SOFREP recently had the opportunity to ask a few questions of a friend who was just returned from Ukraine. As I’ve written before, it is very difficult to discern what is actually happening amongst the chaos and confusion of the battlefield. Throw some war-time propaganda into the mix and it can become almost impossible to discern reality. Thankfully, we were able to interview a neutral third party who actually met with Ukrainians to find out what is going on.

If you have questions or anything to add to this post, please hit us up in the comments section below. Here is our brief interview.


What is the current size, strength, and disposition of Russian military and irregular forces in Ukraine?

At least 5,000-7,000 regular Russian forces (Artillery units, tanks, BMPs/BTRs, trucks, logistics, VDV…), around 300 SOF units, although “Spetsnaz” is a very common word and the role of Alpha guys working plainclothes is totally different from the former Crimean SOF “Sokil” working as advisors.

Irregulars are at least 20,000 guys including local Ukrainians, international volunteers, Russian volunteers (tons of neo-Nazi guys from Moscow and Saint Petersburg), and mercenaries from Chechenya and Dagestan.

In your view, what is Kiev’s assessment of Russian military and political objectives in Ukraine?

Kiev’s government is still reacting to all the changes in tactics employed by the Russian military and intelligence services. As soon as they are close to victory (like in Donetsk and Lugansk just before the “humanitarian aid”) a new front opens up. The latest front to open is the offensive for Mariupol and the risk of a land corridor from Russia to Crimea.