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The Russians are preparing “unpleasant surprises” for the Defense Forces — Ukraine’s National Guard Commander

Oleksandr Pivnenko says the next months will be difficult for Ukraine, but the National Guard is preparing to prevent any strategic breakthrough.
Oleksandr Pivnenko, commander of the Ukraine’s National Guard. Photo:
The Russians are preparing “unpleasant surprises” for the Defense Forces — Ukraine’s National Guard Commander

Perhaps Russians will have certain achievements and will be able to fulfill “10-15% of their goals”. The Ukrainian army will “face several difficult months of the Russian offensive.” However, it will not give them a strategic victory, Pivnenko says in an interview for

He says it is misleading to perceive that any time soon, Russians will need to pause their offensive because of losses. “Russians don’t need any pause. They collect 30,000 people a month calmly. Therefore, they do not feel the losses,” Pivnenko says.

He emphasizes that the only way for Ukraine to win the war is to rapidly increase the rate of Russian losses two or three times so that they will feel a shortage of personnel and equipment. On the other hand, he says, Ukraine needs to mobilize more troops to allow soldiers on the frontline proper rotation and rest in the condition of the war of attrition.

There is a shortage of people. If there will be no mobilization – there will be no rotation. Without rotation, people get exhausted. No unit can hold the defense non-stop for two or three years. Especially if it stands in a direction that the enemy is interested in, Pivnenko says.

He believes Russians are unable to achieve any strategic goals this year. However, from a longer perspective, Russians can still gather more troops.

Now, they will not cause such problems that the commanders of the Defense Forces will run in panic and not know what to do. We are preparing. But if we give them two or three years to rest, they will recover and invade Ukraine with new strength. Ukraine’s development path will resemble Israel’s. We will not leave the military direction. Otherwise, they will slowly, using the tactics of a creeping attack, devour us completely.

As was reported, Russian troops managed to occupy 505 square kilometers of Ukrainian land since the beginning of their offensive campaign in October 2023. This is only 0.08% of the Ukrainian territory. At the same time, approaching the second Ukrainian defense after the fall of Avdiivka and pressing on the town of Chasiv Yar in Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast, Russians still can conduct a more rapid offensive if the breach these defense lines. The Ukrainian army badly needs artillery ammunition as well as capabilities to strike Russian forces at a longer distance on the approach and shoot down their aircraft, dropping glide bombs on the frontline. These factors enable slow but steady Russian advances.

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