Kunnas: Russia will not achieve objectives with mobilization
Leo Kunnas (EKRE), vice-chair of the Riigikogu's National Defense Committee said on ETV's morning show "Terevisioon," that mobilization will not enable Russia to meet its objectives in Ukraine.
"We will see the results in time, but this mobilization will not enable Russia to achieve the goals it has set," said Kunnas.
"In fact, mobilization was unavoidable for the Russian side for the simple reason, that Ukraine has set itself the goal of increasing its armed forces to one million men, and I estimate that they have reached around 700,000. We do not know (the exact numbers), but it means that they have at least twice as many troops on the front line as the Russian side has. The Russian side does not have more than 300,000 troops in total on the front," Kunnas said.
According to Kunnas, there are still about six weeks of reasonable weather remaining before the road conditions become more difficult.
Kunnas also highlighted the progress made by Ukraine on Tuesday evening.
"In the northern Donbas, as of yesterday evening, Ukrainian forces have achieved two breakthroughs. There was a smaller one about ten kilometers east of Kupiansk, at a settlement called Kupiansk-Vuzlovij, which marks a railway junction. The second and more important breakthrough is directly east of Izium. Its length is about 20 kilometers. And Ukrainian troops have also managed to advance both to the north and the south," Kunnas said.
According to Kunnas, the situation elsewhere on the frontline is relatively static. "The Russian side continues to attack in the directions of Bakhmut and Soledar, and also west of Donetsk, but, just as unsuccessfully as before," Kunnas said.
Discussing the Iranian-made drones currently being deployed by Russia, Kunnas said there is no very clear information regarding their precise technical specifications.
"The Shahed 136 is not a drone in the traditional sense of the word, but a loitering munition, or kamikaze drone. It weighs about 200 kilos and can carry around 50 kilos of explosives. It has a wingspan of 2.5 meters and a length of 3.5 meters. The Iranians themselves claim it has an operational range of around 1,500 to 2,500 kilometers, which does not seem not entirely plausible, as that would require a much more powerful engine, than the one it has at present, which is essentially a scooter engine. It's likely range is, at most, 500 kilometers," said Kunnas.
According to Kunnas, the Shahed 136 drones will not be able to make any decisive breakthroughs for Russia. "However, because they are launched in swarms, these drones do have the ability to destroy targets. At the same time these drones also have their weakness. They have no sensors, which means they fly using GPS or GLONASS signals. It's quite easy to shoot them down with an anti-aircraft gun or jam their communications," he said.
Kunnas believes that, intelligence information shared with Ukraine by the allies, has so far proved even more crucial in the war than any of the weapons systems provided.
"We can't say that any weapons system is the lord of the battlefield, influencing absolutely everything. I think the most decisive factor on the battlefield is the intelligence information that our allies provide to Ukraine. It is that, as much as these weapons systems, which has helped Ukraine to resist," Kunnas said.
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Editor: Michael Cole