Espreso. Global

There will be some reverberations from Zaluzhnyi's resignation. Column by Serhiy Zgurets

9 February, 2024 Friday

The military must understand what they did wrong to have the Commander-in-Chief removed from office. The situation looks complicated. It seems that some political realities are at the forefront, rather than clear military goals

Zaluzhnyi's resignation

The situation looks complicated. It seems that some political realities are at the forefront, rather than clear military objectives, because the situation on the front line remains extremely difficult. There is a shortage of ammunition and personnel. Russia is putting pressure in all areas, and it seems to be not quite appropriate to make replacements, because now not only Zaluzhnyi is to be replaced, but also the Chief of the General Staff is to be replaced, and there will be a new commander of the Land Forces. And then it is likely that both Zabrodskyi (Lieutenant General, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces) and Moisiuk (Lieutenant General, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces), one of them should be Chief of the General Staff. Probably Zabrodskyi, and Moisiuk will become the commander of the Land Forces, this is an assumption.

Now we are focused on these staff changes, but we must understand this in the context of changes on the battlefield. We have limited ammunition supplies, a lack of reserves, and enemy pressure. And in these conditions of personnel changes, we must not lose the key points related to the front line. The President has repeatedly mentioned Avdiivka, where the situation is difficult because the Russian army is trying to cut the main supply line to Ukraine's garrison in the southern part of Avdiivka. In any case, the situation looks extremely difficult.

When Zaluzhnyi is removed from his post, does it imply placing blame on the military for the failure to make advances in the south? Despite recognizing that the preparation for this offensive violated key conceptual approaches—lacking air dominance, personnel superiority, and sufficient equipment—political pressure from both the current government and Ukraine's foreign partners prompted the military to proceed with the offensive. It appears that the perceived failure stems from the execution of these tasks, suggesting that they were not adequately carried out. The complexity lies in the fact that everyone, including the president, the National Security and Defense Council, and the military, was involved in preparing for the offensive. Thus, they collectively understood the risks involved in the southern actions and achieved what was within their capabilities.

I think there will be some reverberations from Zaluzhnyi's resignation. The military has to understand what they did wrong that the Commander-in-Chief was removed from office. I still have questions after this decision.

Situation at the frontline: Avdiivka

Let's talk about Avdiivka because the situation there remains the most difficult. The number of combat clashes is extremely high. During the night, the Russian troops actively used KABs trying to destroy Ukraine's defense. The main offensive actions are now concentrated in the northern part of Avdiivka.

The Russian forces are trying to push between the coke plant and the northern part of Avdiivka. We can see a red dot - this is the coke plant, and below it the road to Avdiivka begins.

For two days now, the Russian army has been trying to penetrate Ukraine's defense line. However, the dynamics there are not entirely clear. Although we know that Ukrainian troops are holding this section of the frontline, the Russian army is trying to bring up reserves. I think the situation remains extremely critical. When the President talks about Avdiivka, it is accompanied by a certain deployment of forces and equipment to ensure that Ukraine holds its positions.

In fact, Russia has now started using Starlink in this area, which surprised me enormously. It turns out that they have purchased Starlink. And this has influenced the fact that now they are trying to use these systems to communicate and control their aerial reconnaissance units.

Indeed, Avdiivka continues to pose significant challenges, and the situation remains unpredictable. However, we recognize its critical importance, as it significantly impacts the stability of the entire frontline. Defensive positions in the depths of Avdiivka are prepared, although there are currently no plans to relocate there. Nevertheless, we are aware of the risks associated with potential disruptions to supply lines, particularly in the southern region, which poses difficulties for the garrison currently stationed in Avdiivka, especially in the south.

On repairing technological solutions

Moving forward, our discussion will extend beyond the frontline to address the pressing need for capabilities, especially in situations where the delivery of new weapons faces delays. Accordingly, Ukraine needs to be able to quickly repair technological solutions.

Ihor Fedirko, co-founder of Vector Optical Laboratory, said that his company brings back to life night vision devices or thermal imagers that are already well known to Ukrainians, as well as other fiber optic equipment. Recently, they have started repairing DJI drones. That is, the Laboratory is trying to use every penny provided by donors to return damaged equipment to service as efficiently as possible. In 2022, the company repaired 650 devices, and in 2023 - 2,500. Looking at the dynamics of the first two months of 2024, 450 to 550 devices are being repaired per month, which means that we can predict that about 4,000 to 5,000 devices will be repaired this year, but this does not include what is still waiting for repair in the warehouses. The demand for repairs is increasing every year.

The co-founder of Vector Optical Laboratory noted that the biggest problem in repairing the equipment is the parts that donors and the military help with. The laboratory appeals to military personnel who have any devices with microelectronics in already damaged equipment not to throw them away but to send them to the company.

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