The Russian commander of the “Vostok” Battalion fighting in southern Ukraine said on Thursday that Ukraine will not be defeated and
In April, Prigozhin stated that Russia should freeze the war in Ukraine to set conditions for a future victory without negotiations.
ISW said that “Russian sources have periodically claimed that a Kremlin faction is interested in freezing the war along the current frontlines for similar reasons, as well as over concerns about domestic political stability and the economic fallout from the war.”
“Khodakovsky may be reintroducing the narrative into the Russian information space on behalf of the faction allegedly interested in freezing the war, although Khodakovsky likely has limited influence on the Russian leadership itself,” ISW said.
At a practical level, ISW further believes that Khodakovsky’s comments reveal that
Khodakovsky has previously highlighted concerns about the Russian defense in the Donetsk-Zaporizhzhia regional border area, specifically relating to poor Russian counterbattery capabilities, heavy Russian losses, exhausted Russian forces, and a lack of reserves, ISW noted, and that he has previously called for an operational pause so that Russian forces could reinforce for future operations.
“Khodakovsky’s escalation from calling for an operational pause to suggesting that Russia freeze the conflict is likely associated with his firsthand experience of recent tactically significant Ukrainian advances and the degradation of defending Russian forces in Urozhaine,” ISW said.
Urozhaine is the 10th village and southern most point taken by the Armed Forces of Ukraine since the beginning of the summer offensive in early June.
Khodakovsky is a former commander of Ukraine’s Alpha special unit of the Security Service of Ukraine.
During Russia’s take-over of Donbas in 2014, he was part of local “insurgency” efforts, defected to Russia, and then served for a period as the security minister in the illegitimately created Donetsk People’s Republic.
In December 2022, Khodakovsky was reported to say that the only way Russia can win the war against Ukraine would be using nuclear weapons.
During fighting for Urozhaine, Khodakovsky alternately complained about a lack of equipment and reinforcements from the Russian general command, and then asserted that the “Vostok” Battalion alone would defend the “stronghold” against elite Ukrainian marines.
Fighting for the village began on Aug. 6, 2023, and Khodakovsky announced that the Vostok Brigade would be withdrawing from the village on Aug. 15, stating that “their defensive position had become untenable.”
Video of Russian soldiers hastily retreating on foot from Urozhaine and being devastatingly shelled with cluster ammunitions from Ukrainian artillery went viral.
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter