MINSK, Belarus – At today’s Minsk Contact group meeting, according to Rusvesna, a visibly agitated Ukrainian representative gave his opinions on the ‘popular’ mythology being promoted within the Ukrainian armed forces. Former head of the Security Service, former defense minister, Army General Yevhen Marchuk, is no passerby in terms of history. His sense of the situation is based on being both hands on, and at the highest places in Ukraine’s security structure. He apparently wasn’t in the mood to mince words, in his statement today to other members of the contact group.
“The APU [Ukrainian Army], in the event of an offensive in the Donbas, will face the 40,000-strong professional army of the Republics, which is a very serious opponent.”
”Give us the word, and we’ll roll straight on to Rostov ”, are the sorts of things Army General Yevhen Marchuk hears regularly from Ukraine’s fresh batch of field officers. They seem to have the indoctrination down, but fail in terms of understanding where every field officer enlisted from 2014 now rests, in many unmarked graves across Ukraine and the Donbass.
Marchuk says he reminds his compatriots – ”You have to be realistic, not working with illusions, patriotic, beautiful dreams … Those who know the realities have very different arguments. First, it is necessary to prepare an offensive operation, as these guys talk about Rostov, as if you don’t need to prepare.”
He ridicules talk of marching onto Rostov, when it would take a massive offensive facing down the 40k strong professional army of the Republics just to take Donetsk.
On the other side – two army corps, 36 thousand – is the minimum, and maybe 40 – organized, structured, trained, run in combat, under Russian officers who have no identification marks. These are no longer truck drivers and crane operators, as Putin said “
He also complained that Russian military intelligence knows what is happening in the APU, as well as they know the backs of their own hands.
“And electronic intelligence, and, of course, human intelligence. Russian aviation, reconnaissance, approximately two or three times a month approach the front line, but at a high altitude. It’s clear they are conducting both optical and electronic reconnaissance in depth”, the ex-minister said.
According to him, among other things, any offensive will have to prepare a large army of reservists and the appropriate infrastructure for it to succeed.
“What does it mean to prepare an offensive operation before Rostov? I’m not talking to Rostov any more – at least liberate Donetsk. It is necessary to conduct additional mobilization, additional resources need to be tightened up. Any offensive without reserves is an adventure.
And what does an offensive army entail? They also need to have the structure of an offensive design, not defensive, but offensive. These are other forms of military organisms. Naturally, all this can not be done today,” Marchuk summed up.