After breaking through the first line of defence, subsequent lines will surrender without a fight.
The Ukrainian Defense Forces can cause a "cascade collapse" of the enemy army, when, having broken through the first line of defence, subsequent lines will surrender without a fight. The main condition for this is the supply of powerful Western weapons.
The former Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Lieutenant General Ihor Romanenko, spoke about this in an exclusive interview with obozrevatel.com.
– EU Head of Diplomacy Josep Borrell said that the successful counteroffensive of the Ukrainian army in the Kharkiv region gives hope for the end of the war. Do you agree with this assessment?
– I do not think this will be the war's end, but the prospect of a ceasefire is possible.
What's the difference? The end of the war for Ukraine may take place when the regime in Russia changes. This does not mean that the Putinists will simply come instead of Putin. This means that fundamental changes must take place, a democratic government must come to power.
The end of hostilities is possible if there are serious achievements at the strategic level at the front. The situation in the Kharkiv region is the achievement of the operational level. Very important and necessary. Our army has prospects in the axis of the Donetsk operational zone - Liman and Lysychansk, Luhansk region.
But in order to reach the strategic level, the Allies need to supply the Armed Forces of Ukraine with modern, effective weapons and military equipment. This will make it possible to perform the strategic task formulated by US Secretary of Defense Austin at the first Ramstein meeting: to reduce the potential of the Russian Federation to a level where it will not be able to fight with anyone, primarily with its neighbours.
Allegedly, there are unofficial decisions of the Americans regarding the fact that it is still necessary to follow this goal. Perhaps, it is not necessary to openly talk about this in the context of a hybrid war, but Ukraine must be provided with weapons.
Russia still has an advantage of gun artillery and multiple launch rocket systems. This potential must be levelled. Given the current pace of supplies, forces will not quickly equalize.
But this can happen due to a cascading collapse. We need to achieve success in this kind of military operation, for example, in the Kherson or Donetsk-Luhansk axis.
– What is a cascade collapse?
– This is a cascade effect on the enemy, when success is achieved in some area, for example, the first defence line is broken. The second, third and subsequent defence lines no longer resist more because of the moral, psychological and political influence of our strike forces.
Such a military breakthrough could lead to an extreme situation among Russia's military-political leadership.
But in order to accomplish this only by military means, we need four times more modern weapons than those supplied to us by the allies during the six months of the war.
– Thus, in your opinion, the end of the war under the current regime in Russia is impossible, but the suspension of hostilities is possible. At what point?
– If there are successful military operations at the front, if there is another success at the operational level, for example, in the Kherson axis, this will lead to changes among the military-political leadership of Russia. But it will be a suspension of hostilities. Perhaps they will agree to give up all of our territories.
– Will they even leave Crimea?
– Of course, our leadership set the goal of liberating the territory of Ukraine and reaching the 1991 borders. This includes not only Crimea but also Donbas.
– Is this prospect realistic?
– The leadership of the country, headed by the president, is now fighting for this. If earlier it was about returning to the borders as of February 23, now, after so many victims and losses, Ukraine has seized not only the military but also the political initiative. Therefore, the approach is already different: to return to the borders of 1991.
– Please indicate. Do you mean that a complete withdrawal of the Russian army from the territory of Ukraine is possible, but this will not mean the end of the war?
– This may lead to the suspension of hostilities and the start of negotiations on the existence of the state, on ensuring security in order to prevent a repetition of what happened on February 24.
But this is not the end of the war. The end of the war is the return of all the occupied territories and a change of regime in Russia so that it is possible to conclude some agreements with it so that the security of Ukraine is not violated again.
– According to the Institute for the Study of War, the Ukrainian Defense Forces can return almost the entire western part of the Kherson region in the coming weeks if they continue the counteroffensive and blocking the logistics of the Russian Federation. Do you agree?
– The military potential of the right-bank enemy grouping in the Kherson axis must be significantly reduced to achieve this goal. This is not achieved yet. We value our soldiers, throwing them into a multi-layered defence is impractical.
We need to work with the Kherson axis, but we need to attack them with artillery, and aviation, and lower their potential. Then assess the situation, our and their capabilities. I think the General Staff will save this time to deliver the final blow to the enemy's Kherson grouping.