NYT: On a Russian talk show, a retired colonel stuns his colleagues by pointing out that the invasion isn’t going well

Bradley Mayer

This story is all over the NATO country medias.  However I can't find any wiki background on the retired colonel, who supposedly quoted Marx and Lenin on the importance of military morale in a war.  As if that was going to impress anyone in today's Russia, though I'm sure the Western media is happy to leave its audience with that impression, where it is convenient to falsely depict Putin's Russia as merely a lineal continuation of the Soviet Union.  So I figure Mikhail M. Khodaryonok came up through the ranks in late Soviet times, and he remembers when you only committed to a war with overwhelming force (3:1 odds the golden rule of thumb).  

But this isn't Grandpa's Marx and Lenin-quoting Soviet Red Army anymore.  Now it is a typical crapified, deindustrialized, just-in-time, lean and mean, Dumsfeld style "you go with the military you have" capitalist military.  The moment of near-US world hegemony in the 1990's and 2000's did have some effect.  

"The problems that Mr. Khodaryonok referred to, sometimes obliquely, included low morale, the array of Western countries aligned against Russia and the amount of fighters and matériel that Ukraine was assembling.

"“We are in total geopolitical isolation and the whole world is against us, even if we don’t want to admit it,” said Mr. Khodaryonok, noting that Russia’s “resources, military-political and military-technical, are limited.”  ["Total" is not true by a long shot]

"He urged Russians not to take “informational sedatives.” The clip was first highlighted by Francis Scarr of BBC Monitoring [UK state TV], which tracks Russian broadcasts. Mr. Khodaryonok did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.  [If hot property Khodaryonok  were still ambitious, he could "jump ship" to join CNN's stable of "retired military analyst" commentariat.  From one "state TV" to the other]

"Aside from questioning Russia’s position, it was a remarkable moment because Mr. Khodaryonok noted that Ukraine seemed to have momentum. Russians mistakenly tended to try to extrapolate the problems of a few soldiers in the Ukrainian Army to denigrate its whole military, he said. In reality, they were ready to field a million men if given sufficient weapons, were highly motivated and would be receiving an increasing quantity of military support from the United States and Europe, he added.

"Mr. Khodaryonok seemed to be careful not to say anything openly critical of the Russian side, repeatedly stressing that the entire situation was “not normal.” When it came to morale issues, for example, he reached back into history and noted that Marx and Lenin had said that high morale was an important factor for battlefield success. He did not refer directly to recent indications that the Russian Army is suffering from morale problems.

"Mr. Khodaryonok has been critical of the Russian military operations in the past. In an unusual column published in early February, before the invasion, he cautioned against it, saying that it would not be the cake walk that many Russian analysts expected and that it was not in Russia’s “national interests.”
"He predicted accurately that the Ukrainians would fight hard to defend their country and that the West would provide extensive arms. “There will be no blitzkrieg in Ukraine,” he wrote in Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, a Russian weekly newspaper supplement on military matters.
"Even earlier, about a year after Russia dispatched its military to Syria in 2015 to prop up President Bashar al-Assad, he wrote a column for an internet news service, Gazeta.Ru, suggesting that the Syrian Army was an unworthy ally, pointing out its lack of military success and corruption.
"Concerning the war in Ukraine, however, he has previously praised the Russian effort."

Not anymore.


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