A Russian military expert says that Western arms keep flowing into Ukraine despite destroying basic infrastructure like roads and bridges. This is because of the impossibility of sending special forces deep into Ukrainian territory and the inability of air-launched missiles or bombs to hit the bridge columns.
Yuri Knutov, the director of the Museum of the Air Defense Troops, stated this. Knutov was speaking in the context of the air strike by a Russian air force Sukhoi Su-34 fighter bomber on the bridge over the Sudost River in Chernihiv in northern Ukraine on April 9.
Ukraine had used the bridge to transport men and war material into its eastern part of the war zone.
Some Russian reports claimed that the bridge was destroyed to prevent its use by “sabotage and reconnaissance groups of the Ukrainian military intelligence to penetrate the territory of the Russian Federation and attack the settlements of the Bryansk region.”
Knutov graduated from the Leningrad Higher Military-Political Air Defense School and briefly served with the Russian military in Hungary and Moscow before quitting military service for health reasons.
The Russians hit the bridge across the Sudost River in the Chernihiv region, justifying this by the fact that now it will be more difficult for saboteurs to penetrate into the Bryansk region. pic.twitter.com/70xW2kvou8
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) April 9, 2023
Precision Strike, Special Forces Operation Not Possible
He pointed to how North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has spent a lot of means, money, forces, and equipment in setting up air defenses in Ukraine, which would make it difficult to hit “large crossings over water” in western Ukraine.
According to many reports and Telegram posts, the aerial strike on the bridge caused significant and extensive damage. However, none claimed the structure was rendered unusable or completely destroyed. This indicates that Ukraine might again begin using the bridge soon after repairs.
Knutov addressed this issue, saying such a bridge can only be “disabled” by hitting the “supports” (or the columns) and “not the roadbed.” He indicates that no known missile system can change directions at such a low height and hit from under the target.
In the strike in question, however, it is unclear which ordnance was employed for the attack. While Knutov claimed Russia used the Kh-29TD air-to-surface missile, other reports said it was the FAB-500M62.
The only other option, therefore, would be to have special operations soldiers plant explosives on the bridge column.
“(But it is extremely difficult) for a “sabotage group walk several hundred kilometers unnoticed…far enough into the territory of a country covered by both spy mania and nationalist ideology.” He added that even a drone that can illuminate the target with a laser might be shot down.
Destroying Ukraine’s Air Defense System Key To Bringing War To An End
The report also quoted another military expert Alexei Leonkov who said the destruction of Ukraine’s air defense system is the only way to bring the war to an end.
During the initial days of the Special Military Operation (SMO), Leonov had predicted a quick Russian victory but is now “soberly” assessing the situation.
He said that the Russian army “demilitarized” Ukraine at least four times, destroying a lot of military equipment, primarily air defense systems, but only saw the West promptly restoring it.
He then pointed to the leaked secret Pentagon documents and quoted the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), which said Ukraine would completely deplete its Buk missiles stock by April.
Thus, the depletion of the Ukrainian air defense system will allow Russia to use the full power of the Aerospace Forces and “turn the tide” of the conflict.
Pentagon officials are concerned about how “a barrage of long-range attacks from the Russian Federation is depleting the reserves of missiles of the Kyiv regime, which are used for self-defense,” following which the overwhelming advantage of the Russian Air Force can play a decisive role, according to Leonkov.
“Demilitarization” of Ukraine has been an openly stated Russian goal since the beginning of the war in February 2022. It had publicized several strikes on arms factories and industrial units manufacturing ordnance.
They were successful since Ukraine now solely relies on Western weapons and has no defense industry. But the scale and persistence of Western arms aid to Ukraine surprised even Russia, which went as far as supplying tanks, which it had earlier said it would not.