A retired Russian colonel, Mikhail Khodaryonok, has told Russian state TV viewers that the country’s military cannot compete with Ukraine’s equipment from NATO. In a stark admission on the tightly-controlled propaganda channel Russia-1, Mr Khodaryonok dismantled the idea that a mass mobilisation call-up would bolster Russia’s war efforts in Ukraine. This comes amid growing speculation that President Vladimir Putin will announce a mobilisation of the country’s reservists tomorrow during the Victory Day parade in Red Square.
In a clip viewed more than a million times online, the senior military expert admitted that Russia is struggling to replenish its colossal losses in Ukraine.
He added that Russia does not have the “pilots or the planes” to send into the battlefield.
Mr Khodaryonok said: “Let’s imagine the drumroll, the sound of fanfare, and the mobilisation is declared.
“How soon under this mobilisation will we get the first fighter aviation regiment? We would get it by New Year’s.”
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He continued: “We don’t have the reserves, the pilots, or the planes so the mobilisation would be of little help.
“If tonight we order new ships to be built, how soon will we get the first one? In two years!
“That’s the deal with mobilisation. If we set a goal of forming a new tank division, when would it be ready? I would say in at least 90 days.
“And it wouldn’t be equipped with modern weaponry because we don’t have modern weapons and equipment in our reserves.”
The retired Russian colonial added: “Sending people armed with weapons of yesteryear into a war of the 21st century to fight against global standard NATO weapons would not be the right thing to do.
“We need to replenish our losses, of course, but this should be done through industrial enterprises. Modiblisation would not solve these issues.”
Daily Beast columnist Julia Davis shared the remarks, adding: “Senior military expert on Russian state TV argued that mobilization wouldn’t accomplish a whole lot, since outdated weaponry can’t easily compete with NATO-supplied weapons and equipment in Ukraine’s hands and replenishing Russia’s military arsenal will be neither fast nor easy.”
Security expert John Aravosis tweeted: “This is amazing. Russian military expert kind of admits they’re screwed.”
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The Atlantic’s David Frum reacted: “Russian bully wakes up to realization of what it has done to itself.
Ahead of tomorrow’s Victory Day parade, Russia has dismissed speculation that it will declare all-out war in Ukraine as “nonsense”.
However, British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said last week that the Moscow parade might be used to drum up support for a mass mobilisation of troops and renewed push into Ukraine.
Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, echoed this, saying: “Russia has already moved to covert mobilisation and is preparing to announce open mobilisation in the near future.
“I’m quite curious: how will they explain this to their own people?”