Ukraine MOD confirms coastline under Russian control; Russian MOD confirms Kinzhal hypersonic missile in West Ukraine

Ukraine MOD confirms coastline under Russian control; Russian MOD confirms Kinzhal hypersonic missile in West Ukraine

Ukraine MOD confirms coastline under Russian control. Update 1

Russian MOD confirms Kinzhal hypersonic missile in West Ukraine. Assad visits UAE. Update 2

Panic as Mariupol Approaches Fall, Russia Uses Hypersonic Missiles, Confrontation Between China US

Saturday Together – Gonzalo Lira

Russia strikes Western Ukraine for the first time with a Kinzhal supersonic missile – Message to Poland!

Ultrasonic weapons in western Ukraine

This is the first time Moscow has used a MiG-31K with the Kh-47M2 Kinzhal 10 km Mach 10,000 supersonic missile in Ukraine and especially in the west, on the border with Poland.

In more detail, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced today that Kh-47M2 Kinzhal supersonic missiles (nicknamed “dagger”) were used to destroy an underground depot of missiles and ammunition for aircraft in western Ukraine.

Ultrasonic Kinzhal reportedly destroyed a large underground depot of Ukrainian troops’s missiles and air ammunition in Delyatyn in the Ivano-Frankivsk region.

He also said that radio communication equipment and reconnaissance centers near the port of Odessa were destroyed, according to the Russian news agency Interfax.

Ultrasonic missiles, with a design that allows them to perform complex maneuvers throughout the flight and reach speeds of up to 10 Mach, are now impossible to shoot down by any air defense system, at least according to Moscow.

They were used for the first time in the war in Ukraine, the state news agency RIA reported. Reuters news agency notes that it is impossible to verify these announcements independently.

Russia, in addition to the Kinzhal supersonic missile system, also has the Avangard supersonic missiles. The Tsirkon missiles have passed all stages of testing and are ready to enter the service of Russian forces in 2022.

Russia has fired a total of 1,080 missiles at Ukraine since the start of the invasion, a senior US defense official told the BBC.

Watch the video released by the Russian Ministry of Defense with the blow to the base

 

Boris Rozhin – detailed discussion of the situation in the Ukraine

Note by Andrei: Boris Alexandrovich Rozhin blogs under the alias Colonel Cassad.  He is based in Crimea and reports about the events in the Ukraine on a daily basis.  I don’t necessarily agree/endorse everything he said here (or elsewhere) and I don’t share his ideological views (he is a Communist).  In in the interview he just gave to a Russian outlet he gives a lot of interesting information.  So what I am posting here is a machine translation of this interview which I would like to use as a basis for a discussion.  Please stay on topic and only post directly related to this interview.  Thank you!

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– Boris Alexandrovich, a document was recently published indicating that Ukraine was preparing a military operation against the LDPR, and possibly an invasion of Crimea. If Russia had not launched its operation on February 24, what could have been the scenario of a war initiated by Ukraine?

— There is indirect evidence, including documentary evidence, indicating that Kiev is preparing an offensive against the DPR and LPR. After the Russian Federation launched a special military operation to protect the people’s republics, we saw significant resources concentrated by Ukraine in the Donbass to conduct its military operation. They were waiting for an opportunity to provide cover in order to attack and destroy the republics. This goal has never been denied by Ukraine. They spoke it directly and were not going to fulfill any Minsk agreements. They were initially set up for the forcible liquidation of the republics. Now they will not have such an opportunity.
As for Crimea, here they also constantly declared their determination to try to take it from Russia one way or another. This is a red thread in the statements of a variety of officials.
There is a similar picture in Belarus. Ukraine actually supported the coup attempt in this country. Kiev actively supplied weapons to those militants who were trying to use to destabilize the situation in Belarus. Groups were sent that the KGB “clapped” at the border. So Ukraine has long been a springboard and a tool that they wanted to use against Russia, including Crimea, against the republics of Donbass with the aim of destroying them, and against Belarus with the aim of overthrowing Lukashenka and establishing a puppet pro-Western regime there. There are no questions or double interpretations in all this.
Regarding the scenario of their actions, at the first stage they expected to capture the LDPR and hoped that Russia, fearing Western pressure, would not dare to directly intervene with its armed forces or at least would not have time to do something significant and stop their blitzkrieg. They also hoped that the cover of the West would not allow Russia to interfere with their actions aimed at destabilizing Belarus. Sending militants there, supporting Belarusian zmagars (translated from Belarusian – fighter, champion, zealot. In Minsk, this is what the oppositionists are called – approx. ed.) with attacks on government authorities, on law enforcement agencies in the territory of the Republic of Belarus. In Crimea, this is the next stage, which would consist in the blockade of the peninsula, provocations, terrorist attacks, and so on. They planned to focus on this after they had resolved the issue with Donbass. They understood that they would not have enough strength for everything at once. Therefore, first Donbass, and then Belarus and Crimea, against which they would have become more active.

– They talk about American laboratories in Ukraine and bacteriological weapons. The amazing thing is that Russia has revealed all this and made it public, and there is practically no reaction in the world. Why? Why did China, which also has such laboratories, limit itself to calling on the United States to make public what they were doing there, while other countries where these laboratories exist are generally silent? For example, Kazakhstan, which we recently saved from a coup.

— The United States, of course, does not want to discuss this topic, because there is already concrete evidence of what they were doing there. Under the pressure of irrefutable evidence, the Americans were forced to admit that the laboratories really were and are. But at the same time they are trying to prove that there is nothing terrible there, and the Russians, as always, compose horror stories and arrange provocations. Now, perhaps, this wave of interest in laboratories in the world will rise. China has already said several times from different rostrums that it is interested in what the Americans are doing in these laboratories. It is possible that such statements will be followed by some actions. Several other countries unfriendly to the United States have also expressed interest in what is happening in these laboratories. So trampling on this topic, most likely, will not work. Especially if Russia throws some more factual materials about the activities of laboratories into the information space. It is clear that the US satellites will not support this topic simply because they are dependent on America and cannot bark against their master. Therefore, they show in every possible way that nothing strange is happening, which once again shows the level of their dependence on the United States. The rest will raise their voices on this topic to the extent that they realize their independence from America. This topic will become a kind of measure of the level of independence of a country from the United States. Of course, there are still fewer independent countries than dependent ones, but their voice is heard louder every year.

— Your colleague, the popular blogger Mikhail Onufrienko, says that initially 200 thousand people were brought into Ukraine from the Russian side, and 600 thousand are opposed to them in total, of which the APU — 252 thousand, territorial defense – 130 thousand, the rest – the SBU, the Interior Ministry, border guards and so on. Question: why did we go to such a deliberately flawed balance of forces in terms of numbers during the operation, especially since the enemy was ready for a conflict?

— Yes, we are conducting an operation numerically smaller forces, but technically more than seriously superior to the enemy, which due to this bears much greater losses when faced with a more modern army. The number of Ukrainian armed forces and various formations was known, and if we wanted to fight differently, Russia could increase its contingent if desired. But it was decided to act with this contingent. And we see that even with such a formal numerical superiority on the part of Ukraine, almost all significant cities from Nikolaev and Kharkov to Kiev are blocked in the combat zone by Russian troops and the LDPR People’s militia. This suggests that today technical factors play a very significant role. We see that Russia, due to its high-tech intelligence and information capabilities and advanced long-range precision weapons, is causing enormous damage to the enemy. Therefore, the situation at the front is still determined by technological superiority.

If desired, Russia can increase its grouping at the expense of volunteers from among its own citizens, who are not allowed yet, and there are already a lot of them. If Russia had seen from the operational situation that it needed to increase the contingent right now, then nothing would have prevented it from opening the reception of volunteers from the very beginning of the operation and forming units from them to be sent to the combat zone. And if she does not do this, then there is no such need at the moment. Will there be such a need in the future? Perhaps. But this will not be due to an increase in the number of losses, but, perhaps, to the expansion of the controlled territory. If such a need arises, then the volunteers are here. They will simply be told: please enroll in the ranks of the LDPR People’s militia, help establish order, for example, on the left bank of the Dnieper. There are such options. Russia has more than a huge military potential, it has not yet carried out either mobilization or conscription of reservists. If now, with the help of the West, Ukraine is already straining all its forces, then Russia is not fighting with all its capabilities.

— And from which countries can volunteers come to us?

– These are Syria, Libya, Iraq, the Central African Republic, Congo, Mali and others. If this work is put on stream, then there will still be those who want to. The anti-fascist movement in the world is quite developed. Volunteers came to Donbass in 2014 to help the republics survive. Accordingly, there is no problem for them to come now. Moreover, the leadership has already given the go-ahead to allow foreigners.

— What are our losses, if it is correct to ask about it?

— We must understand that we are not officially at war now. Russia has not officially declared war on Ukraine. So is Russia’s Ukraine. So all the talk about the war is speculation. Yes, there is fighting going on, but there is officially no war. It has not been declared from the point of view of international law, so Russia calls what is happening a special operation. And we have a law prohibiting the disclosure of losses in peacetime. There, in my opinion, up to 15 years for violation. Therefore, the topic of losses is kept secret. The Ministry of Defense will publish the figures that it considers necessary. I won’t guess. There are losses. And given the scale of the theater of military operations, the forces and means that the enemy uses (despite the fact that NATO countries are helping him), on our side there will be losses in both people and equipment. But Russia makes it clear that it is ready to pay this price to solve the strategic tasks of ensuring the country’s security for the coming decades.
There are some official figures for Ukraine — somewhere around 4-5 thousand killed. There are unofficial estimates: from 10 to 14 thousand dead. Based on the situation at the front, and these are abandoned cities, a large number of equipment lost in battles and abandoned, we can say that the losses are significant. The APU, of course, does not officially confirm any of this at all. Zelensky called some funny 1.3 thousand people in two weeks of a special operation. Given the situation at the front, this is, of course, not serious.
Therefore, now no one will call you real losses either in Russia or in Ukraine.

— How do you interpret the appearance of the mysterious letters Z and V on Russian military equipment? The simplest explanation I’ve seen boils down to the fact that Z is the western military group, and V is the eastern one.

– Yes, there is an opinion that this is the marking of certain groups. Earlier, the Ukrainian General Staff issued its explanation (in their interpretation, Z stands on the equipment of the “eastern forces of the Russian Federation”, V – marines, etc. – ed.), but it turned out to be erroneous. The fact is that Ukrainians interpreted the letter O as the designation of troops from Belarus, but then they themselves admitted that there were no Belarusian military on their territory. This is an indicator that the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine does not really know what exactly these letters mean, and he, too, like everyone else, participates in solving and interpreting this “crossword puzzle”. At the same time, a kind of letter “for advertising” appeared on the Instagram account of the Ministry of Defense, while it was still operating, that Z stands for “For Victory”, V for “loyalty” or “Strength in Truth”. However, Instagram was soon blocked in Russia, and versions are still going around and overgrown with variants. But in practice, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation continues to remain silent. Naturally, the use of these letters was developed by our security forces, and they, of course, know what it means, but at the same time you will not see any official comments at all. There is just an interpretation of different people.

— How successful, in your opinion, is this letter Z from the point of view of information warfare? How successful is the use of the Latin alphabet in this context? Why not Cyrillic?

— In fact, a certain meme was created. I wonder how this concept was calculated. But it turned out that almost the entire special operation became associated with the letter Z. It is not known to what extent this was part of the plans for information support of military operations. Nevertheless, it is obvious that the meme has completely “shot”. If in 2014 the operation was associated with the meme “Polite people”, then in 2022 it is Operation Z. What does it mean? We can list dozens of interpretations, but we do not know a reliable answer today. It remains to wait until the Ministry of Defense deems it necessary to tell what the deep meaning of the letter Z and other letters is. But I don’t think this will happen before the special operation itself is completed. Personally, I think that these are some kind of designations related to combat missions. On the one hand, this is a certain military marking, and on the other – an element of information support of what is happening.

— I just wanted to ask you as an information warfare specialist. Are we still losing now, or are we starting to win the information war against Ukraine and the global West?

– Of course, before the start of the special operation, the enemy had an overwhelming superiority over us in information resources. It is understandable: the West controls the main information flows in the world, and it has very serious information “troops”. And we see that, especially in the first days of the hot conflict, an attempt was made at an information blitzkrieg in order to convince the population of Russia, to inspire them with the idea not to support the special operation. However, this conditional blitzkrieg failed, and the level of support for the actions of the Russian military in our society remained very high. This once again shows that it is not necessary to absolutize Western information weapons: yes, they can displace all other opinions, but only in their own environment, where they practically control everything.
Why did Russia immediately begin to clean up the information space? That is, they began to systematically eliminate all media resources associated with the enemy on the territory of the country (at the moment, The Echo of Moscow radio station, The Village, TJournal, Snob, Interlocutor, St. Petersburg Paper, Dozhd TV channel (recognized as a foreign agent), Media Zones (recognized as a foreign agent), “Medusa” (also included in the register of media-foreign agents) – ed.)? Because there are a lot of these media structures in Russia and in the current situation they had, according to the plan of their Western curators, to shoot together at the consciousness of the Russian audience. This did not happen, but the cleanup will continue in any case: those resources that have clearly indicated their connection with our external enemies will, of course, be closed.
On the Internet we see positional information battles with the movements of crowds of “commentators”. This will all happen, because information warfare is a very important part of any modern war. It is obvious that on our side there were various shortcomings, mistakes, miscalculations related to the issues of conducting information operations. But this is eliminated already along the way: what does not correspond to reality is dying literally before our eyes. What can, adapts and changes. As a matter of fact, the Russian media machine that we have will change along with the whole country. Accordingly, those who cannot will remain on the sidelines of history. And those who can, will go ahead. After all, the conflict is not limited to one current special operation — it is a long conflict of the Cold War level.

— In this regard, the question is whether the enemy’s remaining information resources in Russia are shooting us in the back?

– Do you remember, there was such a series – “The Sleepers”? As you know, our liberal public disliked him very much, and the director Yuri Bykov then repented for him before “progressive humanity”. In fact, Bykov was able to raise a very important topic. There are people who can even work in Russian state structures or state media, but at a critical moment it suddenly turns out that these are not our people. Actually, that’s the problem. On the one hand, it is good that now is the time of clarity, many are showing themselves, arranging public demarches. But in fact, those who do are safe. Everything is clear with them. They are not with us. Well, all right. The problem is not in them, but in those who seem to have adapted outwardly — he may even shout about his patriotism, but he will work for completely different purposes. Such people believe that the Western future they dreamed of was taken away from them by someone – Putin or someone else. They say that “quilted jackets”, “colorads” have led the country off the European path, and now it is the sacred duty of those who understand this to help return Russia to the pillar road of civilization. However, there comes a time of clarity, and by many signs it becomes immediately clear who is who.

— But won’t our media machine be completely destroyed now — after all, it was, in fact, pro-Western? And how quickly can we build a new one?

– Impressive pieces that have grown on it since the 1990s will fall off from the Russian media machine. Roughly speaking, there are federal TV channels — this is a kind of vertical of media power. Other media meat will be built up around the “vertical”, but on slightly different principles. The car of the old type was arranged according to the patterns of the West, this supposedly free world, where freedom of speech and opinion were declared. But, as it has now turned out, there is no freedom of speech and opinions. It was in Russia for a long time that they allowed discord, tolerated the dominance of liberals in the information space, and in the West they have long mastered totalitarian methods as much as possible: “Think this way or don’t come here at all.” All these notorious values like freedom of the press collapsed literally in February – March – and it was in Western civilization. Everyone saw that you can safely call for murder — and nothing will happen for it. You can call on ethnic grounds to persecute our women and children, and there will be nothing for it either. This shocked many. Therefore, no one particularly regrets that Facebook was blocked, where such appeals became possible. People are even happy that, for example, Echo of Moscow has been closed. Previously, they threw up their hands: “We are not directly in conflict, we are trying to negotiate.” Now it’s different: the old world is gone, we’ll have to get used to living in the new one.
In order to create a new media machine, you will need to build your own digital ecosystems, a full-fledged national video hosting. There are a whole lot of problems that should have been solved for a long time, but they were either solved slowly or crookedly. Now everything will have to be done “from the wheels”, because it has become a vital necessity: replacing the departed or departing Western information resources with their own. There is already a real, not declarative, sovereignization of the media space. This does not mean that uniformity awaits us. Some Western media will continue to work, but already on the terms of admission, as in China. In the Middle Kingdom, if you fulfill the conditions of, say, the propaganda department of the CPC Central Committee and other similar structures, you can function under certain conditions. If Russia can build the same structures, and I don’t see any obstacles to Western media returning to Russia after the end of the acute phase of the conflict, but on different terms. But the old conditions, when the founding companies could ignore the legislation, spit on fines or demands to “land”, will no longer exist. Such media will simply be turned off. Now either you fulfill the requirements, or you go through the forest. Nevertheless, I repeat: I do not think that we are waiting for some kind of mega-rigid censorship. Rather, we are moving towards such a limited, facilitated Chinese version of media control, which leaves the possibility of both state and private media to act. The latter are also in bulk in China.
If we are talking about influencing the younger generation, then I would call TikTok — there is a lot of youth content, which is produced by ordinary people, for example, in support of the army

— Aren’t the blogosphere and, in particular, Russian telegram channels turning into our fighting vanguard now? After all, Telegram is our breakthrough into the global world, because it exists in the USA, Europe, and the East.

– Positional battles continue in Telegram, which may scare someone away. If we are talking about influencing the younger generation, then I would call TikTok — there is a lot of youth content, which is produced by ordinary people, for example, in support of the army. By the way, TikTok is aimed at an audience up to 25 years old, and at the same time it operates not only in Russia. And this is bearing fruit. We know that TikTok is still a Chinese mobile application (owned by the Beijing company ByteDance – editor’s note).

— What could be the fate of the so-called Russian “stars” who hurriedly went on vacation after the events began? While our people are fighting, these people are resting somewhere abroad. Do they have the moral right to come back later? I’m talking about Urgant, Galkin and other “comedians”.

– For sure, when this wave of events subsides, some will try to return slowly. I don’t think there are too many ideological fighters for Ukraine among those who have left. Another thing is how to treat those who will come back? To return them to federal TV channels and pretend that nothing happened, from my point of view, is wrong. Society must show that there is such a thing as social ostracism. Now, on the contrary, it is necessary to move those who support the army and the people. Russian television should be updated, especially since those who escaped have vacated their seats. This means that there is an opportunity to promote other people who will further contribute to the renewal of television. I mean, no one will run after Makarevich or any Panin with persuasions. Well, who needs them, actually? Simply, if it is an official TV channel, the state should not pay for the programs that these people make. Let them shoot a video there in their “YouTube” or on their website, how “everything is bad and everything is gone” – please.

— But we know that these people have patrons in the Russian state elite. What should we do with our own political elite?

— The political elite is heterogeneous, and it is natural that the people you are talking about have some kind of patrons. However, Vladimir Putin recently clearly stated that the Russian people “can always separate true patriots from traitors and spit them out like a fly that accidentally flew in.” This is quite an important symbolic signal on the topic of the fifth column. We are not talking about many dissatisfied people, but first of all about those who consciously and systematically cooperate with our enemies. There may indeed be more serious decisions regarding these people. But who decides? The FSB and other special services decide. If something comes to light, the consequences now may be much more serious than they could have been, say, last year. After all, the country lives in wartime conditions and a long cold war with the United States.

– Tell me, how do you assess the effectiveness of Ukrainian Internet fakes like the “ghost of Kiev” or the “Russian warship” sent in three letters? Or like the “Ichthyander of Azov” that flashed in your telegram channel?

– Such fakes operate only in conditions of a complete information blockade. If people are bombarded with such propaganda 24/7, they simply do not receive other information. By the way, it is no coincidence that comments are simply blocked in most Ukrainian public sites. Read, load your brain, but don’t bark. But when they begin to compare the facts, it becomes clear that the vast majority of these fakes just crumble in just a matter of hours.
The problem is that when we try to argue with logic and facts, readers whose feelings and emotions are being bombarded do not perceive this logic. As they say, if the facts contradict the faith, so much the worse for the facts. But how to work in conditions of complete information suppression, when communication is turned off, when other sources of information are blocked? For comparison, our people read both Russian and Ukrainian telegram channels. We can also get acquainted with the reports of the Ukrainian General Staff, and watch operational videos from the scene. Videos are posted showing our losses, abandoned equipment or something else. It’s like we don’t have such a complete information cap — we know the Western position, we know the logic of the Ukrainian position. In this regard, Russia, despite the obvious restrictions, is now a much more free country from the point of view of information than the same Ukraine. When you go to the “Telegram”, there is no problem to get access to different sources of information. At the same time, Russian channels are now actively blocked in Ukraine. There’s just a propaganda line being broadcast, no comments— and that’s it.

— If we compare the tonality of Ukrainian telegram channels and ours, the difference between the frenzied, jackal-like howl that comes from the Ukrainian telegram space and the rather calm and, as we once said, polite rhetoric of our channels is striking. They are really quite seasoned. In this regard, I would like to return to your meme “Polite people”. How applicable is this meme to Operation Z now? Are we still as polite?

– Other times — other memes. The term lives, it has acquired a personal and public sound. It is clear that at the same time, he is historically tied to the 2014 operation. The current meme will certainly have something to do with Operation Z. That is, officially it will be SVO (special military operation), and unofficially – Operation Z.

– By the way, was the term “Polite people” really born by chance? Do you not renounce its authorship?

— Its origin is connected with my post “Polite people seized two airfields in the Crimea”. I wrote this on the night of February 28, 2014, citing one of the first reports about the seizure of the Simferopol airfield. This fragment is not difficult to find on the web, and I referred to the messages of a resource belonging to Euromaidan supporters. “At about one o’clock in the morning, Simferopol airport was seized by the same people. With weapons, strong, in the same clothes. The head of security said that his people were politely asked to leave,” that’s how it sounded. I was hooked by the expression “politely”, and I beat him, but without any expectation that it would have any large-scale effect. The most I hoped for was to elicit understanding chuckles from some of my readers. Therefore, in my article on IA REX (there is an error here, it appeared for the first time in the blog) I constructed the following phrase: “As reported by the media, “polite people”, after spending several hours at the Simferopol airport, left its location.” But, I emphasize, initially Ukrainian resources wrote about the “polite” seizure of the airport.

– By the way, have you tried to register the trademark “Polite People” or are you not a selfish person?

—I’m not. There was no goal to make money on this. Then some merchants registered a patent for the production of “Polite People” T-shirts and other products. I didn’t have a goal to make money on it.

— There are children’s soldiers “Polite people” — a whole series.

— There are a lot of things there — T-shirts and soldiers.

– Now on the technique. The official representative of the Ministry of Defense of Russia Igor Konashenkov said that our troops have already destroyed about 1.2 thousand tanks and other armored vehicles of Ukraine. Are there many more of them left and how dangerous are they?

– Actually, the number of tanks from this is slightly more than 300 units. Formally, at the beginning of the special operation, Ukraine had somewhere about 2 thousand tanks. It is clear that some of them were not on the move, but still there are tanks there so far, and quite a lot. There is a big problem in the gradually ending SAMs, various radar complexes that are being knocked out, and in the destruction of the bulk of aviation and helicopters. Air supremacy has been seized by Russia, they are trying to challenge it, but it does not work. The air defense system of Ukraine as a full-fledged structure has been destroyed. She moved on to the focal defense. Some complexes are hiding in residential areas or in the woods and trying to shoot. Sometimes they achieve some success, but Ukraine cannot regain control of its airspace in this way. That’s why, in fact, they are asking the West – give us planes, give us air defense systems.

— All more or less large Ukrainian cities and settlements have been turned into defense nodes, the basis of which are armored tanks. With these fists they often make sorties and strike at our columns. Given that there are still a lot of such defense nodes in the combat zone, how long will they last and how dangerous are they for us?

— If you miss such a blow, it can cause a lot of trouble. But our drones are hanging there, and it’s all being monitored. The last attempt to get out of Kharkov ended badly enough for them. Near Balakleya, artillery and aviation ground them. Plus, they have a growing fuel crisis, as our aviation methodically destroys their oil depots, oil storage facilities, and accumulations of refueling equipment. Therefore, fuel for tanks is becoming less and less. This leads to the fact that when they retreat, they throw a huge amount of serviceable equipment. It was visible both under Happiness, and under Volnovakha, and in other places. It just runs out of fuel, and the equipment becomes useless. Such a problem is rapidly increasing on the Left Bank of the Dnieper. In the second half of March, it will become very acute for the APU.

– Konashenkov says that the Russian Armed Forces have already destroyed about 130 unmanned aerial vehicles. What kind of drones are these? Whose production? How many of them are still available?

– There is a national hodgepodge. These are Turkish Bayraktars, Israeli reconnaissance drones, old Soviet Tu-143 Reis, and all sorts of large commercial and civilian quadrocopters. In general, a rather colorful park. The first batch of “Bayraktars” has almost all been destroyed. Now they are already fighting the second batch, which the Turks are selling to them. Ukrainians are trying to actively use drones, as they are an integral part of modern warfare. But at the same time, this technical tool is a fairly expensive consumable. It was quickly shot down, and you need to immediately produce or purchase a new one and fight on. Now there is practically no war without drones. In Ukraine, there is an option of constantly replenishing the fleet of drones by buying something on the market and by direct supplies from the West.

—Are they dangerous to us?”

– Of course, they are dangerous. Therefore, it is necessary to create and maintain a high level of tactical air defense combat capability. From the experience of military operations, we see that she copes with her duties quite successfully. Ukraine’s partners supply these drones to it, we grind them. They certainly cause some damage, but we destroy them quickly. In general, there is a process familiar from a number of other local wars.

— If you look at the map of active hostilities, their zone is so far limited from south to north by the Mykolaiv and Zhytomyr regions. From Vinnitsa to Lviv, everything is calm. We’re not going there?

– No one reveals such plans. This is a military secret. Even if someone knew these plans of the General Staff, who would tell you them in an interview? There is no complete clarity on how exactly the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are going to conduct this operation. There are many different kinds of assumptions. Russian troops and the LDPR People’s militia are now advancing in many places. Aviation and long-range fire systems strike with high-precision ammunition in the western regions as well. The airfield in Vinnitsa was destroyed. They bombed military facilities near Rivne. The last example is the defeat by long-range missiles of the training centers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the village of Starichi and at the Yavorovsky military training ground. The result, according to Konashenkov, whom you have already quoted— is that up to 180 foreign mercenaries and a large batch of foreign weapons have been destroyed, with which NATO countries have been supplying Ukraine in recent weeks. So the blows are being struck, just not so intensely. Gradually, the fire pressure and the activation of missile and bomb attacks will increase and shift to the west. But there is no real understanding of what exactly is laid down in the plan of the General Staff regarding the goals, timing and tasks of the operation.

– Onufrienko said in another summary that the weapons that are now coming from the West are not coming to the fighting units, but are settling in Western Ukraine, and a powerful fist is being formed here. As he says, perhaps in order to create some Galician republic here or something similar. But this is an assumption. And it may happen that this fist, together with the mercenaries, will then hit the tired and battle-battered Russian army.

– Yes, they can use this fist both in Western Ukraine and strengthen some already fighting direction. For example, try to transfer something to Kiev or Odessa. The problem is that there are few heavy land vehicles there. The most combat-ready part of it was still on the Left Bank. These formations may create some problems for us in the medium term, but they cannot throw them somewhere on a threatening scale now. They are engaged in accumulating forces for a longer conflict.

— There was information that the Russian aviation was actively and closely working on the former pride of the Soviet industry – the Malyshev Kharkiv Tractor Plant, and now the tank-building plant. If this is being done within the framework of demilitarization, then why are we not actively and tightly bombing other facilities, for example in Dnepropetrovsk – we can say, the capital of Ukrainian rocket engineering?

– The nomenclature of strikes is determined by the General Staff. He does not disclose the principle by which certain objects are selected. There is a certain set of goals. They were knocked out, they move on to the next ones. Blows are struck every day, and, obviously, these blows are not delivered in a chaotic manner, but in a certain planned order. What has already been destroyed, apparently, was considered a higher priority than what has not yet been destroyed. The conflict is not over yet. A lot of things will be destroyed in the coming weeks.

– Well, now we will destroy all these factories, and then who will restore these giants of the industry?

– No one reveals such plans. This is a military secret. Even if someone knew these plans of the General Staff, who would tell you them in an interview? There is no complete clarity on how exactly the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are going to conduct this operation. There are many different kinds of assumptions. Russian troops and the LDPR People’s militia are now advancing in many places. Aviation and long-range fire systems strike with high-precision ammunition in the western regions as well. The airfield in Vinnitsa was destroyed. They bombed military facilities near Rivne. The last example is the defeat by long-range missiles of the training centers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the village of Starichi and at the Yavorovsky military training ground. The result, according to Konashenkov, whom you have already quoted— is that up to 180 foreign mercenaries and a large batch of foreign weapons have been destroyed, with which NATO countries have been supplying Ukraine in recent weeks. So the blows are being struck, just not so intensely. Gradually, the fire pressure and the activation of missile and bomb attacks will increase and shift to the west. But there is no real understanding of what exactly is laid down in the plan of the General Staff regarding the goals, timing and tasks of the operation.

– Onufrienko said in another summary that the weapons that are now coming from the West are not coming to the fighting units, but are settling in Western Ukraine, and a powerful fist is being formed here. As he says, perhaps in order to create some Galician republic here or something similar. But this is an assumption. And it may happen that this fist, together with the mercenaries, will then hit the tired and battle-battered Russian army.

– Yes, they can use this fist both in Western Ukraine and strengthen some already fighting direction. For example, try to transfer something to Kiev or Odessa. The problem is that there are few heavy land vehicles there. The most combat-ready part of it was still on the Left Bank. These formations may create some problems for us in the medium term, but they cannot throw them somewhere on a threatening scale now. They are engaged in accumulating forces for a longer conflict.

— There was information that the Russian aviation was actively and closely working on the former pride of the Soviet industry – the Malyshev Kharkiv Tractor Plant, and now the tank-building plant. If this is being done within the framework of demilitarization, then why are we not actively and tightly bombing other facilities, for example in Dnepropetrovsk – we can say, the capital of Ukrainian rocket engineering?

– The nomenclature of strikes is determined by the General Staff. He does not disclose the principle by which certain objects are selected. There is a certain set of goals. They were knocked out, they move on to the next ones. Blows are struck every day, and, obviously, these blows are not delivered in a chaotic manner, but in a certain planned order. What has already been destroyed, apparently, was considered a higher priority than what has not yet been destroyed. The conflict is not over yet. A lot of things will be destroyed in the coming weeks.

– Well, now we will destroy all these factories, and then who will restore these giants of the industry?

– No one is going to restore them. One of the main tasks of the operation is demilitarization. Why does Ukraine need a lot of military factories?! Ukraine should not threaten Russia militarily. The destruction of military infrastructure, the elimination of offensive weapons and the elimination of industrial opportunities for the production of weapons dangerous to Russia are the inseparable goals and objectives of the operation. Russia has already announced that factories that repair and manufacture military equipment are legitimate military targets. Accordingly, the longer Ukraine and its patrons delay military operations, the fewer enterprises they will have.

– Now about the strange statements of our Foreign Ministry. “The special military operation of the Russian Federation is not aimed at overthrowing the current government of Ukraine or destroying its statehood, it is aimed at protecting the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, demilitarization and denazification of the country, as well as eliminating the military threat to Russia,” says the official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova. It sounds very strange. How, for example, could the military threat from Germany be demilitarized, denazified and eliminated without destroying the National Socialist statehood and overthrowing the power of Hitler and his team?

— The term “denazification” is not disclosed and is not specified. Apparently, there is some set of requirements that are planned to be discussed after the signing of the terms of the surrender of the regime of Vladimir Zelensky. Until he signed them. Yes, Russia says that he should sign them as the current president of Ukraine. If he doesn’t sign it, it’s good, so the operation continues. The longer and fiercer the Ukrainian resistance, the tougher the conditions of surrender will be. At some point, Zelensky may simply cease to be recognized as the president of Ukraine, and that’s it. Russia has a wide space for maneuvers. Until recently, we officially recognized both the DPR and the LPR as part of Ukraine. Now our Foreign Ministry says that Zelensky is the president of Ukraine, and a week later it can say that we no longer think so, because Zelensky missed the time. In reality, Zelensky is already just an American puppet, therefore, as long as it is profitable for us, we recognize him as president. It will become unprofitable – we will stop recognizing.
We can say that Russia stands for the “Finlandization” of Ukraine. That is, for turning it into a neutral country with a ban on neo-Nazi formations. The consolidation of its neutral status in the Constitution of the country and the termination of its military development by foreign states. This is the process that took place in Finland after its defeat in World War II, when the country accepted the conditions of the Soviet Union and turned from, in fact, a fascist state into a neutral one.

– Will the NATO members, with the level of Russophobia that is now inflamed, agree to this?

— What will remain of modern Ukraine will be such a “bedbug” like Idlib (a city in Syria – ed.). Gangs of Nazis will run around there under the roof of their patrons, but they can only really be used in some kind of terrorist form. They will no longer pose a global threat with nuclear or bacteriological weapons. There’s just nothing left for that.

— There are practically no people or parties loyal to Russia in Ukraine now. Even the platform “For Life” of Medvedchuk and Boyko took a “patriotic” position against us.

– Looking for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine now, as well as political forces in general, advocating peace and friendship with Russia, is like looking for pro-Soviet forces in Nazi Germany 1944-1945. Yes, there were forces that opposed the continuation of the war, even for the murder of Hitler and some negotiations with the allies, but in the conditions of fascist terror, no open political life is impossible. There is no political life in Ukraine right now. There is a regime of fascist dictatorship, where dissenters are simply killed. Political life can begin in the liberated territories or in the conditions of the neutralization of Ukraine. But not now. Therefore, the military is solving the problem so that fascist terror stops in Ukraine and political life appears.

— And where is Viktor Medvedchuk, why is he not visible and not heard? Is he alive at all?

– Viktor Medvedchuk is a long-played card. Of course, it can still be used for something, but it has never been particularly popular in Ukraine, including in the south-east. He tried to position himself and sell himself as a kind of representative of the south-east, but these were intra-elite sales. In fact, his party has always had a fairly low rating. Of course, they can attach him somewhere, but in fact this figure is inflated and unpromising.

— So you think that after the end of the military operation in Ukraine there will be some political forces advocating good-neighborly relations with Russia?

— There will be a sufficient number of parties advocating the neutralization of Ukraine, for its non-aligned status. The main thing is that all these conditions should be spelled out in the Ukrainian Constitution. All this, of course, will need to be settled with the West, but before that you still need to, as they say, get there. So far, there is nothing, and the operation continues.

— And what about the famous Ukrainian oligarchs – Kolomoisky, Akhmetov, Firtash and others?

– Rinat Akhmetov is performing. He says that he is a patriot, that he transfers money to defense, and everything like that. And not just him. Others also speak out because they understand that everything is over for them in the Donbass. If anything has remained until now, then everything will now be taken away clean. There is a risk of losing assets in other liberated territories as well. But here the choice is small: if you contacted the fascists, then you painted yourself in these colors. Now don’t be surprised by the consequences. We still have some property of Ukrainian oligarchs in Crimea, which has not been fully selected. Now, in response to the nationalization of Russian property in Ukraine, everything may well be taken away. This public is unlikely to cooperate with Russia in any way. And that’s good. These bloodsuckers from both Donbass and Russia should be unhooked, and as soon as possible.

— Where are the former Ukrainian presidents? Kravchuk six months ago posed with a double-barreled Goering shotgun and said that he would shoot “Muscovites”.

— They are alive and also perform. Both Kravchuk and Kuchma say what megapatriots they are. But this is all the barking of the powerless. We have always known perfectly well that they hate us. Geographically, some of them are now entrenched in Western Ukraine, some are already in Europe. This is unprincipled, because they can’t say anything new. They repeat the same thing, just now there is more hysteria and more curses. I think there is no point in paying attention to them. This is a historical scrap.

— What are the sentiments prevailing in the Ukrainian diaspora in Russia? Did anyone from her environment go to war against the nationalists in the current operation of the Russian Federation?

– Different moods. Someone opposes the military operation, goes to rallies. At the same time, a huge number of people fled to Russia after the Maidan revolution and the civil war unleashed in Ukraine. This is a mass of political emigrants, intellectuals, just people who have not accepted rabid nationalism and terror against dissidents. These people enthusiastically accept the Russian operation in the hope that their country will become normal and someone will even be able to return to their home, where they have not been for many years. Now, if this man comes back, he may just be killed. If we look at the sociology of support for Russia’s military operation among its citizens, its level is quite high. According to various estimates, this is at least 70 percent. I think that among the Ukrainian diaspora in Russia, the level of support is about the same, because first of all Russian sympathizers fled from Ukraine, not Western ones.

— And how do you feel about terrorist threats from Ukraine?

– Russia has more than a wealth of experience working with such an audience in the Caucasus and Syria. With the end of active hostilities in the liberated territories, a counter-terrorist operation will still be carried out to destroy the remaining remnants and neo-Nazi gangs there. They will do this with an adjustment to local peculiarities and do the same as they do in the Caucasus, in Syria, in the interior regions of Russia, where cells of radical Islamists from among migrants and not only are identified and liquidated. This is a long but understandable process. In the end, they will come to an agreement with someone, and the irreconcilable will be laid in the ground.

– Putin gave the command to strengthen the western direction in connection with the build-up of NATO forces at our borders. What exactly will this build-up consist of?

– A direct NATO war with us is unlikely, because it will almost immediately become nuclear. Russia now needs to resolve the Ukrainian issue, but in parallel, our western borders are already being strengthened. There will be a build-up of the grouping in Kaliningrad, strengthening of troops in Belarus. The issue of the supply of new equipment to Belarus has been resolved. Accordingly, we will have more troops and equipment in the West. A new Iron curtain is being actively formed, and troops will be standing on both sides of this curtain. Only earlier it passed through the territory of Germany, and now it will pass on the borders of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.

— What about Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua? Will we build up and resist the foes, if such a war of nerves has gone on?

— Well, while NATO does not place missiles in Eastern Europe, we also do not place anything in Latin America. There are such options. Venezuela and Cuba are potential locations for such weapons. This is a trump card in our hands, and no one will just throw it away now. It is kept in reserve.

— Will the sanctions disrupt our weapons programs?

— I think there will be certain technological problems, but in recent years our industry has become more focused on domestic and, let’s say, non-Western suppliers. There are many workarounds. The same Iran, under the conditions of the most severe sanctions, managed to develop new ballistic missiles and create one of the most advanced UAV programs in the world. And Russia has much more such opportunities than Iran. Therefore, basically these problems are solvable.

– Recently, the media and telegram channels reported on the explosion of a drama theater in Mariupol. And initially they tried to present it as a consequence of the explosion of a Russian aerial bomb – despite the fact that thousands of civilians were hiding in the theater, who, fortunately, remained alive. Was it also an attempt to create an information bomb on the deaths of innocent people?

— This bomb, let’s say, did not explode in full force due to the fact that there were many warnings published four days before this provocation. There are testimonies of people who were there. They reported that the people in the bomb shelter are all alive. Now they will interrogate prisoners for organizing provocations. I think in about a week there will be videos with the testimony of detainees and witnesses.
Currently, fighting is already underway in the city quarters of Mariupol. It is unclear how much strength the nationalists have left, but gradually the city is being cleared. On the eve of 30 thousand people have already been able to go outside the city limits. Again, this is an indicator that the nationalists do not completely control Mariupol, and people are fleeing from there in the direction of the Russian border.

—Aren’t we being too polite?” I understand that we are protecting civilians, but this makes it difficult for us to advance.

– That’s right, we are paying an additional price, including with the lives of the military, in order to save the civilian population. This again shows that the purpose of the operation is not a war with the Ukrainian people, but a war with Ukrainian Nazism. We separate Ukrainian Nazism from the Ukrainian people. And this is part of the struggle for people’s minds. In this regard, we can recall that when Soviet troops entered the territory of Germany, Stalin gave an order not to commit violence against peaceful civilians under threat of death penalty. The slogan “Kill the German!”, which was needed during the difficult years of the war, ceased to be relevant when we had already driven the fascists from our land and came to German territory. In this regard, the position of Putin and the military leadership, in principle, copies the approaches that Stalin used in relation to the civilian population of Germany. That is, in no case should rape, robbery, looting be allowed. And we see that there are simply no reports that the Russian army is killing civilians on purpose, with the exception of fake messages from Ukrainian telegram channels. We are willing to pay an additional price in order not to conduct military operations like butchers. We are not going as conquerors, we are going as people who are liberating Ukraine from Nazism.

– By the way, why do you think Ramzan Kadyrov needed to come to Ukraine directly to the war zone?

– To support his military at the front, showing that he was not afraid to come and meet with his people. At the same time, it shows that Ukraine is now in a heavyweight position, since even Ramzan Kadyrov, who cannot be called an inconspicuous figure, can take and come to Nezalezhnaya and be somewhere there next to Kiev and at the same time troll the Ukrainian leadership. He also shows himself: “look, here I am – I was not afraid and came to you near Kiev. I’m already here. You are not threatening me somewhere, but I have already arrived and am standing at your doorstep.” Again, this is an element of information warfare. From the point of view of PR, Kadyrov, of course, does a lot there. He capitalizes on himself, as it were, in the media, and at the same time helps to exert information pressure on the Kiev regime.

— Thus, the international is fighting on our side: Chechens, Russians, Tatars, “fighting Buryats”, and on their side it is the nationalists. This is the international against the national!

– Yes, and the Buryats are fighting there. As for the Chechen units, they fight together with combined arms units and solve common tasks. This helps (at least for a while) to relieve tension along the national line, because Russians and Chechens shed blood together. Ossetians, Armenians, and representatives of other nations are coming to Ukraine. From the point of view of the international factor, this is quite an important point.

— What about the Foreign Legion of Ukraine? He crumbled, I take it?

— He suffered serious losses after a high-precision strike on the Yavorovsky training ground. Now they are restructuring tactics: mercenaries will no longer be gathered in such crowds and concentrated in one place. Of course, this is a great achievement of Russian intelligence, which revealed such a cluster. The battalion of mercenaries was put out of action almost immediately. Moreover, the so-called “Foreign Legion of Ukraine” is either just mercenaries fighting for money, or various ultra-rightists. Plus some percentage of ordinary combat veterans. But now their belligerent fervor has diminished.

The Truth about Life in a Ukrainian town under Russian control

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