Russia's testing of losing conditions and the success of Rammstein-10: an interview with Mikhail Podolyak
The occupiers are trying to force NATO to take a more effective part in the war. At the same time, the recent meeting in the Ramstein format was the most concrete in terms of understanding the stage of the war and Ukraine's priorities.
Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to the head of the President's Office, spoke about the specifics of providing Ukraine with military assistance following the results of Rammstein-10 and Russia's testing of the conditions for its loss in an exclusive interview for Channel 24 .
Two features of “Rammstein-10”
The report that Minister of Defense Oleksiy Reznikov made to President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky was the longest in time for all 10 Rammsteins. As I understand it, there was something to talk about.
The tenth “Rammstein” was in an online format. It has 2 features:
- The priority is what we need right here and today.
- Specifics from each country, how much and what it will give exactly within the priority.
I'll say the following about priority:
The first is heavy caliber shells, you need a lot of them. They need to be accumulated in order to move in 4 directions. We are now speaking with irony. But in order to move, you need a lot of projectiles. By the way, as part of Mr. Reznikov's report to the President of Ukraine, it was said which country and how much is ready, taking into account the production, which has already been accelerated in some states, to provide us with these shells.
The second component is missiles of a certain range, including ranges of more than 100 km. This is even priority number 1 in terms of what Russia is doing by accumulating a certain resource over a long distance.
The third priority is repair depots and logistics centers for resupplying armored vehicles and sending them already prepared to Ukraine. What can each country additionally do? To increase the number of armored vehicles, to participate in the equipment of repair centers not only on the territory of Ukraine. Of course, we also have logistics hubs in other countries. Proactively, some countries have taken on this role.
In addition , it is necessary to increase the number of training centers specifically for training in certain types of weapons.
Here is the key. Therefore, specific countries have joined Ramstein online with specific proposals. For example, 10, 20, 100 thousand shells. And schedules for the delivery of this equipment for Ukraine.
Therefore, it seems to me that from a logistical point of view, it was the most specific Ramstein in terms of understanding the stage of the war, Ukraine's priorities, and the possibilities of military-industrial production.
Russian spies in Poland
As for logistics, Poland reported that they had declassified the Moscow intelligence network, which had to or wanted to do something so that the weapons did not reach Ukraine on time.
Now many fundamental things are going on in the world. That is, Russia is increasingly nervously using its mothballed networks. Not only the standard lobbying networks, but also the embassies make the most of it, there are a lot of agents, “useful idiots”.
Interview with Mikhail Podolyak: watch the video
Russia uses all this to solve 3 fundamental tasks that have not changed over the past six months:
- Reduce the amount of aid to the military. Humanitarian aid does not concern them, because for Russians, people are a bio-waste, both of their own and in other countries. But they want to reduce military aid to Ukraine. This requires ongoing discussions in other societies.
- Temporary truce theme. That is, to ensure this truce so that Russia can take an operational pause and accumulate a certain resource for itself.
- Maximum discredit of Ukraine. They are trying to link the word “terrorist attack” to Ukraine, that Ukraine wants to carry out these terrorist attacks in different states in order to draw more attention to the war.
By the way, today a strange proposal was made by India within the framework of the G20 that less attention should be paid to the war in Ukraine, and more to food and climate challenges. This is surprising, because the war in Ukraine is a key risk for food, climate, and environmental security as well.
I'm generally surprised to see that the global world does not understand prioritization. There will be no safe circuit, there will be constant conflicts. This will completely break all other agreements in various areas.
Oscar and politics
Oscar wants to talk about the war “as such”, referring to the “opposition” in Russia. They are ready to remember the previous wars, but they didn’t give a word to the one that is going on right now. In this sense, they set other priorities.
These are not priorities, but the level of people. I want us to call a spade a spade. It also depends on how, for example, the organizers or leaders of the same award understand the modern world. This is about their level of erudition, intelligence speaks.
For when you say: “We are out of politics,” and give an award not even to a documentary, but to the Navalny manifesto, it clearly says that you are about politics. It has no other interpretations.
Certainly, it is amazing. It seems to me that for them Ukraine is somewhere far away, and Russia is something big and powerful. They still live in these pre-war illusions. Probably, we have not yet fully explained to the modern world what is really important today. We need to scale it up.
I try to do it. The president keeps saying that this is not a war about territories, not even about values or democracy or authoritarianism. This is a war about how humanity will continue to exist, in what rules.
And it's a little strange that Hollywood, which has to constantly talk about this, which makes these patriotic films, does not understand the key. Ukraine is not about a small war in a region unknown to them. This is about the fundamental values in which they will exist for the next 50 years, for example.
Because I believe that the historical cycle is now much smaller. You and I have to explain this and we will explain. Here we are not even talking about Russia, I mean the authors of the film “Navalny”. Although Mrs. Navalnaya's speech was somewhat strange. If you say that your husband is being persecuted, about the usurpation in Russia, while not saying that this usurpation led to the key tragedy of the 21st century – a full-fledged war with Ukraine – this is a little strange.
This speaks to the wrong prioritization in the Navalny family and in general in the Russian liberal opposition. But you and I understand this. This does not mean that we should say: “They are nobody and their name is nothing.” But it should be borne in mind that Russia in this form, even if there is a change of Putin, cannot exist.
Let's re-prioritize our goals here. If Russia remains in this form from the point of view of the political system, even with a partial change in the political elites, it will not change fundamentally from the point of view of values, this is extremely dangerous for us. This war must be ended not only territorially, but also so that this transformation begins in Russia, in particular, on the level of values.
I understand that when we talk about values in relation to Russia, it sounds a bit strange. Because where is Russia and where are the values? Except imperialism, chauvinism and so on. But, in the meantime, we must work on this and explain it to the world. In particular, our partners. Russia today is investing a lot of resources, looking for opportunities to change the agenda of discussion in the world.
I will return to the topic of undermining the Nord Streams, which Russia used for blackmail. Do you know what particularly interested me there? The fact that the presentation of materials in the German and American media was synchronized. All references were to anonymous intelligence sources. I think the Russians cannot use these unidentified intelligence sources to work on certain topics.
No need to continue to be afraid of Russia
As for the situation in Poland. Even the propagandists are already saying: “What act of ‘retaliation’ are we talking about if the Ukrzaliznytsia carriages were an hour late? Even there they have already begun to see clearly and understand that something is going wrong somewhere in this story.
It is you, Katya, who are very optimistic about what they say in Russia. They do not see clearly and cannot see clearly. Let's be objective – they are collectively sick. I do not want to offend anyone, but they are completely zombified by themselves, in love with themselves and their propaganda. They don't exactly analyze what's going on. They've bitten the bit today.
Unfortunately, they will continue to attack Ukraine in order to destroy a certain amount of infrastructure, a certain number of civilians, a certain number of our cities. This is no longer a war to seize the initiative – all that we see in the Bakhmut direction. It's already a “we can kill somebody else” war.
They subconsciously understand that they lose because they look insignificant. When you say “on a show-off”, that “we are in 3 days, we are this, we are that”, and today you have been fighting for more than a year to capture Bakhmut, which is not there… They have already destroyed this small town. Did you say before that you could capture Kyiv, Berlin or Paris? They understand that this is nonsense.
Meanwhile, back to Poland. You know, it's not a matter of blowing up the railroad as such. When you are affected, the Russians are now affected, you are looking for any opportunity to remind. They believe that this will greatly influence the course of the war as such.
Therefore, they constantly conduct some kind of exercises in the Baltic to scare our key ambassadors, who in Europe have an active pro-Ukrainian position. The whole of northern Europe – Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia – constantly says that you need to give everything and help Ukraine as much as possible. They launch some Iskanders, shot down an American drone over the Black Sea, they say that they can undermine railways in Poland, create problems in Moldova, and so on.
This is from the impossibility of being the way you sold yourself for a certain time. Russia is not the same as it sold itself. This is not yet understood, unfortunately. If everyone understood this, today they would say: “Russia does not exist for us, it makes no sense to pay attention to its words, there is Ukraine, which forms a different reality.
“What does Ukraine need? Weapons? Look, we can give you everything on such calendar dates. Make sure that Russia is generally silent.” This is how it should all happen. Therefore, our work with you continues. We need to explain:
the world of the pre-war type will not return, that's for sure;
no need to continue to be afraid of Russia today;
there is no need to respond to statements like: “You cannot fly over the Black Sea with your drones.”
It is necessary to strictly identify, strictly detain. Russia should be afraid. All countries must behave toughly in violation of Russia or other public/non-public international rules. This would be much more effective in terms of speeding up the finalization of the war.
Russia wants to force NATO to take part in the war
We remembered this US drone, which, let's face it, was thrown off course. This drone as an incident or a precedent to get the US into the war. What are they trying to do? Simple sabotage or pragmatic plans?
Three components: the first is very positive, you will like it, and two are ordinary. Let's start with the positive. They want to lose the war, but not only to Ukraine, but also to NATO. They want to force NATO to take a more effective part in this war, so that later they can say: “We lost NATO.”
They do it subconsciously. They are testing the red lines that they will not be allowed to enter. They send missiles flying into the spaces of other countries, including NATO members. Cruise missiles, to which NATO members have not yet responded accordingly. They crash down a drone that has no pragmatic purpose, because there are about 200 such aircraft in the US, I mean Reaper.
That is, it makes no sense to shoot down a reconnaissance drone, especially if it is not used as an attack drone. They demonstrate that they control something in the airspace of the Black Sea and that they should be treated with respect. The Russians are always trying to demonstrate it. They are testing the red lines, that is, where they can go with these provocations.
And the third thing they want to understand is how much NATO will move from just words to more effective support for Ukraine. I mean whether testing of this or that “red line” will speed up the provision of assistance. Or vice versa, the provision of assistance will be slowed down. They test different programs. But the key, in my opinion, is they are testing their loss, not to Ukraine, but to NATO countries.
Lifting carriers of “Daggers” into the sky
MiG take-offs and alarms 3-4 times a day – is this a tactic to “nightmare” us or preparation for another attack?
This is not a new tactic. They use it all the time. If we are talking about yesterday (March 15 – Channel 24) – this MiG-31, which is the carrier of “Daggers”, flew 5 times.
This tactic has two components. The first is to disturb us, because the siren is constantly on, you need to stop work, this causes certain nervous reactions. Here we turn to the second component – they want it to affect the economic state of the same Kyiv. We stop the work of public transport, cafes and other businesses. There are operational difficulties.
That is, on the one hand, this is psychological pressure, on the other, albeit slight, but economic pressure. So it's a tactic they've been using all the time, it's just that the number of strategic missiles they have has decreased now.
We must understand that war is not comfort. War – certain restrictions. And we really must respond to air raid warnings without fail. That's life. No need to talk, let's react less when this MiG rises in Belarus, let's continue to work, let's not pay attention.
Podolyak commented on the takeoffs of the MiG-31K / Collage 24 Channel
I understand that this is difficult from an economic and psychological point of view, but it is still important for us to minimize any losses among the population. Therefore, let's react until this war is over, as we reacted a month ago, and two and a half years ago, to these sirens. There shouldn't be any relief. We must react harshly – there is a siren, so we go to the bomb shelter.
Articles by WP and Politico about the shortage of “professional military”
The Washington Post published an article stating that Ukraine does not have enough military personnel. The Russians decided to pay for this information stuffing?
What are White House officials – are there surnames? No. It looks very strange to me because it is very sensitive information. If you refer to specific figures, then you need to give a specific source. Because we have other figures that the General Staff must announce. We are very cautious about this, only the General Staff has certain numbers that do not correspond to the declared WP and Politico.
When WP and Politico talk, they are not talking about irreversible, but in general. That is, the wounded, and those who have lost limbs, and including those who died. That is, they take the entire figure, which is irreversible and reversible losses in the war for Ukraine. But it's important to see the source they link to.
The second component. I find this amazing. A war, if it is not a three-day, five-day war, it really begins with contract armies. If this is a protracted, large-scale war that has been going on for more than a year, then, of course, the number of contract soldiers is decreasing: whether they are wounded, or on rotation, or they died. And the war is large-scale and the number of people participating in it is expanding.
The front line, I emphasize, directly in the East and South of our country is 1700 km. Therefore, the number of people who are not contract soldiers is increasing and are directly involved in hostilities. That is, gradually the army, if it is a long and large-scale war, becomes mobilized – these are the key rules of all major wars. I do not understand why it is necessary to write for these publications as about something unknown, know-how.
Just like in Russia. They lost their entire contract army much faster than we did. I mean no faster, they almost completely lost it. We have a completely different situation. From the point of view of the fact that we waged a maneuver-defensive war. And therefore, we have much less losses – this is objective information. Therefore, Russia today has a mobilized army, except for the Wagner PMC and the remnants of the contract army, which are concentrated in the Bakhmut direction.
Why is it important to fight in the Bakhmut direction – because the remnants of more or less trained contract soldiers are destroyed in absolute numbers. Now Russia will conduct a parallel mobilization. This is a fictitious mobilization, because under the pretext of checking the data they will collect people through subpoenas to the military registration and enlistment offices. Force them to sign contracts. So again there will be a huge unprepared army, but this is the second wave in Russia. Because the losses are not commensurate with ours in the Russian army.
Therefore, all these strange articles have one goal – to show not quite understanding of the nature of war by certain media platforms. After a year of war, they do not understand what large-scale wars are and for some reason do not take appropriate comments from the Ukrainian side – the same Armed Forces of Ukraine, in order to understand what is happening.
Or the second component – an attempt to indirectly demoralize Ukraine and, again, after a while, switch to the favorite toy of the Russian elite – “let's sit down at the negotiating table, let's negotiate a ceasefire.”
I find this amazing. For American media, even more so. Because it means that democracy is not ready to win wars. Because now we are talking about either the democracies will win, or the authoritarians. And it's a bit strange – the American media's failure to understand that the demoralization of Ukraine, a country that is ready to pay the highest price for the freedom of the democratic world as a whole, they want to demoralize it. It looks amazing.
Then write: “We believe that democracies should always make concessions and pay for existence. That is, give away territories, pay reparations, maybe even allow Russia to enter in any form.”
Let's put it this way: if the war is wrongly ended in Ukraine, then Russia has already designated it – it will take Georgia, Moldova, at least, and it will return in order to form the USSR 2.0 on the basis of the CIS.
These are obvious things, I'm not saying that she wants to claim territory in the Middle East. Moreover, Assad was in Moscow. It will claim control in Africa, Latin America. It seems strange to me when you write about the war in Ukraine as a small local conflict without understanding this global context.