TO ANALYZE. War in Ukraine: towards a “debacle” of the Russian army? A general deciphers the kyiv counter-offensive

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A new turning point in the War in Ukraine has occurred in recent days with the recapture of key areas by the Ukrainian army. General Jean-Paul Perruche explained the situation and the current actions for the Dépêche du Midi.

The defeat of Russian troops around Kharkiv, in northeastern Ukraine, and the counter-attack of Kyiv in the Kherson region in the south, which is important for access to the Black Sea, is now a new major change. in the war in Ukraine. The prelude to a disaster in Moscow or a rising panic? The analysis of General Jean-Paul Perruche, former Director of the European Union General Staff.

La Dépêche du Midi: This counter-offensive in the regions of Kherson, in the south, and Kharkiv, in the northeast, is a new turning point, but more than that, is it a “tipping point ” in war?

General Jean-Paul Perruche: This is the fourth major change since the beginning of the conflict. Russia’s plan was to conquer kyiv in three days: it failed. Then there’s the attempt at total circling: another failure and the second turning point. Moscow then concentrated on Donbass. At the cost of considerable effort in terms of men and ammunition, Russia managed to conquer Severodonetsk and Lyssychansk in July. But the ensuing lull showed the Russians running out of steam and their inability to take Kramatorsk and Sloviansk. However, while Moscow cannot replace its failing forces or replace damaged equipment, the Ukrainians have increased in power – with fewer weapons, of course – but better technology. Faced with the Russian “steamroller” that fires fast but with little accuracy, the Ukrainians then benefit, in this case, from the support of NATO countries and the Ramstein group, both in terms of satellite intelligence and military training, and powerful weapons. They fired targeted shots, very, very damaging, at sensitive points, which are the command posts, but also at all the logistics, supply lines, equipment, ammunition, breaking the maneuver of Russia. It allows this transition, in fact, this broad counter-offensive with its two counter-attacks, in the South and in the North, with different but similar objectives.

General Jean-Paul Perruche

Can you be more precise?

In the south, in the region of Kherson, a strategic access point to the Black Sea for the Ukrainians, it is a question of nibbling ground but we cannot go there immediately, because of the large number of Russian troops. Breaking the impossible, kyiv therefore destroyed the logistical convoy, road junctions, bridges … in short, separated 15,000 to 20,000 people who crossed the Dnieper to occupy its right bank. The ultimate goal is their surrender. Meanwhile around Kharkiv, it was a question of exploiting the soft zones where the Russians had eased their positions to strengthen the South. After creating a point of weakness around Kherson and thanks to the very accurate information provided by their services and their allies, the Ukrainians recognized and exploited the mistake, faster and more and stronger than they expected, some Russian soldiers fled on bicycles, others surrendered.

Can we talk about a “debacle”, in this case?

From a local stampede, instead. The attack occurred in a little less than 100 kilometers in a global front of almost 2,500 kilometers, 1,500 of which are very active. So we must remain vigilant, especially since the Russians are forced to react as we can see with the bombing of power stations around Kharkiv. They will certainly try to intimidate the Ukrainian people and try to regain the local advantage, shooting at occupied areas, at the risk of shooting their own troops because there is an overlap.

Is this rapid rise in terrorism, including nuclear, a growing danger?

I don’t believe it at all. We are no longer in 1941 with Stalin and the mindset of the Russians, and especially their soldiers, has improved. The best Russian soldiers were defeated and I hardly saw the relief troops, poorly trained and demoralized, killed on the spot for “The Motherland”. Of course, the Russians also call in mercenaries, but if the mercenaries want to earn, they don’t like to die either, in order to make the most of their salary. As for Putin’s sudden rush to use weapons of mass destruction… I remain confused. Putin was not surrounded by Hitler in his bunker in Berlin in 1945. He knew very well that nuclear weapons were a tool that could lead to the vitrification of Moscow and Saint Petersburg. And in the Russian chain of command there is opposition to this option.

This Monday, Colonel Michel Goya considered that the continuation of the territory of the Ukrainians can no longer be rejected. What do you think?

I also think we shouldn’t include it, actually. Because when demotivation and disorganization occurs in an army, it is very difficult to prevent it. We saw it in France, in 1940… Now, the important point in the coming weeks is the winter preparation for Ukraine: the constant military support provided by the United States and its NATO allies will be more more important than ever. kyiv.

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