According to Ukrainian intelligence, “the Russian army is now using the same combat tactics as the Wagner Group”

War in Ukraine: “Soldiers at the front are tired. It's urgent to replace them”

In the famous Maidan Square, where the popular uprising in 2014 started a hellish spiral, thousands of small Ukrainian flags set up on the lawn speak for themselves. Bereaved or not, young people buy them and dedicate them to fallen soldiers before planting them on the ground. Meditation is peaceful, tears are wise. Strangers embrace and share a sense of loss that transcends individual events. “I lost a friend”, testifies a young woman. “I'm not crying for anyone in particular, but I have to be there”, grumbles another. “Many Ukrainians are still fighting for our freedom and we must support them..

Maidan Square at Kew, February 24, 2024. ©Valentin Dauchot

Resistance and intelligence

At the height of the city, there are fewer emotions. The nation's leaders and military strategists are racking their brains to anticipate Russian attacks. “We were ready two years ago”, explains Major General Vadim Skibitsky, second-in-command in Ukrainian intelligence and deputy to Kyrillo Baudanov, in his office. “Long before the Russians attacked, we located all the strategic groups of their forces and stationed our reserve units near the affected areas. Especially around Kew, this made it possible to avoid the Blitzkrieg (German term for “Blitzkrieg” during World War II, editor's note) Russian victory”.

Russian troops underestimated Ukraine's resistance and willingness. According to intelligence services, the fear induced by Vladimir Putin may have also parasitized his own intelligence services, which avoided reports deemed most unfavorable to him. Two years later, Moscow is no longer underestimating anyone, and promises to keep the fight tough. However, this Saturday, a master of good communication, Vadim Skibitsky seems especially calm and sure of himself.

See also  A big twist, a story of lemons and a very short rest: here is our campaign diary N°10

War in Ukraine: “Russia is not going to invade all of Europe, but some countries may be affected”

Vadim Skibitsky in Kiev.
Vadim Skibitsky in Kiev. © DR

What do you expect the Russian forces to do now?

We know more today than we did two years ago because of our intelligence and our better cooperation with the intelligence services of the Allies. But because we have better sources of information at the highest levels of the Russian military and political commanders. Our vision of what is happening and is going to happen on the ground is very clear.

What can you say about Moscow's military strategy?

All the Russian army units were now engaged in the same tactic: driving our units out of their consolidated positions and constantly attacking them with small assault units. Small groups of men move on foot, supported by air strikes. Geographically, the objective was to take control of the entire Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Is it a change of method? The latest approach?

The Wagner group had already used this technique during the Pakmut offensive, but now it is being used by Russian regular forces. This change is relatively recent, yes. However, this poses a problem for the Russians, a tactic that causes heavy losses in their ranks. The men are on foot and they cannot come with tanks or armored vehicles because they are easily spotted and then destroyed by our artillery.

Recent months have shown that the Russians have learned from their mistakes and now have the ability to change strategy quickly. How can you avoid being systematically late?

See also  Humiliation, abuse, beating, rape...: "He can laugh when I cry"

Unfortunately, everyone learns with experience. The Russians have actually developed new, more effective approaches. But luckily we learn faster than them. A head-to-head fight will not lead Ukraine to victory. We need to hit their forces and infrastructure with precision. This is entirely possible thanks to Western weapons that are far more efficient and accurate than the Russians.

How successful are Russian intelligence services in countering Ukrainian military tactics?

I must admit that the Russians have indeed established a complex and sophisticated counter-intelligence system in the temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories. Currently, the organization is mainly dedicated to maintaining stability in the occupied territories, preventing the development of resistance movements within the population and civil society. The FSB and other Russian agencies exist, but this is not an insurmountable obstacle. Ukraine is our country and it will be delivered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *