Notes of interview with Commander of Joint Group of Troops (Forces) in special military operation area General of the Army S.Surovikin (18 October 2022)…

October 18, 2022

Good afternoon, Mr. Surovikin! You were appointed the Commander of the Joint Group of Troops in the area of the special military operation by a decree of the Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation. A lot of Russian citizens are concerned about the current situation.
The situation in the area of the special military operation can generally be described as tense.

The enemy does not leave attempts to attack the positions of Russian troops. First of all, it concerns Kupyansk, Krasny Liman and Nikolayev–Krivoy Rog direction. Our enemy is the criminal regime that pushes Ukrainian citizens to death. The Ukrainians and we are one people and we wish Ukraine to be a friendly State for Russia, independent on the West and NATO.

Ukrainian regime indends to break our defence. With this purpose, the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) are bringing all their reserve forces available to the frontline. These are usually territorial defence units that have not been completely trained.

Ukrainian leadership is actually condemn them to death. This kind of units usually have low morale. To prevent desertions from the frontline, Ukrainian authorities involve blocking detachments manned by nationalists who shoot everyone who tries to abandon the battlefield.

The enemy suffers everyday casualties from 600 to 1,000 people.

We follow a different strategy. It has already been mentioned by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. We do not seek high rates of advance, but save every soldier and methodically ‘grind down’ the attacking enemy. Not only do we minimise our casualties this way, but also considerably reduce the number of victims among civilians.

The Joint Group of Troops is currently taking measures to increase the combat and numerical strength in units and formations, to create additional reserve forces, to prepare defence lines and positions along all the line of contact.

We continue launching attacks with high-precision armament at the military and infrastructure facilities that influence on the combat effectiveness of Ukrainian troops.

Apart from being appointed the Commander of the Joint Group of Troops (Forces) in the area of the special military operation, you remain the Commander-in-Chief of the Aerospace Forces. How would you describe the effectiveness of Russian aviation and air defence forces?

The special military operation has proved the effectiveness of the air systems and air defence facilities available.

Crews of operational-tactical, army and long-range aviation have performed over 34,000 combat flights during the operation. They have launched over 7,000 guided airpower ordnance. The cutting-edge Kinzhal ultrasonic air missiles have proven themselves well in neutralising facilities. There is no enemy air defence system that would scare us. Highest precision has also been shown by air-based strategic cruise missiles.

As for the operational quality, I want to distinguish Su-57 multipurpose airplane of 5th generation. Fitted with a wide range of armament, it performs multifaceted tasks related to the neutralisation of air and ground targets.
Unmanned aviation has performed over 8,000 flights, while attack drones have destroyed over 600 AFU facilities.

Several days ago, the interim governor of Kherson region Vladimir Saldo stated that the authorities had decided to organise the possibility to leave the region to other parts of the Russian Federation for recreation or studying. It primarily concerns the right shore. The head of the region stated that these measures were taken to provide safery of civilians amid frequent attacks of the AFU. How would you comment on this decision?

There is a difficult situation at the abovementioned direction. The enemy launches deliberate attacks at infrastructure facilities and residential buildings located in Kherson. Impacts of HIMARS rockets have damaged Antonovka bridge and the dyke of Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant where the traffic is currently stopped.

It has resulted in impeding alimentation deliveries; certain problems have been recorded in supplying water and electricity. All of these not only complicates the residents’ everyday life, but also poses a direct threat to their lives.

NATO leadership that leads the Armed Forces of Ukraine has long demanded the Kiev regime to conduct offensive operations towards Kherson, regardless of any casualties: neither in the AFU, nor among the civilian population.

We have got data on the possible use of prohibited methods of war by the Kiev regime near Kherson, on the preparation of a massive missile attack at the barrage of Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant, as well as launching a massive indiscriminate missile and artillery attack at the city.

This action can lead to the destruction of the infrastructure of a large industrial centre and high casualties among civilians.

In these conditions, our primary task is to save lives and health of civilians. That is why, first of all, the Russian army will provide safe departure of the population according to the resettlement programme that is currently being prepared by the Russian Government.

Our further plans and action regarding the city of Kherson itself will depend on the military and tactical situation.

I repeat: has already become very difficult.

Anyway, as I have already said, we will procees from the necessity to maximally save the lives of civilians and our personnel.

We will operate consciously, promptly, not excluding to take difficult decisions.