Retired Russian Colonel Offers Uncommon Brutally Trustworthy Evaluation of Ukraine Struggle

In a second not often seen on Russian-state media, a retired Russian Colonel and protection columnist, Mikhail Khodaryonok, provided a brutally trustworthy evaluation of Russia’s geopolitical and army state of affairs since launching its invasion of Ukraine.

Throughout a panel dialogue on the Kremlin-controlled tv community Russia-1, Khodaryonok brazenly criticized Putin’s army marketing campaign and spoke candidly concerning the Russian Federation’s dire circumstances. 

“The entire world is in opposition to us, even when we don’t wish to admit it,” Khodaryonok informed 60 minutes host Olga Skabeyeva. 

Stunningly, Khodaryonok additionally urged viewers to not blindly settle for the Kremlin’s narrative concerning the warfare in Ukraine. 

“First, I ought to say, we shouldn’t take info tranquilizers,” Khodaryonok regarded on the different visitors. 

“Generally you hear reviews a few ethical [or] psychological breakdown within the Ukrainian armed forces. That their temper is allegedly near a disaster. To place it mildly, this isn’t true.” 

The retired senior Russian army officer mentioned scenes of Ukrainian prisoners or “sure items” displaying poor morale ought to be thought of remoted, “particular person instances” and urged viewers to “take a look at the massive image.” 

“However it’s particular person instances that resolve the massive image,” the host Skabeyeva interjected. “And if a number of items have introduced they lack financing and weapons, that’s additionally vital and shouldn’t be discounted.” 

A distinguished determine amongst Moscow’s secure of propagandists, Skabeyeva has been dubbed by critics the “Iron Doll of Putin TV,” due to her fiery rhetoric and unflinching help for Russian President Vladimir Putin. After the Ukrainian forces sank the Russian flagship missile cruiser Moskva, Skabeyeva declared one may safely say that issues had escalated into “World Struggle III.” 

Undeterred, Khodaryono calmly defined that Ukraine may mobilize one million folks, and with america Lend-Lease Act set to take impact, from a strategic perspective, one million well-armed Ukrainian troopers are “a actuality within the nearest future.” 

“We have to think about this in our strategic calculations. The state of affairs for us will clearly worsen,” mentioned Khodaryonok, as the opposite panelist regarded on in silence.  

Retired Russian Colonel and Protection columnist Mikhail Khodaryonok. (Picture Supply: Russia-1)

Khodaryonok then started to supply his ideas on Sweden and Finland becoming a member of NATO earlier than being interrupted by Skabeyeva. 

“What number of skilled troopers within the military?” posed Skabeyeva, her index finger cradling her chin as if she’d made an amazing psychological breakthrough. “Mobilized troopers won’t be excellent.”

Persevering with to take care of outstanding poise, Khodaryonok held out his palms and defined that the extent of coaching and willingness to struggle for one’s homeland determines a soldier’s stage of professionalism. 

“This dogma may be very robust within the heads of a few of our political specialists who suppose {that a} contract soldier should be an expert. Under no circumstances,” mentioned Khodaryonok. 

“[So] the need to die on your nation is professionalism,” an more and more irritated Skabeyeva, but once more, interrupted. 

“[No] That isn’t professionalism. However it’s an integral a part of the high-combat effectiveness of a military. It’s some of the vital components,” replied the retired Colonel. “Finally, victory on the battlefield is set by the excessive morale of troops who’re spilling blood for these concepts they’re able to struggle for. That’s simply how it’s.” 

Together with his feedback, Khodaryonok demonstrated goal army experience not often displayed by the same old pundits who seem in Russia’s tightly managed media. 

Leaving the opposite visitors fidgeting in nervous silence, Khodaryonok continued his shockingly forthright evaluation of Sweden and Finland becoming a member of NATO. 

“Crucial factor is to stay sensible from a political and army standpoint. Should you don’t, then eventually actuality will hit you so laborious you gained’t know what’s hit you,” mentioned Khodaryonok. “Crucial factor right here, once more, wanting on the massive image, from the overall strategic standpoint, is to not brandish missiles, for goodness sake, within the path of Finland. This seems to be comical.” 

“The largest downside with our army and political place is that we’re in whole geopolitical isolation, and the entire world is in opposition to us, even when we don’t wish to admit it.”

Clearly having had her fill of brutal honesty, “Who do you recommend making associates with and at what value? Why don’t you think about the Chinese language representatives of the civilized world?” Skabeyeva fired again. 

“Their help for us isn’t so unconditional,” Khodaryonok regarded again at Skabeyeva like a disillusioned mother or father. “When in opposition to us is a coalition of 42 international locations and when our sources, military-political and military-technical [means] are restricted, this case will not be regular. A technique or one other, we should resolve this.” 

Making this latest trade maybe more strange, every week prior, Khodaryonok was equally dropping reality bombs on Skabeyeva’s husband and alternating host for Russia-1’s 60 minutes, Yevgeny Popov. 

Discussing the subject of Russian mobilization, Khodaryonok recommended viewers on why mass mobilization wouldn’t resolve Moscow’s present issues in Ukraine. 

“Let’s think about the drumroll, the sound of fanfare, and the mobilization is said,” mentioned Khodaryonok. “How quickly below this mobilization will we get the primary fighter aviation regiment? We’d get it by New 12 months’s. If tonight we order new ships to be constructed, how quickly will we get the primary one? In two years.” 

Mentioning the elephant within the room, Khodaryonok identified that Russia presently doesn’t have any fashionable weapons or gear for mobilized troops. 

“Sending folks armed with weapons of yesteryear right into a warfare of the twenty first century to struggle in opposition to world normal NATO weapons wouldn’t be the proper factor to do…mobilization won’t resolve these points.” 

And although uncommon, it isn’t fully unprecedented for Russian media to deviate from the Kremlin’s hyper-aggressive messaging. Significantly in latest weeks as Moscow continues to endure a string of defeats in Ukraine. 

Host of Russia-1’s 60 Minutes, Olga Skabeyeva. (Picture Supply: Russia-1)

Whereas internet hosting 60 Minutes, Popov angrily admonished Russian politician Aleksey Zhuravlyov for calling on Russia to make use of tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine. 

“That’s the final argument,” glared Popov. “I’m sure that our armed forces are able to attaining their objectives with out utilizing such weapons that would destroy the entire planet.” 

“It’s all proper that you simply’re scaring foreigners, however you’re scaring our folks! Residents of Russia!” 

Zhuravlyov sheepishly tried to justify his nuclear saber-rattling by saying Russia had air protection techniques that would cease Western retaliatory missile strikes. 

“However our oil depots and army items in Belgorod are being hit almost on daily basis,” Popov fired again. “So we’re not intercepting every part!” 

Undisturbed pragmatism is a uncommon however refreshing oasis amongst a sea of Kremlin-controlled media usually inundated with conspiracy theories of NATO bioweapons labs, claims of “Ukrainian Nazis,” brash requires the usage of nuclear weapons, and “pobedobesie” – roughly translated in English to “victorymania.” 

However, as Skabeyeva closed the latest section with Khodaryonok, she reminded viewers there was little tolerance for dissenting opinions in Putin’s Russia.

“Few folks name what’s occurring regular,” Skabeyeva nodded her trademark excessive ponytail as Khodaryonok regarded on with a slight frown. “[But] I repeat, we have been pressured to do that. Our existence is on the road. Give up will not be attainable.” 

“We’ll need to go to the very finish.” 

Tim McMillan is a retired legislation enforcement govt, investigative reporter and co-founder of The Debrief. His writing covers protection, nationwide safety, and the Intelligence Group. You may comply with Tim on Twitter: @LtTimMcMillan.  Tim may also be reached by e-mail: or by means of encrypted e-mail: 

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