A couple of recent videos released in the last couple of days tell a dire, unpleasant story for Ukraine’s attempt to fend off the Russian invasion aka “special military operation.” First up is a five minute interview of a captured Ukrainian tank captain who hails from Zhytomyr. Pay close attention when he describes the confused, chaotic command situation. Or, better put, the lack of coherent, organized commanders. Remember my earlier piece where I described Russia’s tactic of focusing missile strikes on command bunkers and headquarters? The confusion described by this captain is a natural result of that tactic. Kill the leaders and render the troops leaderless.
Of course, you must remember this was released by Russia and so the propaganda factor is at level 10.
Another critical indicator revealed in this interview concerns the average age of these Ukrainian recruits–45-50 years old. That ain’t spring chicken territory. It is closer to a nursing home brigade–man your wheelchairs and walkers, we’re invading Russia.
I view videos like this with the following caveat–the man is a prisoner and may be “testifying” under the threat of some kind of punishment if he does not sing the right tune. That said, I found his comments rang true.
Another video shows the surrender of 18 Ukrainian troops that were holed up in someone’s cellar. These Ukrainians outnumbered the Russians but they were trapped hiding in a hole in the ground that had only one exit point. The Russian issuing the commands could use a refresher course on the Geneva Convention. That said, the soldiers were not executed on the spot and were not beaten. That is a step in the right direction.
There should be no doubt that many of the Ukrainian soldiers believed that they were fighting for their nation, their national pride. The last video I want to show you introduces you to one of those men. I think it is safe to say that he is not too pleased with the leadership of Zelensky and the other top brass running the Ukrainian ship of state aground.
I get the impression he is not too happy with the current situation. We have seen no videos like this from the Russian side. Is that because Russia has clamped down on social media? No. Unlike Ukraine, which has banned opposition media and political parties, Russia still allows dissent. Even if Russia was censoring social media, I do not discount the ability of enterprising Russians to smuggle dissident videos out to the rest of the world. The absence of such videos is another piece of evidence in fleshing out the picture of what is happening on the ground in Ukraine.