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Ukraine’s Defence Minister Tells Journalists How Russians Fight HIMARS And What They Expect

Story Highlights
  • According to the information we have, many high-ranking Kremlin officials back up their strategic planning and estimating with the following reasoning
  • The defense minister of Ukraine says that time is on Ukraine's side because it gives the country time to prepare units, learn new systems, and get more air defense systems from partners.

The Ukrainian Defense Minister, Oleksii Reznikov, said that the Russian military started moving their equipment farther away when Ukraine bought Western weapons. However, they still don’t care about their soldiers and are willing to lose up to 3 million soldiers if it means taking “half of Ukraine.”

“The Russians are a very hard enemy to fight. They pick things up quickly. Because of this, the ways that military activities are run are also changing.

When they attacked Ukraine openly on February 24 of last year, they moved in lines, without artillery or intelligence, and they didn’t have any fear. They also brought their parade clothes because they thought that in three days they would march through the center of Kyiv.

It really hurt them. We blew up these towers and cut their supply lines. This led to the first “gesture of goodwill,” as they called it, which was the freeing of Kyiv, Chernihiv, and Sumy oblasts. On Zmiinyi (Snake) Island, then in Kharkiv Oblast and Kherson, there was another show of “good will.”

Reznikov said that since May, partners have started sending Ukraine “things that change the course of the game, like 155-mm artillery systems, and since mid-summer, they’ve gotten the second support, which changes everything a lot, like HIMARS missile systems and other multiple-launch rocket systems.”

Western countries’ missile systems let the people defending Ukraine hit targets 80 km away, destroy Russian ammunition and fuel storage places, and take out Russian Armed Forces command posts.

Reznikov said that this was the key to winning in Kharkiv and Kherson.

“They (the Russians) learned a lesson from this, so they started to move all of these infrastructure sites 120 km away. Yes, it made it harder for them to get things done, but it also meant that HIMARS and other weapons could no longer hit these targets. We needed to find other ways to reach out to more people.

So, we’re talking about this with our partners right now, telling them that we need new guns and ammunition to [reach – ed.] them, so we can hit targets even from 120 or 150 km away. And the goal is to go further than 300 km.”

Reznikov says that since World War II, the Kremlin still thinks of troops as “just cannon fodder” and uses the same “meatgrinder tactics” as before.

“Take Bakhmut as an example. Their “creeping” attack there has been going on for at least six months. They use attack waves and other strike strategies. There could be 10 or 12 waves like this that come right after each other. Because of this, up to 500 troops are killed or hurt every day in Bakhmut alone. But there, first of all, they just use a lot of Wagner Group soldiers, thieves, and people who have been convicted, said Reznikov.

“According to the information we have, many high-ranking Kremlin officials back up their strategic planning and estimating with the following reasoning: “We won’t spare one or three million because we’ll take over half of Ukraine, which has a population of twenty million, to make up for these losses.”

Reznikov also said that “Kremlin’s dreams and plans to reach the borders of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts will fail as soon as possible” and that the Russian creeping attack “will fail.”

The defense minister of Ukraine says that time is on Ukraine’s side because it gives the country time to prepare units, learn new systems, and get more air defense systems from partners.

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