‘I have no doubt they will have another go at Kyiv’. Head of Ukrainian army Valery Zaluzhny shares thoughts about the war

Valery Zaluzhny, head of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, believes that Russian troops are likely to make another attempt to capture Kyiv next year, he said in an interview with The Economist.

Photo: Valery Zaluzhny

Photo: Valery Zaluzhny

“Russian mobilisation has worked. It is not true that their problems are so dire that these people will not fight. They will. A tsar tells them to go to war, and they go to war.”

“I’ve studied the history of the two Chechen wars—it was the same. They may not be that well equipped, but they still present a problem for us. We estimate that they have a reserve of 1.2m-1.5m people… The Russians are preparing some 200,000 fresh troops. I have no doubt they will have another go at Kyiv,” he said.

He also said he understands why the Russian army tried to seize Kyiv in the beginning of the war. According to him, “Militarily this was the right decision—the easiest way to achieve their goal.” “I would have done the same,” Zakuzhny added. He notes that head of the Russian General Staff Valery Gerasimov now focused all efforts on Donbas “to preserve whatever resources he had left”.

The head of the Ukrainian forces said that he had fired 10 generals since the beginning of the war, while 1 more had shot himself. He also said that the Ukrainian military now faces three main tasks: to maintain positions, build up resources, and improve the air defence system to protect power facilities.

“I know that I can beat this enemy. But I need resources. I need 300 tanks, 600-700 ifvs, 500 Howitzers. Then, I think it is completely realistic to get to the lines of February 23rd. But I can’t do it with two brigades,” Zaluzhny noted.

He also believes that the next stage of the war can start in January in the worst case scenario, while the best case one is in March.

Today, The Washington Post wrote that the US administration was planning to supply equipment to Ukraine which makes it possible to create “smart bomb” out of non-guided aviation shells which can strike Russian positions with high precision.

Editor in chief — Kirill Martynov. Terms of use. Privacy policy.