Nikolaychuk said.
"If we talk about pompous ones — the Kantemirov division was here. And it is very, very sad now. We have information that in terms of equipment — it is almost non-existent, according to the latest models which they had. A large number of refuseniks, up to 60% of the personnel of the unit, have refused to go to battle against the Armed Forces. That is, this is very good news for us.”
According to the latest data from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, invading Russian forces have lost more than 34,500 soldiers since the start of the full-scale invasion.