By Özgür Altınbaş
The special military operation launched by Russia against Ukraine on February 24, 2022 is completing its first year. While the Russian army has taken critical areas in recent weeks, new the West announces new military aid packages to be delivered to Ukraine. Recently, M1 Abrams and Leopard 2 tanks were sent to Ukraine. Then Kyiv requested F-16s from the West. Retired Captain of the 1st Rank Konstantin Sivkov, Vice President of the Academy of Missile and Artillery Sciences of the Russian Ministry of Defense, evaluated the whole process and the situation on the field.
‘The tanks will be trash’
Regarding the last tank delivery to Ukraine, Sivkov said: “Russia will not have a specific response to these tanks.” Sivkov said that the Russian army has destroyed 7,650 armored vehicles in Ukraine so far, of which 3 thousand are tanks. The retired Russian Captain continued:
“Of course, the Leopard and Abrams tanks are very powerful vehicles. But unless they are protected by jets, have a strong defense system and are supported by artillery, these tanks are garbage.”
‘Ten Leopards lost in one day’
Sivkov also said that the Leopard tanks failed in Syria. “The Turkish army is one of the strongest and most experienced armies. However, when Leopards were used against DAESH in Syria, many casualties occurred. The Turkish army lost ten Leopards in one day.”
“Abrams and Leopards who went to Ukraine will also share the same fate. In addition, these tanks will be responded by Cornets (anti-tank), which have already proven themselves. Cornets destroyed Israeli armored vehicles in Lebanon in 2006”, stated Sivkov.
‘The bases were F-16’s were supposed to be stationed are already destroyed”
Sivkov stated that at the moment, NATO is not considering giving any F-16 planes to Ukraine in any way. He explained it this way: “First of all, Ukraine does not have the military airports required for the deployment of such jets. These military bases have already been destroyed. Additional infrastructure would be needed for these jets at civil airports. Second, these jets cannot be supplied in large numbers in the first place. They can only be delivered in small numbers. Therefore, the moment they arrive, they will be shot down by the Russian army either in the air or at the airport.”
In addition, Sivkov stated that the Russian army destroyed more than 300 planes during the war.
‘S-300 or S-400 down jets easily’
The retired Russian Captain stated that there are currently twenty-four F-16s in question for supply. Sivkov continued: “This is not enough to cause much difficulty for the Russian army and is not capable of changing the course of the war, because only one group of S-300 or S-400 systems alone can destroy them all.
About 300-400 aircraft should be provided to change the course of the war. And even that is not enough, because these planes cannot act alone. They need a signal suppressor aircraft group, a locator aircraft so that the F-16s can be used effectively.”
‘This means the Third World War’
Sivkov said that in order to reach an operational result against Russia, the West would have to launch a massive airstrike in certain places. He continued: “First, Europe knows for sure that this type of airstrike will result in many casualties. Secondly, in such an attack, these planes must take off from bases in NATO countries.
If these depart from the air bases of NATO countries, then NATO will have declared war on Russia. Russia fully responds to this. So this would literally be the start of the Third World War, leading to a nuclear war. Because if NATO fails in air strikes, it will turn to nuclear weapons.
Russia will also have to respond. Therefore, it will be pointless to sell warplanes to Ukraine, as it will not gain anything operationally. As a result, NATO countries do not accept this type of supply. Of course, the soldiers understand this situation, but the politicians in the West may take this step.”
‘The US knows very well that it can’t beat Russia’
Sivkov stated that the Pentagon understands that Russia will not suffer a defeat in Ukraine. The retired Russian Captain continued: “That’s why they want to ensure that some social-political problems arise in Russia. The United States and its allies are waging a war of terror and intimidation against Russia. They are attacking schools, residences and hospitals with missile systems to create a climate of fear. But Russia has more powerful missile systems. Its name is Tornado-S. The USA’s HIMARS missile heads weigh 100 kg, while the Tornado’s weight is 300 kg.
Also, HIMARSs are easy targets for Russian defense missiles. But the long-range missile systems in the latest aid package are a serious threat to Russia.”
10 Ukrainian soldiers for 1 Russian soldier
Sivkov noted that Ukraine suffered casualties on the battlefield disproportionately. Stating that ten Ukrainian soldiers died for every Russian soldier, Sivkov said: “This is a very high difference. In addition, Russia destroyed all armored vehicles left from the Soviet Union in Ukraine. In fact, some armored vehicles were bought by Western countries from other third countries and given to Ukraine, but the Russian army destroyed them as well. And that’s why now the West has started to export its own armored vehicles to Ukraine. Russia destroyed 408 missile complexes in Ukraine. The West was able to provide only fourteen additional missile complexes.”
‘Defense line will be divided’
Sivkov stated that Ukraine’s first line of defense in eight years has been completely captured, and continued: “After the conquest of Soledar, the second line began to be punctured. After Bahmut is captured, the defense of Ukraine will be completely divided into two as the North and South lines, and the Russian army will have a wide area of operation.”
‘Russian army is fighting with velvet gloves’
Sivkov explained that the slow advance of the Russian army was for a simple reason: “Russia is fighting with velvet gloves. We are working to prevent civilians from losing their lives. We are also trying to minimize losses in our own army. This slows progress. Russia never used cluster munitions. These bombardments, you know, would have completely cleared the line. But it would also kill civilians. That’s why it wasn’t used.”
‘The second stage of the war’
Stating that the Russian army had actually largely destroyed the Ukrainian army in the autumn of 2022, Sivkov said, “Now Russia is fighting with troops trained and armed by NATO. This is actually the second phase of the war.” Stating that there are different options regarding Russia’s new offensive, Sivkov said, “But I cannot share this information because it would not be right to share it openly with the media. I can only say this: It will happen suddenly, at the unexpected time and in the unexpected place.” he said.
The deployments to Belarus
Sivkov also spoke about the mobility on the Belarusian border. Retired Russian Captain said: “As for Belarus… It has another mission. Belarus and the Russian troops there are actually trying to stop Poland. So they are trying to prevent any movement from Poland, because Poland is also armed at the moment. Leopard tanks are also given there. And Poland poses a threat as a country.”
‘Turkish-Russian relations are developing very positively’
Retired Russian Captain also talked on the relations between Türkiye and Russia. Sivkov said: “We should point out that Turkish-Russian relations are developing very positively, both economically, politically and militarily. In fact, the US was creating a mechanism in NATO that could control other members, including Türkiye.
President Erdogan, on the other hand, positions Türkiye as an independent country and opposes the dictatorship of the United States. And under these conditions, a Türkiye within NATO creates a big problem for America. On the other hand, Türkiye plays a very important role in NATO geostrategy. It provides security on NATO’s southern front, which means taking control of the Eastern Mediterranean.”
‘They will try to install a puppet government’
“Therefore, the US will try by all means to take Türkiye under full control and they will wait for Erdogan to fall in the upcoming elections. And they will try to establish a government that they can control or that obeys them. But if Erdogan wins in the elections, the United States will try to expel Türkiye from NATO. And if it is expelled from NATO, Russia will be a country closer to Türkiye than other NATO countries.”
‘Turks and Russians are nations that hold on to their traditions’
“In these circumstances, the common feature of the Turkish and Russian nation is actually traditional and spiritual values.
If Islam is widespread in Turkey, both Orthodoxy and Islam have equal influence in Russia. And they affect Russia’s domestic and foreign policy at the same level.
Therefore, the conditions are ripe for the Turkish and Russian states to get closer. I think this rapprochement will continue. I wish happiness, prosperity and good luck to all Turkish people. Let no internal turmoil shake the integrity of Türkiye. As a result of Russian-Turkish cooperation, our countries will achieve very positive things.”
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