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Military Analyst Aqil Rustamzade Says Russia Being Worn Down, Ukraine Propped Up. We’ll Have to Fight for a Long Time

Military Analyst Aqil Rustamzade Says Russia Being Worn Down, Ukraine Propped Up. We’ll Have to Fight for a Long Time © Скриншот из видео
The truth about the war

article by INNA VEDERNIKOVA, ZN.UA politics editor

We were running so desperately, we thought that we almost won, and before the decisive throw at the finish, we suddenly realized this was a marathon. And we are no longer travelling light. There’s heaviness not only in bug-out bags, but also in every Ukrainian’s heart. For someone, it is because of the loss of loved ones since the dreadful number increases; for someone it is caused by separation from the homeland for the house is destroyed; for someone it derives from waiting for a call from the frontline as mobilization continues, for someone, the heaviness emerges from fear of shelling and children crying since Russian cruise missiles reach any peaceful city.

Why haven’t experts’ forecasts about a short-term war of two or three months come true? For what reason did the West not only fail to give us offensive weapons, but also hesitate with providing defensive ones? How many Сargo 200 and Cargo 300 (dead and wounded military personnel respectively – I.V.) are there to expect if the situation does not change? What is resolute Biden afraid of and what is stalled Europe trying to achieve? What is the danger of a protracted war for Ukraine and why has it become a new strategy? Why is the government silent on this? What might a victory over Russia look like, and is it even possible to defeat “nuclear Putin” militarily? Where is NATO today and where will the world be tomorrow?

We were looking for answers with Aqil Rustamzade, a well-known military analyst from Azerbaijan, whose reviews have garnered attention of the whole country in recent months.

On the duration of the war, the strategy of the Anglo-Saxons and duplicity of the EU

Aqil, in your interviews you speak of the war as of something alive. What is this organism that is still growing in us? What is it powered by? Where is the force to destroy it?

—You have found yourself in extremely difficult conditions. I don’t remember any wars in which any country faced this kind of problem. Only the Second World War and the Soviet Union can be analogues. However, the USSR in that war fought with an aggressor smaller in size and human resources. An overwhelmingly superior enemy has come to your land. But the power to stop this war lies exactly in the motivation of your people and army.

— This is a terrible comparison. Both in terms of the number of victims and in terms of duration. We survived at the start, having shocked not only the enemy, but also the allies. Nobody had a plan B.” They started helping us and promised us a sprint. However, when everyone began running out of air, they suddenly started talking about the stayer distance. Not only did they talk about that. If during the first two months, US military aid deliveries to Ukraine averaged $419 million per week, then starting April 27 (after the meeting in Ramstein), they dropped to $158 million per week, or became 2.6 times less. I don’t even touch upon Europe now. Why did this happen?

— We all come from the USSR, so we remember the Second World War well. This is primarily an emotional overload; this is about heartbroken people and large numbers of dead. But at the same time, Inna, no war is completely like another. There are always differences – mental, geographical, and others. And speaking of the Second World War, I talk about the duration first things first. As I have already said, neither Ukraine nor the Russian army can wage a modern war with elements of the fourth generation. There has unfolded not a fleeting war of the 21st century, when there is resistance for a month or two, then the enemy is destroyed and proceeds to capitulation. You have a multi-time match, so to say. Now the Russians have taken Severodonetsk, but after some time the situation may change drastically, and the city will become yours again. This is a long process, a long war. This is the war of exhaustion.

However, I will reveal to you the secret of Ukraine’s victory in such a war. This is Russian economy. This is where you can predict the duration of the war. Obviously, until the end of 2022, Russia will not experience difficulties with resources. The impetus for the victory will be the continued infliction of losses on the Russian army by the Ukrainian armed forces. I have already indicated this psychological threshold – around a thousand people killed per day.

— According to, say, Russian economist Andrei Illarionov, who recently sobered up the information environment with statistics and infographics, if in February the enemy’s losses were 1,325 people, now they make up 165. Moreover, the data on the total losses of Russians in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and British intelligence diverge twice, namely 30,350 and 15 thousand, accordingly.

— The data must be overviewed and brought closer to the truth. At the same time, you need to understand we are not talking about the First World War here anyway. Each soldier is in a vehicle and does not launch a bayonet attack. A thousand people need approximately 40–50 infantry fighting vehicles. The Russian Federation really has a lot of human resources, but it is running out of equipment. Due to rigidity of its military-industrial complex, Russia cannot promptly replenish reserves. Therefore, this war has no military solution. The fate of this war will be decided by the political defeat of the Russian Federation. Therefore, on the one hand, it is necessary to continue to destroy the equipment of the enemy by all means and, on the other hand, to achieve the political defeat of Russia.

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What are the instruments?

— The continuing political pressure from the West and the cost of the war being too high for the economy will cause Russia to end this war. That is, Russia is not a country that can be defeated by military means.

What influenced such a sea change in your position? We have been listening to your optimistic broadcasts for three months.

— I expected that the Anglo-Saxons would put some pressure to make all EU states promptly supply you a huge number of weapons. But they did not follow this path. And, you know, they might have made such a decision because the war is taking place in the logic of the confrontation between Russia and the West. The West is fighting in a complex way, namely by way of military and political actions and economically. Russia is being worn down, but Ukraine is propped up. This is the algorithm. The moment of truth will come when you equalize opportunities. Over the course of one or two months, the West will increase your firepower in one way or another. And this is already happening in the East, where the Ukrainian army now can engage enemy targets with artillery fire and stop his offensive actions.

But since you will not have a lot of weapons, you will not be able to make a turning point in this war and move on to offensive operations. You will be given as many weapons as will be enough for you to grind the enemy in defensive battles. Otherwise, your offensive operations and strikes on the territory of Russia will provoke both the beginning of a general mobilization in Russia and the beginning of a mass movement of volunteers and contract servicemen.

That is, the Western community perceives the problem from this perspective, which I came to understand just in the last two weeks. The whole world today is working precisely for the political defeat of Russia.

— Do you think this a rational position of the West? Or is this fear of nuclear Russia that formed the position not allowing the West to quickly supply weapons to us at the first stage? Especially since you yourself expected a completely different scenario.

— Do you follow public opinion in Russia? After three months of war, 80 percent of Russians support the actions of their leadership. In such a situation, a country with less potential has no chance against a nuclear power. All these days I have been trying to come to an understanding of the logic of the West. Obviously, there is no single collective West. The leaders in this process are the Anglo-Saxons. And today I think their approach is rational. Even if you transfer all the weapons of the EU countries, Russia will continue the war. It can only be reduced to a price at which this military operation will lose any attractiveness for it. First of all, among the political and business elite, turbulence, where it is already observed. Russian society in this story will salute out of habit.

— What role does the duplicity of Europe, whose leading politicians in some form are constantly “calling Putin,” play in shaping the position of the Anglo-Saxons?

— Russian gas is the basis of today’s policy of the EU countries, especially Germany. Its elites are closely connected with Russia, which is clearly seen from their position. It has nothing to do with Germany’s national interests. Only business. At the same time, France, whose president even calls Putin, provided you with CAESAR self-propelled artillery, which right now in Donbas show the best counter-battery fight. These things should be treated separately. There is no collective West. Each country acts based on its national interests. Another thing is that some politicians in this situation act based on their own interests, which we see in the example of Hungary. But it is precisely because the United States has a lot of leverage over the EU that it manages to push through its agenda, unite the West as much as possible, and push it to help Ukraine.

On the benefits of a long war, saving the lives of soldiers, and defensive weapons

— What does the long war mean for Ukraine, Russia, and the West?

Let’s start with Ukraine. For you, this is an opportunity to save your human resources, as well as to hit the enemy more accurately and destructively with the arrival of Western weapons. Due to even dosed weapons, holding their positions, as well as conducting small counter-offensive operations, the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be able to exhaust the enemy by constantly increasing its losses in military equipment and personnel. All this can clearly serve as an impetus for a change in the agenda of Russia’s leadership.

The Russian Federation is already experiencing a shortage of munitions ranging from artillery shells to cruise missiles. The prolongation of this war is unprofitable for the Russian Federation, since, unlike Ukraine, it does not have the opportunity to replenish ammunition and military equipment. Russia did not switch its economy to a war footing. In the next month or two, the Russian army will weaken, which again can serve as an impetus for the political defeat of the Russian Federation. Like I said, I do not see the possibility for Ukraine to inflict a military defeat on the Russian Federation.

The West. It has split into two camps. These are the leading countries of the European Union that do not want to change geopolitical borders. They want to keep Russia, business and, so to say, avoid radical changes on the Eurasian continent. The position of the Anglo-Saxons is reverse. They want to weaken the Russian Federation, remove its nuclear weapons, pushing for the creation in Russia’s place of several new states no longer a threat to either the post-Soviet space or the EU.

What we will get as a result is perplexing to predict. We are in the process. I think there will be an understanding of what both the Russian-Ukrainian war and the Russian-Western confrontation in general in late summer.

— You say that a long-term war for Ukraine is about saving the lives of our soldiers. But look at the speed of arms shipments and the situation in the southeast. We are suffering big losses. Under massive artillery fire, according to our president, 60-100 soldiers die per day. Plus, civilians. Are we exhausting Russia at the expense of the lives of Ukrainians? Or at the expense of our damaged infrastructure? The question voiced is not even mine but of the people who lose their loved ones. That is, in order not to feel abandoned, in order not to lose motivation, Ukrainians must understand and accept the strategy of key allies.

What can I say here ... It was not the Anglo-Saxons who dragged you into the war. On the contrary, they help you get out of it. The price is this high, indeed. However, what else can you offer here? You yourself made an admirable decision to fight but not give up.

I’m not talking about giving up now, but about the speed of arms shipments for every new day of the war means a hundred or even more deaths. Well, this is a trigger for us.

— Okay, let’s assume another scenario is implemented. Say, you were supplied with weaponry very quickly and in large quantities. You began to massively destroy the enemy and entered the territory of Crimea. Putin will launch a tactical nuclear strike. You do not have such air defence systems to shoot down such missiles.

— We have not been given even simple air defence systems.

— You see, one cannot raise the level of tension in this war. You are dealing with a nuclear state. It can only be worn down. Large strikes will cause a mandatory response. Imagine that you hit the major cities of Russia. People are in shock, resulting in the demand for the authorities to protect them.

You need to find the line at which you will stab the enemy not once and greatly but thousands of times and not so badly – for the enemy to die slowly. There are plenty of hotheads in Ukraine. I remember the moment when the Armed Forces of Ukraine reached the Russian border of the Kharkiv region. Social networks shouted with one voice that it was necessary to send troops to the Belgorod region. You must be wiser and smarter. Think several moves ahead. A quiet war without heat is now beneficial to everyone. Including Russia, which will seek or is already looking for ways out of this situation. That is, everything that is happening now is the best way. And it seems to me that your military and political leadership has already realized and accepted it.

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— In one of your last interviews, you stated the idea that even within the framework of the defensive doctrine the West is too slow in shipments. It does not allow us to defend ourrselves without combat losses. That is, we are no longer talking about a turning point and an offensive, but about defence and parity. While we are wearing them down, we ourselves must rely on such supplies. What kind of parity should it be? What should be shipped to us? The West leverages tens of billions of military aid, but it would be clearer to us if we saw it in the form of howitzers and drones.

— You need two main types of weapons that will allow you to inflict huge losses on the enemy when defending yourself. Firstly, it is self-propelled artillery in the amount of 40–60 units. Secondly, at least 40–60 M270 and M142 multiple launch rocket systems. All this will allow you, while defending yourself, to destroy the enemy and his military equipment, making the cost of war unbearable for the Russians.

If it is more or less clear with the supply of self-propelled artillery (according to my calculations, 20–50 pieces of this weaponry should come to you within a month or two) there is no clarity with the MLRS. We are talking about some 10–20 units, but this is not the amount that will allow you to effectively defend yourself. Therefore, there is a question for your allies, who must promptly provide the required number of MLRS. First of all, in order for the Ukrainian army to keep the defence not due to the death of its soldiers, but thanks to the use of modern high-precision weapons.

All the figures of the losses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which were announced earlier, in particular by the president, relate to the first stage of the war. As regards the second one, which you are experiencing now, at a critical minimum in the supply of Western weapons, I can predict five thousand killed and 10–15 thousand wounded.

— According to our data, a little more than 900 Russians were held captive as PoWs during the hostilities. However, there are more than six thousand Ukrainian troops in Russian captivity. After a series of exchanges, we have 600 people left, and they still have six thousand PoWs with two thousand being those who left Azovstal. How strong is a leverage when the prisoner ratio is one to ten? And what should we do in such a situation?

— I think that there were some separate agreements regarding the two thousand having left Azovstal. As for the 900 captured Russians, the figure is relevant, unless I’m wrong, for April. There are more of them. But in any case, Russia also has an advantage in this matter and an additional lever of influence, to which, however, your military and political leadership is not reacting strongly.

As for MLRS you were quoted as saying, “A range about 70 kilometres is not enough. We need a turning point of 150–200 kilometres to destroy the military repair bases of the Russians to deprive them of resources.”

— Let’s wait for the specification of the package you are provided. As far as I know, the British will supply missiles with a range of up to 80 kilometres. There are other important modifications with a range of up to 160 kilometres. I think that the military leadership of your country understands this task and raises this issue with their partners. The structure and logistics of the enemy must be destroyed, which means reaching their rear. Therefore, there is a high probability that by autumn Ukraine will have turned into a kind of fortress, to which the enemy will not be able to approach closer than 30 kilometres. Indeed, Ukraine should become a fortress and learn how to fight for a long time. You have better situational awareness. You have already partially deployed elements of the fourth generation, namely satellite reconnaissance, high-precision weapons, and so on. And you will be defending yourself against a third-generation army.

Here I will take he liberty of referring to my favorite thing and remind the Ukrainian military and political leadership of the importance of using the kamikaze drones you have. I don’t understand why the command doesn’t pay enough attention to this versatile at your disposal. The Ukrainian army began to actively use aviation. Kamikaze drones are also an excellent tool for destroying adversary air defence, not to mention reconnaissance missions, elimination of subversion and reconnaissance groups and military equipment. Their mass use will give the same effect as the use of javelins. They can also replace Bayraktars that did not work at full capacity with full justification (the absence of the entire technological chain).

Is the indifferent attitude to kamikaze drones the only miscalculation of the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine or are there any more?

— At the moment, I don’t see any specific mistakes on the part of the command of the Ukrainian army, except for the failure of the defence in the south. But the failure of the defence in the south is very nuanced, and until we know all the details, I cannot make any unsubstantiated claims.

— Name the nuances.

— Partial betrayal. But the fact that the South of Ukraine was wasted is unequivocal.

Figuring out who and why did not blow up the bridges in the south is of little help now, but over the past two weeks, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have liberated twenty small settlements in the Kherson region. Are there opportunities for pinpoint strikes to gradually drive out the enemy and expand the fortress? Are there real chances of cutting off the Russian group in the south from their resources?

— As we have already found out, you need to defend what you’ve got, where possible looking for gaps in the enemy’s defence and to counterattack. There are the same pinpoint opportunities for counterattacks in Kharkiv region and Zaporizhzhya. It’s all included in the general strategic defensive operation of this war. As for cutting off the communications of the grouping in the south, there is no way to do without high-precision weapons. Without it, you will have to take back each settlement with the blood of your soldiers. And in this context, I am very impressed that your command is in no hurry to thoughtlessly throw its forces at the fortified borders of Russians. I can say the same thing about cities whose inhabitants and infrastructure you protect as much as possible.

Here again, we must pay tribute to kamikaze drones. If you are going to liberate Kherson, then in what way? Without this ammunition, you will get the maximum number of victims among civilians and destroy your city.

— What successful decisions do you see during the war that led to local breakthroughs or laid the foundation for future victories, within the framework of Mr Zaluzhnyi or the Supreme Commander?

— I think that from the very first days near Mykolaiv and in the region, a defence knot was very successfully formed. It did not allow the enemy to capture the regional city, and created the conditions for future counter-offensive operations, including for the future de-occupation of Kherson. As we see today, it is from the side of Mykolaiv that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are constantly putting pressure on the Kherson group of Russians. There are a lot of successes. Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy... But the success there is still partial since the hostile 30,000-strong grouping left on its own, following the resistance of the Ukrainian army, of course. But the Armed Forces of Ukraine failed to inflict great damage on them during the retreat.

— At one time, many emphasized that the Russians are squeezing the entire population out of the puppet regime, forcing unprepared workers, teachers, and doctors to fight. They are unable to play a big role in military tactics and strategy, but they can die. Ukraine also used territorial defence units. This is even though the president stated there are 700 thousand military personnel, and the minister of defence even promised to increase the number of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to a million. Is there a need to send unprepared people to frontline?

— The Russian command did not care much about those mobilized in the so-called Donetsk/Luhansk People’s Republic. They were thrown into well-prepared and fortified Ukrainian defence lines. There are a lot of victims there. No one writes about this, but I believe that the number of those killed from these “republics” exceeds 20 thousand people. In fact, they were “cannon fodder.” As for Ukraine, this was the moment when it was necessary to patch holes and fill gaps in the defence. This is not a system; this is a forced measure.

On the occupied territories, the new information policy, the Internet, and NATO

— Suppose we resort to defensive measures, become a fortress, inflict pinpoint strikes, wearing the enemy down. But we already have a sixth of the territories occupied. Referendums and Russian officials travelling to Kherson and Mariupol as if they were at home loom over us. It hurts. Does the political victory you speak of imply that the Russians, with their tail between their legs, will go back to the borders on February 24? Or does it fit into the European “let-Putin-save-face” trend and get out of this war not only with refrigerators and washing machines?

— It is obvious that neither your people nor the government will agree to any cession of territories. And I am sure that no one and nothing can and will be able to decide behind your back. The only question is that the key to solving the whole problem is the domestic political situation in Russia. Its configuration and duration are now not possible to predict. Personally, I am always looking for materials that would at least slightly clarify the mood in the political elite of Russia. But so far there is nothing to analyse. In addition, I’m not a political scientist.

— That is, the fortress should stand and wait until the political situation in Russia changes. This is an unenviable perspective. What if it doesn’t change? What if it changes in an even more reactionary direction? Given a society of 80% using Sieg Heil salute, in the short term, should not be counted on.

— Yes, the scenario of the arrival of an even tougher ruler with general mobilization in the agenda is also being discussed. And no matter how Jesuitical it may sound; the bombing of Ukraine can be even more severe should there be the relevant command. There are various scenarios. But the main one is that the whole civilized world is really on your side. They help you economically. You don’t have any humanitarian problems. Your people are motivated and selfless, this is already a historical axiom.

It is very difficult to forecast and predict in such a situation. But it is the most likely that after the losses tangible for the Russian army, the Russian elites will want to return at least to the pre-war state. Russia is still not North Korea to live separately from the world community. There are too many connections. When all the strings are stretched to the maximum, the war will end.

— We are now immersing the reader in a slightly different reality than we have been living all these months. It is necessary to reorganize internally for this stayer distance. It is difficult for every individual, not to mention the whole state. Our president has withstood high-level resistance at all levels. Now we need to tell people more difficult things amid the general fatigue and losses. This transition in the information field has not yet taken place. Nor has correct reconfiguration of the breath of the whole society. We are still hearing claims of a counteroffensive. Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council Danilov stated yesterday that for the counteroffensive we need to form six new brigades with 25,000 soldiers. Where is the limit for propaganda?

— I don’t have much to say about the authorities. They know best, based on the information they have. Personally, I have served in the army, and I perfectly understand that the state machine is arranged differently. They see all the processes from the inside, while we observe them from the outside. Meanwhile, I’d like to note that most government analysts and military experts unanimously continue to reiterate to Ukrainian society that either today or tomorrow we will start a counteroffensive, that Russia is running out of resource, etc. You cannot do it this way. With such a pace of war, Russia can fight for years, constantly replenishing its 150,000-strong group.

There once was a stage having developed according to other laws, and Ukraine really won it, retaining its state. But a war is a living process that is constantly changing, revealing new trends. Ignoring them and not talking about them intentionally, be it by politicians or the media, is to emotionally exhaust your people and to give them false hopes. Meanwhile, there is already a clear understanding of what needs to be done, and what you are already doing at this stage in order to win – at least to underscore.

Скриншот из видео

Never before has such a large-scale war been waged in the era of the global Internet: social networks, instant messengers, the inability to control the messages going out, the appeals of fighters through the heads of their commanders. What are the pros and cons of a war provided that the Internet is available?

— War loves silence. Nobody wants publicity. And there are no pluses here for any of the belligerents. By phones and instant messengers, soldiers who fought on the territory of Ukraine are easily identified. Therefore, in many modern armies, personal mobile communications enabling photo and video are generally prohibited. There have been enough cases when footage was shot, and then following the geolocation of these videos, there was a strike. This greatly interferes with the camouflage for troops during hostilities. Although on the other hand it helps identify those who have committed crimes against civilians. Yet this is a separate layer of problems of this war.

— Western journalists and specialists publicly discuss in either specialized and often not specialized media outlets the pros and cons of the parties, give their forecasts, share the results of intelligence ... It seems that we are chips on the map. Or fish in an aquarium. Meanwhile, draconian measures against the media are being introduced in Ukraine, so that no one talks about the number and types of weapons received, the results of missile strikes, etc. It is very difficult to fight in such conditions.

— As for experts and analysts, we are specially trained to collect information bit by bit and share it. I don’t see a problem here, especially against the backdrop of the triumph of fakes in social networks. However as for the information support of the war, here in Ukraine, as for me, there is too much democracy. Any bloggers can go to the front line and make public the information that will embarrass your entire military and political leadership. This is not the case in any country in the world. Neither in England, nor in the USA, which are constantly at war.

— Do you now mean a ban on criticizing the actions of the military leadership?

— It’s not about criticism, you are welcome to criticize. But the situation on the front line constitutes a military secret. Its correct provision, focusing people’s attention on combat losses, badly affects the population. The glass is always half empty and half full. The liberation of a small village can be presented as a defeat, and the abandonment of a large city as a universal victory. Therefore, the coverage of military operations requires a coherent and systematic approach. Imagine your General Staff is planning an operation to encircle the enemy just at this point, and then a journalist goes on the air. And this is not my invention, this is the dogma of war. Combat operations should be covered by special people who coordinate their positions and materials. You must not frame your military. And you have had cases when the media filmed any military facility, and the next day a missile hit it. Thank you very much from the enemy.

That is, separate the strategic issues and the operational situation on the front line, which media a priori should not influence. This is a very fine line that needs to be approached masterfully. Better still, it should be coordinated with the military.

Without affecting the operational situation on the front line, I want to criticize the leadership of NATO. During the entire period of the war, we did not see a single strategic and qualitative decision of the Alliance influencing the situation. Do you think that if Russia attacks the Baltics tomorrow Article 5 of the Charter will be automatically invoked? Or oppositely – there will be, say, Hungary, Italy and others who will begin to grab everyone by the hand, proving that NATO is a peacetime defence alliance, not a wartime one. Thus, the Balts will be protected only by Poles, Britons, and Americans. The rest will provide medicines.

— Both the EU and NATO turned out to be not capable of solving urgent problems on the Eurasian continent. That is why the Balts brought American troops to their territory to guarantee security. Pursuant to the mentioned Article 5, if there are American troops on the territory of the Baltics, then an attack on the territory of the Baltics will be equated to an attack on the US – with all the ensuing consequences. Another point is that Finland and Sweden, having applied for membership in NATO, obtained guarantees from Great Britain and America, not from NATO. This bloc is a military and political alliance with all the implications.

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— Why do you think Putin reacted calmly enough to the applications of Finland and Sweden? And this even though the borders with the countries of the Alliance will increase by 84 kilometres, and before that he demanded a return to the 1997 agreements on the non-expansion of NATO. You know Türkiye well, the main ally of Azerbaijan. By blocking the ambitions of these countries, is Erdogan blackmailing NATO to obtain types of weapons that were previously denied to the Turks? Or is it an agreement with Putin after all?

— Erdogan’s position is clear and precise. Both countries have long sheltered and facilitated the residence and presence of militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, terrorist organization on their territory. Both countries have imposed sanctions on Türkiye’s military sector. Would you allow countries that do not supply you weapons into your ranks; that impose sanctions against you? So, the position of Türkiye is in no way connected with the position of Russia. In this situation, the quality of the all-European get-together, for which Türkiye is an enemy for some reason, is also manifested. Is there a big difference when Finland and Sweden join NATO – now or in a year? No. But we need a topic to discuss. Macron is talking with Putin for hours, Scholz literally mocks Erdogan, and everyone else discusses Erdogan unanimously. The Turkish President quite fairly demands to lift the sanctions if these states want to be in the same block with him. I think they will agree. Finland has almost got along with Erdogan, and Sweden is still working on this issue.

In the near future, NATO should adopt its new strategy. Do you think they are in a big hurry with it? Neither the military nor the political awareness of the largest war in Europe after the Second World War has yet occurred. There are no reactions to it, effectiveness, and strategies that could be applied. It has not even been realized yet who is capable of what within the Alliance itself, and who can NATO really count on. What points could form the basis of a new NATO strategy if approved?

— Any military organization must react to the changing environment. This is a routine procedure in which you need to respond to a change in the situation and new challenges.

— We are now living inside a history textbook, and not only NATO has not reflected on what is happening, but we are with you. However, what is your strategic prudent outlook for the future? How will Ukraine, Europe, the world cope with a war that is claiming thousands of Ukrainian lives right now? And what changes will it lead to?

— The modern world will change due to its inability to respond to current challenges. I believe that the monopolar world that emerged after the collapse of the Union does not provide security and prosperity to the entire Eurasian continent. After the war world regional military-political alliances will be formed. In this world, the role of the European Union will noticeably weaken. The legal personality of Ukraine will remain, and in the future your country will be able to form its own regional military and political union. We already see its first sprouts, namely Poland and the Baltic countries. They have a common vision of politics, economics, and military development. Britain will be next to this union.

What’s your advice to Ukraine?

— War implies specific conditions to which individuals and the state are exposed to. War requires the ability to think – to be critical of the flow of information pouring on you. I advise Ukrainians to reduce the level of emotional reaction to inflated news, especially if it is not confirmed within 6–24 hours. For a long war, you need to accumulate, not disperse, the resource.

Read this article by Inna Vedernikova in russian and Ukrainian at the links.

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