MAY 16, 2022
- A prominent Russian military analyst had an honest take about Russian military failures on state TV.
- Russian columnist Mikhail Khodaryonok said that Russians “should not take information tranquilizers.”
- He called on Putin’s regime to avoid “saber-rattling” with Finland over its application to NATO.
A retired Russian colonel and current defense columnist seriously downplayed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s missile threats against Finland and openly criticized the country’s military campaign.
Russian defense columnist Mikhail Khodaryonok appeared on Russian state television on Monday and offered a stunningly honest assessment of his country’s performance in its months-long invasion of Ukraine.
“The main deficiency of our military-political position is that we are in full geopolitical isolation, and however much we would hate to admit this, virtually the entire world is against us,” Khodaryonok said in a panel discussion on Russia’s state-owned television channel.
Khodaryonok also urged viewers to not accept the Russian state’s narrative about the war at face value.
“First of all, I must say, we should not take information tranquilizers,” Khodaryonok tells the other guests on the panel, referring to reports about low morale in Ukraine’s army. “All of that, put mildly, is false.”
Khodaryonok criticized the professionalism and logistical failures of the Russian military and said that “the main thing in our (military) business, it’s always to maintain a sense of military-political realism.”
—Francis Scarr (@francis_scarr) May 16, 2022
“If you go beyond it, then sooner or later, the reality of history will hit you so hard you’ll regret it,” he added to the stunned other guests, who occasionally interjected with Kremlin talking points and glared at him.
Khodaryonok also addressed Russia’s response to Finland’s expected application to NATO. Last week, the long-neutral Scandinavian country signaled its readiness to join NATO amid Russia’s invasion. Russia’s foreign ministry said in response that the Kremlin “will be forced to take retaliatory steps, both of a military-technical and other nature, in order to stop the threats to its national security arising in this regard.”
“Don’t saber-rattle,” Khodaryonok said in his appearance, referring to Russia’s threats to attack Finland. “Don’t engage with saber-rattling with missiles in Finland’s direction,” adding that it’s such a poor tactic that it’s almost “amusing.”