Former volunteer officer with callsign Arty Green tells why Russia has no positive options to take over Ukraine. He took part in the battles for Debaltseve and directly accuses Poroshenko and Muzhenko of surrendering the bridgehead. In his opinion, in 2014-2015, there were agreements between Poroshenko and Putin that allowed Russian generals to act clearly and harmoniously. He spoke about the weaknesses of the Russian army and explained why Western assistance will allow Ukraine to significantly strengthen its defense capability.

Hello! Today our guest is. He speaks on reforms in the army, the war in Donbass. There were a lot of very deep materials that give an understanding of what happened and is happening in the East, and in the Ukrainian army. And today, Eugene, your real name.

Arty Green. I'm still an artillery scout, I need to somehow disguise myself.

I got to Kyiv, and we decided to record a conversation, which, I hope, will also be of interest to you and will open your eyes and give understanding to many processes.

So, let's start with your understanding of the state of the Ukrainian army. We are talking about the context of those complex maneuvers that are now taking place around Ukraine. The Russians are threatening directly, but outside of our conversation you told me that you, in principle…

I do not see….

Do you see any serious...

I don't see a positive scenario...

For the Russians?

For Russians. Yes. Look, they, of course, can start up a lot of bloodshed here if they throw in a bunch of echelons, ammunition here, leave their tanks, artillery. They have the opportunity to arrange a big, let's say, war. But as a result, what can they get? I do not see any scenario that would give them at least some profit. That is, to seize some territory - it must be held. This is some kind of occupation administration, this is again expenses and, again, we need to keep the front. Therefore, I got the impression that the current government team is not at all in the mood to go to the next Minsk-3. Until now Putin in all his adventures, as a rule, did not begin before he did not understand how they would end. And now it is completely unclear how it will end, what Zelensky will do. I do not see any preliminary agreement, the possibility of such an agreement with him.

Therefore, by the way, they constantly demand from the Americans to force the Ukrainians...

Yes. And they are kind of incompetent . Yes. It is also happening, but I have a feeling it's impossible. Perhaps Zelensky, withdrew from trying to paint the game before it began. Well, in this plan, the events will follow, as it were, according to a scenario that is not written by some two people under the carpet, but the way it should happen when some kind of aggression collides with a nation. In this case, it will already deal with the nation.

If we take the 2014-2015 campaign, there were two "Minsk", two aggravations that ended with "Minsk", the first and second. If you look back, it was quite clear that Putin, starting the escalation, knew perfectly well how it would end. Everything was planned in advance, who was doing what, where generals would send their units, so that they got into the right place, into the right cauldron. At least in Debaltseve, I absolutely clearly see this situation.

Wait. Let's make a clarification, because someone knows, someone does not know that Arty Green was directly involved in the battles for Debaltseve. Therefore, as they say, first-hand, you can discuss it and, accordingly, your understanding of how Minsk-2 was concluded directly follows from what happened ...

I saw the processes, I participated in them, in these processes, that is, I influenced something within the framework of my job and I saw what was happening and, of course, then everything was pretty sad, because it outlined that our command worked against us...

Do you mean the Ukrainian government?

Yes, the Ukrainian command. If you remember, we made an appeal. We did not speak, but wrote a joint appeal to the president, or more precisely to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, demanding that Viktor Muzhenko be immediately removed from his post, at least as professionally incompetent. But this turned into a persecution of someone. It is difficult to push me, I am not a personnel officer, but they announced me a Russian spy, that my phone is in Russia. And when I was returning from vacation, I flew in from Egypt, I was met by about a hundred of my brothers, because they suspected, feared that the SBU would not get me, would not declare me, as later they did with Lesnik, that I was a spy. To be honest, at that moment I didn’t really believe in this whole story, so I decided that this was an extra, as it were, precaution, but, nevertheless, they did it. As a result of some time, when all the puzzles came together, I realized that it was completely necessary. Perhaps they saved me from serious trouble at that moment. But at that time it was not clear where the legs were growing from - from the president or from some lower general. Muzhenko, perhaps, was this center or not Muzhenko , or someone gave him a command. But the development of events around our appeal, how the SBU got involved in this, what kind of games there were, in principle, dotted the I’s. It became clear where it comes from.

Exactly... I was, by the way, the chief, led, let's say, the artillery intelligence unit, which saw the entire sector. I have seen everything that is happening. Let's just say I've seen a lot of what's going on, at least in key places. And I had an unambiguous understanding that this was all a planned operation, which was supposed to end in the defeat and capture of most of the group (in the Debaltseve area - ed . ). Moreover, there is such a curiosity. By the fact that we turned to Poroshenko with a request, it was precisely a demand, not a request, but a demand to remove Muzhenko, and there was a rationale in this text. To some extent, we told one of the "partners" of the deal that it was not his fault that the deal fell through. We still did that, which did not work for him.

I didn’t experience confusion too often in my life, but at that moment before the release of the group, I realized that everything was already moving towards this. You get a breakthrough, you don't. We started making some plans. Thank God, stars aligned, that is, some components simply formed, just some officers did their duty correctly, and not in the way they were ordered. The operation was completed, I believe, successfully. Why? Although we left the territory, but the grouping was withdrawn, the losses were relatively small on the scale of such a battle. At the same time, during the battle itself, we destroyed, well, let's say, a rather powerful strike force. Putin had no reserves to continue. The most important thing, for the sake of which this story was started by Putin at all, was that he needed to somehow humiliate Ukraine, so that the Ukrainians would feel humiliated, like the Moldovans, for example, in 1992, like the Georgians in 2008, and resigned themselves to the fate that they are not the arbiters of their own fate, but somehow...


You have to live with this. Yes. As a result, everything turned out, on the contrary. The battle of Debaltsevo , its final part, added self-confidence to the Ukrainians. There was a surge, I would say, of such patriotism. The result of this battle must be looked at not only in the military plane - how many guns were lost, how many people died on one side; on the other hand, the most important part of this outcome was that Ukraine felt all the power to defend itself. It was precisely after Debaltseve that we all became sure that we could not be defeated. Although we understood, well, at least I understood that they were working against us at the top, but it would not be possible to smear Ukraine.

Sorry to interrupt. It is true that during the battle for the Debaltseve ledge, when you say that these offensive units that were coming from the side of the separatists (and the Russians were there, and the Wagnerites, we know, fought), that then they received such huge losses that in other sectors of the front they had to withdraw units and their flanks were exposed. And if Ukraine at that moment had struck in certain places, then, in principle, they could have been defeated, if, again, there was a will, and there was such a plan, and such was the task.

Look, if a patriot commanded the operation, and he had an IQ of at least somewhere around 60+, then the Russians would have received a complete defeat. The grouping would not have surrendered, I mean the territory of Debaltseve itself, because the turning point of the battle occurred when they ran out of offensive reserves. They only had the "Northern Wind", which they were not going to put into battle at all, only to a limited extent, to cover up some of these things. In reality, they ran out of offensive potential, and they pulled there all the combat-ready units capable of conducting offensive operations, generally meaningful operations of some kind. They were, in fact, bled.

And this is true - for the most part of their front, roughly speaking, it was possible to enter everywhere with bare hands. If the 72nd brigade had launched an offensive in an easterly direction, then the entire coast of the Sea of Azov would definitely have been liberated up to and including Telmanovo. There was simply no one to resist. As far as I know, the 72nd brigade prepared this offensive, it was already just "on the way out." But in fact, this was limited only to the unauthorized actions of Beletsky with Azov, who carried out some kind of raid operations with quite small and absolutely light forces, which also led to some results, rather unexpectedly positive, or something. That's all.

I am more than sure that Lugansk could not just be liberated, but cleared up to the border. But we are talking about the fact that the command had other plans and they built them. And the only thing that we managed to accomplish militarily was not to give up, not to leave the grouping in captivity. I mean to us and to everyone who participated in this. Shaptala commanded a brigade and led the breakthrough, well, both officers and soldiers who participated in this battle fully.

So it was a game of giveaway. This whole story and then Minsk-2 signed, in fact, capitulation without losing the battle. That is, yes, the grouping left, but left with fewer losses than it inflicted on the advancing enemy. And the fierceness of the battle was such that those who participated on the other side in this battle, well, 90% of them revised their attitude towards this war. Well, at least their participation in this war, because the felling was serious, and, of course, a lot of them were cut down. I do not know how many there are, the numbers are not announced. I have my own feelings, but I don’t want to voice them, because then it will be necessary to somehow prove and substantiate them. But the fact that their strike force has ceased to exist is a fact.

Minsk-2 in these conditions... Here is the structure that was laid, in your opinion, what is it fraught with for Ukraine? You say that this is a virtual surrender.

Well, yes.

And it took... how long? 7 years is obtained? Yes. 7 years.

Yes, 7 years in February. Coming soon. February 20th.

Yes, it will be 7 years and attempts to implement Minsk-2 into the body of the Ukrainian Constitution have failed all the time. Now the Russians are even more persistently trying to...

Well look. They wrote this Minsk-2. It was they who wrote it, meaning Moscow, expecting that the result of this battle would be general Ukrainian sadness about the fact that we cannot defend ourselves. Under these conditions, both the Verkhovna Rada and the people in general would approve any form of capitulation, as long as Putin is already behind. But this did not happen, and therefore it did not work out. Poroshenko, even having serious enough financial resources to bribe deputies or the media, he failed to push through this business, although this was clearly part of the deal. That is, they wrote, being sure that this particular format would be accepted by the society, but the battle ended with different outcomes, I mean moral outcomes, and the society did not accept this format of surrender. I will not describe why this is a capitulation. There are political scientists who will paint this. There are military aspects that are unacceptable to me, that is, arguments that say that this "peaceful" document in quotation marks implies the advantage of a treacherous enemy. That is, whoever wants to treacherously attack in future, obviously has an advantage, because the defensive military arguments have been dismantled. Therefore, the one who treacherously attacked, he has advantages, and they are inscribed in the Minsk agreements -2.

Well, and a political bomb, of course, that is, in fact, the capitulation of Ukraine as a unitary state with a single power structure. A kind of "cancer tumor" appears inside this country, which is de facto controlled from another state. This is definitely a surrender. Moreover, it was absolutely not forced: the army was not defeated, not demoralized. Yes, some were lost, people died, equipment was lost, yes, but much more enemy equipment and people were destroyed, nullifying their offensive potential.

It is clear that capitulations are signed when there is no strength and opportunity to resist. This is not our case. In order to commit another kind of pressure, Putin needed at least a few more months to gather some forces, find some proxies, and we kicked them, they would not like to participate in this adventure any more. That is, he would have a big problem to recruit. At least hire Somalis to fight. Therefore, it is unequivocally clear to me that this was a capitulation, and moreover, it was agreed in advance, because it was not forced. Well, Ukraine was not in the position that there was no other way out.

In the current situation, in your opinion… Well, you don’t believe in a large-scale offensive, you look at it with skepticism…

It's not that I don't believe it, I don't see Putin's arguments. I know he's not an idiot. It's like I'm guessing with a high degree of certainty. And I do not see any scenario that would bring them dividends….

Well, I agree with you on this. Alexander Chaly and I made an interview and this scenario was also mentioned here. 5% maximum is given to it. But both I and many other analysts are inclined to believe that, in principle, if they do not agree with the Americans on some framework things or agree on conditions that are not very favorable for themselves, they counted on more, they may end up with some kind of aggravation in the Donbas.

Will they release blood?


Look, there's a military aspect to it. What, in principle, can they do in the Donbas? It is quite difficult to organize some kind of local war, at the operational level, the size of a brigade. There, the line of defense was formed for quite a long time, and it seems to be in the right place... This is a special case. Roughly speaking, to crack the defenses somewhere and, well, let's say at least destroy the battalion? Yes, it won't work. It is necessary to bring into battle not just brigades, divisions in order to break through the defenses and achieve some kind of military success.

Remember, after Debaltsevo there was another such operation in the Krasnogorovka area. There they threw some kind of battalion into battle, our 28th brigade, not the strongest, cooled them, to put it mildly. And a lot of them were hit, and so on. For the enemy, this is an offensive... Well, I never understood what it was. There was no attack...

It happened in summer. It was summer June 2015.

Someone fell into a panic, that everyone went on the offensive. They already figured out what happened. Some battalion was thrown into battle, this battalion was simply mixed with the ground by a brigade artillery group, well, and whoever survived, then ran away. Hostilities ended within a day. That is the whole fighting impulse. That is, such operations will end the same. If they throw a battalion or brigade into battle, any brigade artillery group will destroy them, and those who reach our positions will be shot down by our fighters. It is clear that there will be losses on our side, but much less, because we are still defending ourselves and, as it were, this defense is already quite well organized.

There is another key point. Until relatively recently, that is, before high-profile appointments in the army, when Zaluzhny, Shaptala , Pavlyuk were appointed to key military positions, I was worried about the army. That is, I understood that... And I wrote such texts, if you remember, they talked a lot about the fact that every tactical commander should make decisions on his own, without much looking back. I cited our Debaltsevo battle as an example, where Shaptala took responsibility and, contrary to the order to hold on, led the group, which actually gave us success. And I would like to write such texts. Why? Because those who were holding the reins... What’s his name? Khomchak!

Khomchak is a rather intelligent general, but of such a parquet type. This is an old system general who… whom I personally don't have much confidence in. That is, he took this position, or rather, he was appointed to this position at a time when Zelensky urgently needed to change the commander in chief, it was necessary to find someone who would arrange the system. That is, the system, remember, then there was still such waves that there was a coup, all that. That is, as if the army... Fears... The army did not arrange a coup, and Zelensky and his team had a serious problem - to find someone who would be accepted by the military system without confrontation and at the same time this would be a person not from the Muzhenko-Poroshenko orbit. And so they found Khomchak, who was not favored by Pyotr Alekseevich, moreover, they also hung the Ilovaisky dogs on him, that he failed everything. At the same time, he is a lieutenant general, he is from the army system, quite literate according to their concepts. I mean, he's not a loser for sure. So they appointed him as such an alternative to Muzhenko who is devoted to Poroshenko.

But someday it was necessary to change it, that is, when this hysteria with a possible putsch ended, something had to be done in the army, somehow changed so that this army became more combat-ready, more effective, so that the soldiers trusted more to their commanders.

But two years passed, almost nothing happened, and there was melancholy-sadness. People left the army, and usually the best leave first, those who have nowhere to go do not leave. Combat capability, in fact, was lost. But with the appointment, these powerful appointments of several military leaders at once, the situation has changed radically. Even in relation to... here in my relationship. Here in that army, when I was analyzing, if an aggravation suddenly begins, what should I do? Where to run, what to grab? And somehow I did not consider the option at all to stay on the sidelines and cry about the fate of the motherland. That is, I would definitely participate in some format, but I did not see myself as part of an army headed by Khomchak. I did not trust this command. I didn't trust their decisions. That is, to go there and once again become a bargaining chip in some parquet games, somehow I didn’t really want to hit it a second time. And then suddenly the next time you're not lucky.

And now I have a completely different mood. I am absolutely sure that there will be no betrayal of the command. Moreover, these officers have been tested by the war, and they will make the right decisions. And there will be no abandoned 32 posts, abandoned in the DAP of our cyborgs. There will be no Debaltseve grouping, which did not receive anything, being in a battle for 3 weeks with a ban on retreating, just holding on and that's it. Why hold on? Yes, because you have already been sold, they must be taken away. I don’t speak for the surrender of Logvinovo at all, that is, an artificial environment.

Well, in general, now it definitely will not happen. I personally know Zaluzhny and personally know Shaptala . Well, I personally don’t know Pavlyuk, but I know people whom I trust, who speak of him as one of the strongest generals and patriots of Ukraine. With such a command, you can already have a completely different attitude to process modeling. With such a command, it will not be easy for the Russians at all.

Look, what we have now begun to receive from the Americans, from the British, from our European allies, from the Baltic states, in your opinion, as a practice, as a person who shot, who saw enemies...

I am also a career officer. Still a military education.

Yes. What does it give? How much will it strengthen in the existing conditions, how does it expand the capabilities of the Ukrainian army?

Look, we had two of the weakest points. This is an anti-tank weapon. The ones that were available were even older than the Russian tanks, or we were terribly short of it. Secondly, there is a big problem with air defense, especially field air defense - against tactical aircraft, helicopters and attack aircraft. There were "Needles", but I have no data, a big suspicion that there are very few of them left. But "Needles" have also been doing this for many years. I don't even know how they fly. For example, the Tors that we received in 2014, of which one out of three only flew out and one of the three that flew out was flying somewhere consciously. Because all reasonable storage periods have long ended and the percentage was very small. I think it's the same story with Needles, it's just that no one has tried it, so we don't know the statistics.

Yes, we had a second weak point - this is the ability to counteract tactical aviation. The dream of the Stinger was an objective need, and now these dreams have come true. We were satiated enough by the British anti-tank weapons, which is just what we need of this type, very easy to use. Roughly speaking, one does not need to graduate from universities and serious courses in order to master this weapon. Approximately the same means of air defense. True, no one has yet officially spoken about air defense systems, I also do not have an insider, do not refer to me, but the word Stinger sounds very adult and, as I understand it, this position was well closed to us. With such air defense systems, there will be no air supremacy.

Tactical aviation.

There will be no air supremacy. Yes, but what about strategic aviation... Is it that they will bomb infantry platoons or columns? What columns? We will not have columns, defensive positions of strategic aviation? Yes, they were made for nuclear bombardment. They can hit New York, you understand, but they won’t hit the platoon stronghold of the strategy. Tactical aviation exists for this, and tactical aviation, given sufficient resources, modern air defense systems, will not fly. This is the most important thing. They (Russians - ed.) will not have an easy walk for sure. Prior to this delivery, some other ordinary operations were possible with a relatively painless exit. That is, they achieved some kind of tactical success, surrounded something there, captured someone and quickly, as it were, signed a peace, or went home, as with Georgia. It seems that they did not sign anything, but, nevertheless, they inflicted a defeat, and left with a proudly raised tail, and as a result, the Georgians changed their political power in a couple of years. Now that threat has passed. Thanks to the British, the Baltic states. I suppose America took part in these decisions.

Another situation. I will look around with optimism, firstly, that there will be no war, because I do not see a single positive scenario. Secondly, if there is, it will be a glorious hunt.

Clarifying question in this context

Go for it

Taking into account what the Russian army did in Syria, that is, they actually tested their aircraft there for several years in conditions that, in principle, are not quite close, but nonetheless. The rebels have no air defense there either.

That's it, that there was no air defense.

There is no air defense, and their tactical aviation quietly flew and bombed there, including from fairly high altitudes.

From great heights, this is one story. Tactical aviation, in any case, it goes to the Stingers. Understand? That is, this is not a strategy almost from the stratosphere to a distance of 100 kilometers to the target.

Well, above 5 kilometers, the Stinger doesn’t work.

But, anyway, depending on model. There are different ones. But from 5 kilometers you won’t hit a soldier, you need to get closer somehow. This does not work.

Well, look, what did they test? They tested the aviation. They ran a proxy in the form of all these Wagnerians that can be used. They ran the police forces because they really take such an active part. They ran in some part of their new armored vehicles. I mean armored cars, these "Tigers", in fact, and everything else. That is, taking into account all these Libyan skills, Syrian ones, etc. how do you assess the potential of the Russian army to carry out such offensive operations?

Well, if it is projected onto Ukraine?


Look, firstly, Syria, this is a long game and the main striking force would still be the Aerospace Forces, which changed the picture of the battle. That is, the task of the rebels or anti-Assad forces was not to lean out so as not to fall under air strikes. How many years have they been fighting there? That is a long game. How do you imagine Russians doing something like this in Ukraine for so many years? Plus, these people have different resources. No one is helping the Syrians. And they have different human resources. The theater of operations is very difficult. It's still a desert...

Mountains, desert.

They ruined the. If we talk about Aleppo, there are horns and legs left from Aleppo. Such a variant of Grozny in what year?

In 1994

In 1999, yes. The second, I mean, the Chechen war. The years flew out of my head. It is impossible, that is, it is impossible to project this conflict, because if it is so long, we will not have such a low intensity. This time.

Secondly, the presence of air defense systems, they turn off aviation. Well, they turned off our aircraft. How? "Arrows". We lost a couple of planes and stopped flying, because it makes no sense. Well, as it were, air defense systems of the same generation, of the same generation as aviation, they are stronger than aviation.

Not only "Arrows". They also brought "Buki".

Well, the Buk was brought, took the wrong target (a Malaysian Boeing MH-17 - ed) and fled back. I don't think they used more than one Buk missile.

But now they have air defense systems, in the Donbas they have ...

We don't plan to use aviation, at least in the way they use it in Syria. We will turn off their aviation, and without aviation there is already a sniff-in-smell felling, and if we still have good anti-tank weapons, which they don’t have, then there’s no chance at all. Putin can spill blood, more of his own than ours, but what will he prove to the world? That his army is weak, that even the Ukrainians beat it? Why does he need it? And the probability that we will beat almost 99%. I leave one percent for a draw. So….

This is optimistic and, perhaps, pleasant in the highest degree. Although I believe that we should not entertain ourselves with illusions in the sense that one should never underestimate the enemy.

You know, locally, of course, they can get success somewhere, roaring some section of the front, launching some tanks into the breakthrough. Where will they run next? And then the situation will develop such that you just need to get out of there very quickly. If we consider a breakthrough and, say, a 100-kilometer raid as a success, then it will be a success when you manage to get everyone back from there. But here the chances are less. That is, even if somewhere they concentrate large forces and firepower on some narrow section of the front and reach, say, surround several brigades and try to roll them out there, well, Ukraine will not stand and look at it, as it looked at Debaltseve . For three weeks they rolled one brigade, let's say, already quite drained of blood, and several battalions.

The group came out with about 3 thousand of us, a little more than 3 thousand people, although Putin said 8 thousand. I strongly suspect that even Poroshenko thought that there were 8,000 people there, because many of our units have one staff, and in our battalion the staff was 800, and in Debaltseve there were about 250 of our battalion, or maybe Poroshenko had the 25th battalion of 860 people on the table. That's probably how it was in other subsections. Someone is sick, someone was sent to the hospital, they forgot to tick the box.

According to the results they fought 3.5 thousand people for three weeks. Ukraine was attentively watching all this, worried, the command was waiting, as it were, when, in the end, they would surrender. On the night of the encirclement, I was at the sector headquarters. I got the sector commander Viktor Taran out of bed and demanded from him a small reserve, which would cover in the direction that threatened the encirclement the next day. But it would be a combat environment. I could not then guess that we would surrender without a fight from the other side, from the side that was absolutely safe from a military point of view. We will let the enemy there without a fight. I demanded from him to allocate a reserve in order to close this area, threatening, and the colonel looked at me like this: "Where did you come from, you elderly artillery scout!?" I looked older that time, because the beard was gray, all that. He is already sitting, trying on the role of Field Marshal Paulus, waiting for Russian tea and hospitality, and then some idiot breaks out, demands reserves, tries to fight some kind of war, and he has longing in his eyes. He was so tired of these daily shellings, all this. He is already dreaming when this will end and, apparently, Muzhenko had the same mood . That is, everyone was waiting for this denouement, but except for those who did not agree with them. Here are three weeks of fighting, no help, everyone was just waiting for it to end, that is, a deal. Well, this is my version, but I am absolutely convinced of it. When the deal between Poroshenko and Putin is completed, Putin will receive his couple of thousand prisoners, Ukraine will receive longing-sadness, and so on.

In this context, coming back to our realities, here is the fact that today the Russians are importing Iskander operational-tactical systems, they have brought to Belarus today, they have brought S-400 - air defense systems, what does this mean? Because here you are saying that having such air defense that we have today, there are "Stingers"...

I assume that it is, because I do not have accurate information, I do not have an insider, but judging by what is happening, we are getting it.

Here, I also think that we get it. We see that the West is beginning to fit in, that is, their patience has also, to some extent, snapped, and they see that it is pointless to talk with Putin the way it was in 2014, and something needs to be done. The Munich agreement is like that, it has not yet worked out, as far as I can see, and, most likely, it will not work out any more.

You see, here, I think, American processes overlap. Biden can't lose. That is, he has now accepted Putin's stake and raised it. And America made an instant decision to allow the transfer of American weapons, the Baltics were allowed. This, most likely, applies to a greater extent, by the way, to air defense systems. That is, Biden accepted the bet and raised.

By the way, one more thing - the Czech Republic also announced that she would give ammunition. As I understand it, a large amount of Soviet ammunition that they have in their warehouses there, they can just drain it to us, and this is what we lack.

You know, the Czech Republic, by the way, has never refused this. It is we who, for some mysterious reason for me personally, refuse to buy "Dana". "Dana" is generally my favorite weapon of all that I have seen, one of the best. And today it is also one of the best. Modern "Danas" understand that there are new fire control systems, for sure the artillery unit there is simply beautiful. And they are selling it to us, well, it’s clear that without a corruption scheme it was somehow impossible to bring it to Ukraine, at least before, but now somehow it doesn’t work, because “How is it possible without corruption?”. There are all sorts of paid, unpaid, just with their own vision, bloggers write that it's evil to buy "Dana", because the calibers are not the same, the range is not the same. People really don't understand any of this. It's a mystery to me why we didn't buy them. The Czechs have been offering them to us for a long time, the Slovaks have long offered us to take these "Danas" and a bunch of shells for them. Therefore, nothing new. What do you mean by “the Czech Republic is ready”? It had been ready to do this for a very long time.

I mean that there may be "Dana"

Butusov wrote about the 150 caliber, about the shells, and not about the guns. I have such an interest here - Yura somehow very smoothly bypasses "Dana" all the time. I have a feeling that he has some kind of material relationship with "Bogdana", I mean the Ukrainian system, which has not yet been born, but I am sure that it will not be born. That is, there are some prototypes, there are even trunks. The barrel is, you know, like in a drone. Just recently, one of our major aviation figures said that we already have 95% of drones, but a person thinks that a glider is a drone. A glider is 5% of a drone, not 95%. Here is the same stem. The barrel is 5% of the gun, the rest is how a projectile fired from this barrel should hit where it needs to. This is what modern weapons are.

So, continuing, let's say this question. Here is the deployment of such complexes around Ukraine, in your opinion, under the scenario if they launch missile attacks on Ukraine, on some military targets. Here in the Russian press, such a scenario was merged on Telegram channels, which are pushed by all sorts of the GRU. In principle, in your opinion, how far can the Russians realize such a scenario?

Look, the S-400 is a demonstration of what we are waiting for, when NATO aircraft appears here, we will kill it. This is their paradigm that NATO is going to Ukraine. That is what they do within the game that they are afraid of NATO, that NATO will come. We understand that NATO will not come here, so this S-400 is purely show-off within the framework of the paradigm that they set, that NATO is coming to Ukraine and we are counteracting it. That is, for domestic consumption, for the Russians, that now we will protect ourselves from the fact that NATO comes to Ukraine, we will deliver the S-400. Against whom do they put the S-400 there? Not against Ukrainian aviation. It doesn't fly anyway.

In principle, you know, it flies, there are still remnants of the aircraft fleet.

I'm not saying that it doesn't fly, there are pilots...

I mean, I'm looking at the map, we have a map of Ukraine and Belarus in front of us ...

I mean, we will definitely not attack, bomb Minsk, Moscow….

This is clear.

Let God help us figure this out. That is, to grind what comes to us, it is necessary to plow. Sending someone else somewhere... This is complete nonsense. Therefore, this S-400 is most likely a demonstration of what we do if you come...

And the Iskanders, well, the Iskander has a range, which is not an export one, about 500 kilometers. it is clear that they can. And what will they bomb with these Iskanders? Platoon strongholds? Or what? Territorial defense bases? Is that how you imagine it? Will the infrastructure collapse? If they follow this path, then, well, it is the end of Russia they are under the "Iron Curtain". No chips, no SWIFT, nothing at all. If they start smashing a European country with strategic offensive weapons - this is a strategic level, not operational, then they will erase themselves from civilization for a very long time. Therefore it is suicide. This is a headshot. Moreover, this, in fact, will not cause much damage to our army. Well, some infrastructure objects will be bombed. Will this somehow reduce our potential for resistance? Yes, when the fight starts, no one will look at the rear. You are still alive, your task is to get to the throat and strangle. It certainly won't help them - destroying infrastructure - and it certainly won't help them in their offensive operation. It will ruin our economy, well, or at least cause serious damage, but they will pay for it. For every million we lose, they will pay at least hundreds.

Well, by the way, in favor of this answer of yours, we can recall what happened under Trump in 2017. Remember when they bombed those Syrian air bases with Tomahawks. Several dozen were released. So a few days later these air bases were already in service again.

No, they seriously crushed the aircraft there. The bases were in service, but they gave a limited amount. That is, Trump and America in general didn’t have the task of defeating, but they showed "Here, look how we can." We decided to release 20 Tomahawks. We have thousands of them. They killed half of the Syrian aircraft with twenty, and maybe two-thirds. It's hard for me to judge, you have to dive deeper. And that's all. They really did a dosed blow, showing that it would be worse, tie it up.

Why am I just saying this? That when some kind of ground operation does not continue.

They didn't plan.

It's clear. I say that in our case, if the Russians use such a method, they get nothing but the fact that Ukraine turns into such a disturbed beehive with evil bees. Without a ground operation, nothing will work.

In general, there is no profit. That is, the army will not give up because of this, the fact that they will ruin some power plants or bridges for us, the army will not give up. And what are they doing there? People will start saying: “Let’s ask ourselves, what did they ruin”? I think the effect will be the opposite. And history speaks of this. You can stop the aggressor when you show the aggressor that your offensive resources are decreasing, or may decrease altogether, that is, they make your aggression unpromising. This is a deterrent weapon. You understand? This is not a defensive weapon, but a weapon .... I mean, not an offensive weapon, in fact, it is a deterrent weapon. That is, you can do some damage and reduce the chances of a successful attack. To extinguish the defense in this way - no. I can’t imagine a psychological model for such an effect of fire to lead to defeatism, to capitulation. I don’t have such a scheme in my head.

Last question. Comparing your feelings in 2014 - early 2015 and today, let's say this... how to formulate it... How do you look at the future of the country in the serious context in which it finds itself today?

We were just talking about the war, and you are talking about the economy. I lost economic ties with Ukraine in 2012 when I emigrated from the Yanukovych regime. I emigrated for two reasons - I felt bad here, and I did not see any chances for this country at all. When the revolution of 2013-2014 happened, I, of course, perked up that maybe something had changed, but then, to put it mildly, Comrade Poroshenko multiplied these expectations by zero in five years.

It is clear that the next presidential round gives new expectations, and so far I am not glowing with optimism. Here in the army there have really been some shifts. Apparently, the elites have found a consensus that something needs to be done with the army, it is necessary to somehow live more calmly, so that the aggressor understands that there is nothing to catch here, and so on. That is, I see real shifts. That is, the Minister of Defense is clearly strong, and the entire command of the armed forces is clearly strong.

That is, I'm kind of calm now about the fate of the country militarily, but in the economic sense I don't see anything. Everyone with whom I communicate, I heard that everything is bad economically. True, there are some... Here, recently, my friend came to me and he began to tell that you know, somewhere there the house collapsed for some reason, the gas exploded and everyone was given apartments in very quick time. It's never happened before, but here it is. I tell him, but it's kind of a question to Klitschko. He's the mayor of the city, these are city affairs. He says, I was there, I heard what was happening.

Yes, it happened in Kyiv, last year.

I just don’t live in Ukraine, it’s just an inside information, I am researching military history ….

It was on the left bank.

You say, well, obviously, at least Zelensky himself is concerned, he has some human features, but I still have people who are economically active in Ukraine. Here they are all not in a good mood, they do not see positive changes and this is bad. If Zelensky found someone to rely on in the army, I see obvious tectonic shifts, but there are none in the economy. The reason is that I do not presume to say whether it is the reformatting of the corruption of one from the other, or simply some wrong decisions, or the performers are not the same. But in the end, the result is the same - the country does not live better.

Perhaps the factors of this pandemic, military threats, and investments are influencing. All these factors, but there are countries that, in the face of a military threat and ongoing war, have made an economic breakthrough.

We will not even poke at the map where these countries are located. It's right behind you.

And something is not working for us. Sadly.

Thank you! I think we had a great conversation and what you said is extremely important for people to hear. And your optimism, restrained, undeniably restrained, but that's what I think people need to hear. Thanks!