Espreso. Global
Exclusive

Ukrainian army has potential to throw knockout punch to Russian troops – military expert Dan Rice

29 March, 2023 Wednesday
20:17

Military expert and president of the American University in Kyiv Dan Rice, in an interview with Volodymyr Ostapchuk, host of the Spotlight Ukraine program on Espreso, shared how successful Ukraine's counteroffensive could be given the Western weapons supplied and when to expect a breakthrough 

client/title.list_title

Ukraine is preparing for a spring counteroffensive with insufficient amounts of weapons and ammunition, according to the Institute for the Study of War. How successful will the counteroffensive be in this case?

I don't agree with that assessment. You know that it is never enough, you always want more. But I do believe that the Ukrainian army is stronger, better trained and has better resources than a year ago. And I think the counteroffensive will be very successful. I think that the Kherson and Kharkiv offensives that took place in the fall can be significantly overshadowed by this offensive, which can be even more strategic and hopefully deliver a knockout punch to the Russian army.

In a recent interview with the Ukrainian media, you said that the Ukrainian army is waiting for the right time to launch a successful counteroffensive. Should we expect it this spring, this fall, or maybe we should wait until next year?

I am no longer a special adviser to General Zaluzhnyi, as I am focused only on the American University in Kyiv and a number of programs we are launching at this wonderful university. But I don't have any information about where exactly and when this will happen. I've met with American generals in Germany and the Pentagon, and I'm very familiar with what happens in war. I think that Putin made every mistake possible, and the attack in February 2022 was the wrong time for an armored force to try to go through Ukraine. The same as now, so you saw that the Russians made the wrong offensive at the wrong time. We need the ground to harden in the sun so that the armored troops can level it. 

I believe that the Ukrainian army is stronger and better than it was a year ago, and there will be a counteroffensive at the appropriate time that will have appropriate consequences. The big question is not when and where that will happen, and I don't have any intelligence on that, but I could make some guesses, but it would not be appropriate from an operational security perspective. I think the question is whether it will be enough to win this year, and I think we know that the Ukrainian military, the American military and NATO are preparing for a long war and hoping for a short war. So I hope that it will be a big counteroffensive that will be able to destroy the Russian army.

Even compared to what happened last fall in the Kherson and Kharkiv regions?

Hopefully, I think the Ukrainian military has a lot more capabilities now. I think they are stronger now, as they are being trained in the UK, France and Poland. It was an amazing international effort of 65 countries to support Ukraine. It's already the most capable army in all of Europe, so now, with all the support from the West, I believe it has enough combat potential to deliver a knockout blow. The question will be whether it will be the size of Kharkiv or Kherson, or even bigger. And, hopefully, a degraded Russian army loses 25,000 killed and 60-75,000 wounded every month. So by the time the counteroffensive happens, I think you will see a much weakened army that will hopefully collapse.

How weak is the Russian army compared to what we saw just a year ago?

If you can imagine the perception of the Russian army on February 23, 2022, when the whole world, including military experts, thought that Kyiv would fall within a week, and now, a year later, you know they took an estimated 165,000 dead, 300,000 wounded, you know you're looking at half a million wounded or dead Russians, and they lost all their young officers. So you're dealing with a conscript army that has no leader against a Ukrainian army that won the battle for Kyiv and has become much stronger this year. I mean, if you're going to make a prediction, you have to say that the Ukrainian military is likely to destroy the Russian army, and the Russian army has zero combat capability to conduct offensive operations at this point.

But still, given what you just said, US officials have warned that Russia is preparing for a new offensive, and in the next couple of weeks, maybe even a month, it could be multidirectional. How threatening is that?

Hitler was preparing for an offensive in April 1945. So, you can plan all these things, but the reality is that they just don't have the equipment and the troops. They can make it up and mobilize half a million Russians. And you know, obviously, it's terrifying for Ukrainian soldiers to face large human waves of Russian troops coming at them. But from a strategic point of view, the Russians simply don't have the combat capability. They are much weaker, and the Ukrainian military is much, much stronger. And now, with the full weight of the West behind Ukraine, with training, equipment, intelligence and weapons, the Ukrainian army is much stronger than it was a year ago, and the Russian army has not only been weaker, but it has been poorly managed. 

And in fact, it's just more brutal and more of a Russian horde of rapists, looters and murderers than an army, it's not an effective army. I mean, it's not an army. A professional army would never behave the way the Russians do, and the situation is only getting worse as they die en masse. So I think there will be a strategic counteroffensive, and the question will be whether it will be a knockout blow or whether it will just help push the war forward so that in 2024 we win.

 

Tags:
Read also:
  • News
2024, Wednesday
12 June
21:55
Exclusive
Dangerous even after being shot down: expert on Russia's modified cruise missiles
21:40
Review
Victorious news of 840th day of war: intelligence confirms two Russian Su-57s hit, Ukraine may receive first F-16s this summer
21:23
Russia plans to "re-educate" 5,000 schoolkids in summer camps in occupied Luhansk region
20:58
Exclusive
Hate, manipulation, and “pain points”: media expert on how Russian propaganda works
20:27
Ukraine forces destroy rare Russian Zoopark radar
19:56
Exclusive
Peace Summit aims to make distant countries realize that war threatens them as well - diplomat
19:30
We enter period of potential nuclear destruction, and it's not Russia's fault: foreign fakes for June 12
19:02
Updated
Russian missile strike on Kryvyi Rih kills 8, injures 21
18:49
Exclusive
Russian troops forced to move their headquarters further away from frontline - Ukrainian major
18:27
Rheinmetall to start producing Lynx infantry fighting vehicles in Ukraine in 2024
18:06
Felix and Me, based on novel by military Artem Chekh, is available on Netflix
17:47
Russia's war makes strokes in Ukraine 10-15 years younger - Health Minister Liashko
17:28
Film featuring Mystetskyi Arsenal team, singer ONUKA wins Emmy Award
17:09
Ukrainian army destroys Russian S-300, S-400 radars in occupied Crimea
16:50
Russia's Central Bank's frozen assets to work in Ukraine's favor: EU and G7 prepare new decision
16:29
Russia may have broken through to Chasiv Yar suburb - British intelligence
16:04
Exclusive
ECtHR begins hearings in "Ukraine and Netherlands v. Russia" on human rights violations
15:46
Ukrainian forces deny Russian claim of capturing Miasozharivka village
15:26
Hurgary's Orban says he will not block NATO's decision on Ukraine
15:02
Exclusive
June 5-12 live war map: Donetsk front crisis and clearing sky over Crimea
14:26
Ukraine’s Commander-in-Chief names frontline areas where Russia concentrates its main efforts
13:56
Exclusive
Bolstering Ukraine's air defense: how many air defense systems Ukraine can get
13:35
Two Indians recruited by Russia killed in war in Ukraine
13:17
Netherlands to deliver first F-16s to Ukraine this summer - Defense Minister Ollongren
12:59
Exclusive
Ukrainian army destroys 2 rare Russian Tyulpan mortars in eastern direction
12:39
Review
Germany's consistency in bolstering Ukraine's air defense, deja vu after Rheinmetall CEO's statement. Serhiy Zgurets' column
12:13
U.S. Biden approves second Patriot air defense system for Ukraine
11:35
ISW explains why Russia accuses Ukraine and NATO of terrorism
11:14
Ukraine finds Starlink alternative to target Crimea waters - Commander Sukharevskyi
10:58
Norway to allocate EUR 240 million for Ukraine's air defense
10:37
US announces new sanctions against "Russian war machine"
10:15
Man attacks Ukrainian woman with knife in Germany, 19-year-old Afghan man suspected
09:58
Russia attacks Ukraine with Shaheds and missiles at night, injuring civilians
09:38
Infographics
Russia loses 980 soldiers, 9 tanks and 46 artillery systems in one day of war in Ukraine
2024, Tuesday
11 June
22:15
Review
Victorious news of 839th day of war: Russian EW system destroyed, Germany, Italy supply air defense aid to Ukraine
21:57
Updated
Germany to supply third Patriot battery, 100 missiles to Ukraine
21:52
Russian air activity intensifies in Pokrovsk sector — Ukraine's General Staff
21:30
Ukrainian diplomats recruit mercenaries in Côte d'Ivoire - new Russian propaganda fake 
21:16
Estonia to supply Ukraine with Mistral SAMs and missiles
20:59
US allocates $824 million to support Ukraine's energy sector
More news