Ukrainian officials say the Russians are learning from their war mistakes and making it harder for Ukrainian missiles to hit their ammunition depots and logistics centers. That’s why they say, Ukraine Long-range missiles that can reach inside Russia are needed.
Also believe in the appointment of General Valery Gerasimov The final throw of the dice has come from the Kremlin after several reshuffles in its military hierarchy as commander of Russia’s offensive in Ukraine.
Ukraine’s deputy chief of defense intelligence, Vadim Skibatsky, told CNN on Monday that the Russians had begun delivering military equipment “throughout the territory of the Russian Federation.”
In particular, he said, “everything is transported through the Crimean peninsula to the southern regions” from a logistics center in the Russian region of Rostov.
“If you ask what’s important for the Russian Federation, the centers of gravity are the very center, and they need to be hit to disrupt all kinds of supply systems,” Skibatsky said.
And that would require strikes against installations not only in Russian-held Crimea, but also in the Russian Federation, Skibatsky said.
He described Russia’s logistics systems as 80 to 120 kilometers (50-75 miles) from the front line, which means Ukraine needs long-range missile systems to target them.
Another reason for long-range artillery: Multiple Ukrainian officials have told CNN that Ukraine wants to strike back before Russian reinforcements are ready and ready to move. But to do that, Kyiv needs to be able to reach further.
“To prepare for a counter-offensive or offensive operation, you need to destroy many installations, not only on the front line, but behind enemy lines, 100-150 kilometers deep,” Skibatsky said.
“Especially now, to build strong strike groups we need tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, heavy weapons capable of quick countermeasures against the enemy.”
Last summer, US-made HIMARS were highly effective in eliminating such centers in the occupied parts of Ukraine’s southern Kherson region. But they won’t have the range to target Russian territory.
The Biden administration has so far been careful not to provide Ukraine with systems that could reach Russia.
Ukraine is now preparing for a brutal spring, anticipating a Russian offensive aimed at completing the capture of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions – a goal President Vladimir Putin has set for Russia’s “special military operation”. Is.
“The Russian Federation will continue to go on the offensive because it has failed in its primary objective: the complete capture of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” Skibatsky said, “and it is in those areas that we will be the focus of the main offensive.” are predicting the efforts of the Russian Federation
He also oversees the reorganization of Russian forces. “We can see that soldiers trained in Belarus are already here in Luhansk,” he said. “So they were preparing, they built reserves, and those reserves include Air Force units.”
Ukraine’s most senior military officer, Gen. Valery Zlozny, said in December that Ukraine expected a Russian attack anytime between January and late March.
The question is whether the latest Russian command reshuffle could delay such an attack.
“All the blame probably goes to Gerasimov,” Skibatsky said. [Putin’s] “The last chance to rectify the situation and at least partially achieve the objectives” was fixed at the beginning of the attack.
He said that at present all the resources, all the armed forces, the entire logistics system, the entire system of weapons production, supply and maintenance are available to the soldiers.
But Ukrainians believe Russia’s military machine is still lacking on many fronts, and expect further changes in its ranks.
“According to our assessment, this is not a final change,” Skibatsky said.[Putin] At the highest level, at the level of generals and below the platoon or company commander, there are really problems with command.
Skibatsky and other Ukrainian officials who spoke to CNN say the Russians are also struggling to produce enough weapons, especially tanks, combat vehicles and artillery systems. “We see very little in terms of new weapons,” he said.
U.S. and Ukrainian officials told CNN earlier this month that Russian artillery fire is down dramatically from wartime highs, by as much as 75 percent in some places.
They said Russia was rationing artillery rounds due to low supplies, or it could be part of a broader strategic analysis in the wake of Ukraine’s successful retaliation.
Ukrainians seem to believe it too. Wagner private military contractorwhich has been prominent in the attack on the eastern town of Soledar, may be on the rise.
Skibatsky said that any success on the axis of Donetsk and Luhansk would be attributed to the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and Gerasimov. Eugenie Prigogine The role of the mercenary group was likely to diminish due to the internal strife of Russian power.
“The leadership of the Russian armed forces is trying to reduce Prigozhin’s role and position as best they can, so he cannot strengthen his position in the Kremlin hierarchy,” he said.
After weeks focused on the eastern city of Bakhmut and Wagner’s presence on the front lines, Ukrainian officials also expect the next phase of the conflict to play out on a much broader canvas.
“Wagner is no longer acting alone,” Skibatsky said. “Other reserves have been brought in, such as the Airborne Troops, and other fighting brigades of the Russian Federation, so now we talk about Wagner acting there.” Can not do it.”