Luhansk Governor Hayday on Russian losses and Ukrainian offensives – NV interview

5 December 2022, 12:00 PM
A Ukrainian military man looks at the killed Rashist (Photo:Instagram/Konstiantyn Liberov and Vlada Liberova)

A Ukrainian military man looks at the killed Rashist (Photo:Instagram/Konstiantyn Liberov and Vlada Liberova)

Author: Dmytro Tuzov

Russia is likely to encounter protests when the real numbers of losses in the war against Ukraine become public, Luhansk Oblast Governor Serhiy Hayday predicts in an interview with NV Radio, published on Dec. 4.

According to him, newly mobilized Russian troops die almost the next day after they get to the frontline. In the interview with NV Radio, he spoke in more detail about how the Ukrainian army has been retaking Luhansk Oblast.

NV: What is the current situation in Svatove and Kreminna?

Hayday: It's pretty uneasy, but still the situation is more in our favor because the Ukrainian Armed Forces, all our defenders who are there, are succeeding in getting back Luhansk Oblast step by step, liberating our villages and towns. It's very hard because the enemy had managed to pull a huge number of both personnel and equipment reserves. They have mined vast areas, blown up some bridges and infrastructure facilities, and built fortifications in forms of concrete pyramids and anti-tanks trenches.

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As a result, every meter of Luhansk's soil costs us a lot of effort. But in the end,  the de-occupation of Luhansk Oblast is ongoing in that direction.

NV: Are the reserves they have pulled those 'mobilized zombies'?

Hayday: It’s a mix. The first wave consisted of newly mobilized troops of the so-called a partial mobilization campaign. These are civilians who are just dressed in military uniform and are armed. Of course, they couldn't become good soldiers within two or three weeks, and they haven't.

Then, there are the remains of the Donetsk and Luhansk puppet authorities' militia, who have been fighting here since 2014. There are also Kadyrovtsy (armed, ethnically Chechen men under the control of Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadyrov) who serve as barrier troops.  They don't fight on the frontline. There are convicts who serve as Wagner Group mercenaries. There are (Russia's Special Combat Army Reserve) BARS who are more or less trained soldiers but they mostly play the role of barrier troops as well. Or they are mixed up with newly mobilized soldiers to control processes.

There are also paratroopers in Luhansk Oblast who were relocated from Kherson Oblast. Now they are constructing the second line of defense near Starobilsk. They are digging trenches and building all the necessary facilities (for defense). It is virtually the second line of defense, as after the de-occupation of Svatove and Kreminna, Starobilsk will be the next.

NV: How long do newly conscripted soldiers stay  live? What is the period of life for these freshly mobilized – if such information is available?

Hayday: Sometimes, from the moment of mobilization and arrival at the frontline, it lasts just one day. As soon as this so-called partial mobilization campaign began, I said it would change only the frontline statistics by raising the number of Russian losses. And now we are eyewitnesses of this geometric progression compared to the previous four months.

It's impossible to make a civilian learn military skills within two weeks. It's the first thing. The second thing is even if they get some basics (military uniform, a rifle or a machine gun), they won't be able to operate a tank, multiple rocket launcher, mortar, or artillery as all of these require special training.

But the main thing is psychology. The point is when these civilians who even have undergone three-week training, get under artillery fire, they just run away, believe me, I know. And when they start running, the number of losses grows in times.

NV: Are there any riots or protests?

Hayday: All of Russia's population are zombies. One can't speak about any nation or any expression of will there. They are real slaves by nature – they move forward just out of fear. They are afraid of being executed on the spot.

By the way, according to our sources, it really happened, not once, when those who refused to go to the frontline were executed on the spot. Sometimes it happened in front of others to make it clear that they either go forward or die immediately. So, they are happy to  surrender themselves.

NV: Bilohorivka is another important point on the map. Can you brief us on the situation near it?

Hayday: The situation is very tough. Bilohorivka is no longer a normal village as we have usually thought of it. All the buildings have been destroyed. It has been completely wiped off the face of the earth.

Aircraft and all the kinds of artillery Russia has in stock are constantly shelling the village. They are making huge efforts to finally seize Bilohorivka to make it a bridgehead and further disturb our lines of defense.

As for now, they can do nothing despite all the hardships that our defenders endure to counter their attacks. There are several dozen battalion tactical groups in that sector. They have brought thousands of (mobilized) prisoners there too. All the time they are pushed forward: artillery shelling, then 20-30 people are sent, artillery shelling, and another unit is sent again. It continues 24/7.

NV:  Does the enemy use mobilized soldiers in the occupied areas? Do you know something about it?

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Hayday: Sure, they are used as cannon fodder to locate our artillery positions.

When, after the victory, we analyze this war step by step, it will reveal horrible information, numbers that are shocking even for the Russian population. As they use soldiers as (Soviet Marshal Georgy) Zhukov said – no matter how many people die, that is a certain goal that only matters (while commenting on the Soviet army's tactic in World War II to send infantry across minefields for clearing, Zhukov reportedly said, 'Women will give birth to more').

Their human resource is virtually unlimited, thus they are trying to outnumber rather than outsmart due to military tactics or strategy. Those who attack literally walk on dead bodies, who just recently were their fellow soldiers. Nobody removes the bodies. Just imagine: an attacking unit moves and sees dead bodies lying around – to the left, to the right, in front and behind them. Nobody really takes them away, on the one hand, because it is hard to do amid continuous fighting. On the other hand, they don't need them – Russia will face social anger when the real number of losses becomes known. Also, they will have to pay compensation to the families then.

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