Ukrainian army general on enemy's chances of capturing Donbas and what Russian defeat might look like

12 July, 12:08 PM
Children hold the Ukrainian flag against the background of broken Russian military equipment, which was brought from Ukraine to Prague, July 11, 2022 (Photo:REUTERS/David W Cerny)

Children hold the Ukrainian flag against the background of broken Russian military equipment, which was brought from Ukraine to Prague, July 11, 2022 (Photo:REUTERS/David W Cerny)

Russia will never admit to its people that is has been defeated in the war against Ukraine, and therefore will put out an "achievement of military goals" narrative, believes General Serhiy Kryvonos, former deputy secretary of the National Security Council and first deputy commander of the Special Operations Forces in 2016-2019.

General Kryvonos, in an interview with Ukrainian journalist Olena Trybushna, commented on what might happen if the war ends in a Russian capitulation. According to the general, no one should expect official statements admitting defeat from Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

“They realize their resources are limited, so they will use manipulation and prepare an appropriate informational foundation,” the general said. 

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“If they keep pushing (forward) and ‘liberating’ our territories of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, then they can say: ‘Well, we have achieved our goals, so now we are going for reconciliation.’”

Even if Russia is effectively defeated, General Kryvonos is convinced that the Russian authorities will never tell their own people that they capitulated. “They will manipulate information and tell fairy tales to their people and for the whole world that they are just tired, they just achieved their basic goals, so there is no point in fighting any longer,” the general said. 

However, according to Kryvonos, even to implement this scenario, Ukraine will have to "push" in several areas: "These are military diplomacy, economic sanctions and, well, the military field –  warfare," Kryvonos said.

Assessing the chances of Russia seizing another part of the Donbas, the general said the invaders’ forces should not be underestimated: “They have the resources and they are making the maximum effort, so don’t underestimate the enemy,” he said. 

“There’s no need to be afraid of them, but you need to clearly understand that their military-technical potential is higher (than Ukraine’s) at this stage.” 

According to Kryvonos, even though the Russians have much lower motivation, they still continue to dominate due to their advantages in firepower, reconnaissance, air defense, and air power. 

“This is because war is not just about personal human courage,” he said.

“First of all, you need to take the technical capabilities of the military into account."

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