Mikhail Khodaryonok said that the new target for the Russian army would be the M777 howitzers used by the Ukrainian forces in defense. The retired colonel confirmed that Vladimir Putin’s army would engage in targeted strikes against the towed artillery weapon with the aim of disarming the Ukrainian army. Khodaryonok drew particular attention on Russian state television, as his earlier statements suggested that Russian forces were struggling both for adequate military supplies and for a sustained level of morale among the fighting troops. The journalist seems to have radically changed his point of view on the invasion by celebrating the strategy of the Russian army and condemning the suggestions of Ukrainian victory.
“A few words about our strikes on US M777 howitzer positions,” Khodaryonok said.
The former colonel referred to footage shown on Russian state television: “A video which the Ministry of Defense kindly provided.”
He continued: “There is every reason to believe that these howitzers will be the highest priority targets in the very near future.”
“For the units of our missile and artillery forces and for the units of our aerospace forces, they will be searched, discovered and hit.”
Khodaryonok claimed that the Russian army would succeed in its mission to destroy the ground artillery used by Ukrainian soldiers.
He said: “Consider, we have every reason to believe this too, that in the very near future, all that will remain of these howitzers will be memories.
“I think our armed forces have been given this goal and in the near future it will be achieved.”
His clear display of confidence in Russian military capabilities strongly contradicted his earlier statement of doubt about the morale of Russian fighters.
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He added: “We have to resolve this situation.”
In his analysis of Ukraine’s military performance, Khodaryonok praised the defiance and morale of the troops as they defended their “homeland”.
He alluded to the Russian defeat by saying, “Ultimately, victory on the battlefield is determined by the high morale of the troops, who shed blood for the ideas they are prepared to fight for.”
His most recent address belies earlier praise surrounding Ukrainian forces as Mr Khodaryonok dispelled “rumors” spread by Ukrainian leaders “that they would have major successes”.