A former Russian colonel has left panellists shocked when speaking frankly about Russia's war in Ukraine and warned the situation will only get worse.
Mikhail Khodaryonok is a Russian military commentator and retired colonel, who was speaking about the ongoing conflict on a Russian TV program, where he pushed back against other panellists and was brutally honest about the state of Russia's war.
"Sometimes you hear reports about a moral psychological breakdown in the Ukrainian armed forces — that their mood is close to a crisis," he said.
"To put it mildly, this is not true. Of course, there are separate instances, prisoners, and certain units, but these are individual cases.
"But you need to look at the big picture and the big picture is as follows —"
Mr Khodaryonok was cut off by another panellist who said it's individual cases that determine what the bigger picture looks like.
She added if several units within the Ukrainian forces were announcing a lack of financing or weapons, that should not be discounted.
Mr Khodaryonok acknowledged this.
"But the situation from the general strategic position is that the Ukrainian army can arm a million people," he continued.
"They say themselves it's not a problem for them to mobilise a million people. The question is whether they can provide this army with modern weapons and special equipment."
The retired colonel said Ukrainian forces couldn't do anything with their own resources, however Ukraine has assistance from other nations.
He said Russia needs to treat the threat of a million Ukrainian soldiers as a "reality in the nearest future".
"We need to consider this in our strategic calculations, that the situation will clearly get worse," he said.
When responding to questions of whether Ukrainian army exhibited professionalism, Mr Khodaryonok said Ukrainians understood the importance of protecting their country.
"By professionalism, we mean the desire to die," another panellist said, but Mr Khodaryonok said dying for your country isn't professionalism.
'The whole world is against us', former Russian colonel says
He went on to say high morale among troops determines who wins on the battlefield — which surely isn't good news for Russians, as there have been various reports of troops expressing dismay with their task, or surrendering.
"Ultimately, victory on the battlefield is determined by the high morale of troops who are spilling blood for those ideas they're ready to fight for," he said.
Touching on NATO and the possibility of Finland and Sweden joining the alliance, Mr Khodaryonok said it was critical Russia did not "brandish missiles, for goodness sake, in the direction of Finland".
"The biggest problem with our military and political situation is that we are in total geopolitical isolation," he said.
"And the whole world is against us, even if we don't want to admit it."
The retired colonel said the situation with Ukraine needed to be resolved.
He said the situation is not "normal" especially when it's more than 40 countries against Russia, which has dwindling supplies and resources.
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