A culture of dishonesty among the Russian military has become a major obstacle to victory in Ukraine for the Kremlin, according to Lieutenant General Andrei Gurulev, a Russian parliamentarian.
Gurulev claims that misleading reports have led to bad decision-making at all levels of command, resulting in Russian soldiers withdrawing up to ten kilometres in some locations.
On the other hand, Gurulev praised the Ukrainian army’s developing competence in mine clearance and efficient air defences, which are deterring Russian helicopter raids armed with anti-tank missiles.
He also had praise for Ukrainian drone operators saying: “They use them wisely, you see these attacks not only at the front, but also in our deep rear.”
Gurulev’s considerable senior military career, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), lends legitimacy to his grievances.
Gurulev’s accusations coincided with the announcement by Ukraine’s Armed Forces of the liberation of Andriivka in Donetsk Oblast.
Ukraine has recently announced a series of successful strikes against Russian air defence systems and navy vessels in occupied Crimea.
The liberation of Andriivka, located about 10 kilometres (6 miles) south of the Russian-occupied city of Bakhmut, demonstrates the formidable nature of Ukraine’s complex counteroffensive.
Following months of intensive warfare and substantial losses, Ukraine has recorded only small territorial gains in the east and south.
Despite having access to NATO-standard equipment worth billions of dollars, Ukrainian military officials have admitted that there are no quick solutions to breach Russian defensive lines; rather, progress is distinguished by protracted, grinding warfare.
Ukraine’s strategy appears to involve distributing Russian forces along the frontline, which stretches from broad agricultural fields in the east to the Dnieper River, which serves as the southern line of contact.
The harsh autumn and winter weather is predicted to stymie Ukrainian progress.
President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to visit Washington next week, coinciding with ongoing congressional arguments on sanctioning further funding.
Russian forces are commencing their own offensive efforts in the northeastern region, with the goal of engaging Ukrainian forces and diverting their attention away from other areas of fighting.
Three months of intense fighting finally wore down Russian forces in Andriivka, a tiny patch along the sprawling front, allowing Ukraine’s 3rd Assault Brigade to make a lightning move to encircle Russian forces.
The recapture of Andriivka comes weeks after an important tactical victory for Ukrainian forces in the southern Zaporizhzhia region, where they punctured through Russia’s first line of defence and took back the village of Robotyne.
The win, announced in late August, came after Ukrainian forces advanced just 7 kilometres (about 4 miles) after intense fighting that started in June.