We understand what Putin will do: Mikhaylo Podolyak on Russia’s “new offensive” and elections (Part 2)

Posted on 28 January 2024



27th January 2024

The article discusses Russia’s alleged preparation for a large-scale offensive across Ukraine, with Western media reports suggesting a new offensive. The interviewee, Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to the head of the President’s Office in Ukraine, dismisses the idea of genuine elections in Russia, claiming they lack opposition candidates and meaningful democratic processes. Regarding potential help to Ukraine, Podolyak mentions increased aid from European countries and a debate in the United States, suggesting that aid to Ukraine is tied to broader geopolitical considerations. He also addresses the possibility of a Russian offensive, stating that while Russia may concentrate forces, Ukraine is prepared and understands how to resist. Podolyak emphasizes the need for international support and resources to counter Russia effectively.

Authors: Kateryna Soliar; Oksana Kharkovska

Translation: @Anastasiya1451A (Twitter/X)


Western media reported that Russia is preparing a new large-scale offensive across the entire territory of Ukraine. However, both the Main Directorate of Intelligence and the General Staff see and understand the situation.

Moreover, Ukraine fully understands what and where Russia will do. More on this and on the so-called “elections” in Russia, and who is behind the main competitor of Vladimir Putin for the post of the head of the Kremlin, was told by the advisor to the head of the President’s Office, Mykhailo Podolyak, in an exclusive interview with Channel 24.

We will remind you that in the first part of the interview we told everything that is known about the fall of the Russian IL-76 in the Belgorod region. Details – read at the link .

“Elections in Russia”: who is behind Putin’s main competitor

Interviewer: Pre-election campaigning is currently underway in Russia. Suddenly, huge queues appeared to nominate Borys Nadezhdin as a candidate. And, actually, we have two options. Or is it a controlled opposition, which is allegedly promoted in order to create visibility. Or, as another option, an opposition that is against the war has appeared in Russia.

Oh, you love illusions. There is no electoral process in Russia. There are no opposition candidates. Nadezhdin is not an opposition candidate. This is the most “by-the-book Kirienko candidate” [the first deputy head of Vladimir Putin’s administration, Sergey Kirienko – 24 Kanal].

He, just like today’s political elite of Russia, says that Russia does not need to give up the occupied territories and return them to Ukraine, but that it is possible to hold some kind of “referendum” there. Do you understand the absurdity of this? They seized the territory, killed the citizens, deported them, committed many genocidal crimes, brought in their deplorable people and will hold a so-called “referendum” there? This is nonsense.

Nadezhdin was always focused on the two most marginal people. These are Sergey Kiriyenko and Sergey Mironov [head of the “Just Russia” party – Channel 24].

Mironov is a person who is listed in the Guinness Book of Records because he received the lowest result in the 2004 presidential election. That is, he is a person who means nothing, but is extremely anti-Ukrainian, radical towards us.

Therefore, it is nonsense to say that there is some kind of election process. To talk about the fact that there are any democratic candidates is nonsense. It makes no sense to talk about Nadezhdin, because there will still be a reappointment of the “czar” with the democratic mechanism that does not actually exist. So, let’s not react to this illusion.

There is no conscious opposition, there are no opposition candidates, unfortunately. Russia will change not because of opposition pressure, not because of internal discussions, but exclusively because of the battlefield. As soon as there are any significant tactical defeats, social riots will begin in Russia, which we saw in Dagestan, Bashkortostan, and other regions. It is these who will lead to a change of the political regime in Russia.

Boris Nadezhdin / Screenshot from the video

It will not be exactly the regime the “opposition” thinks it is. If they have a sufficiently low collective intelligence, and they continue to call “white” to “black”, then, of course, they will not have any chance.

Interviewer: The so-called Russian liberals say that it is better to go vote for Nadezhdin, because the other candidates will be liked even less.

This is an inferiority complex, because they do not have any tools to influence the situation, but they want to have.

They consider themselves “great leaders of people’s opinions”. And they show their inferiority complexes in the fact that, they say, they are still doing something to make Russia look different. Here, they are allegedly protesting against Putin, offering Nadezhdin, through whom they will be able to influence the political, economic, and social processes in Russia in a certain way.

This is how they demonstrate their worthlessness, which has been there for the past two years. It was there even before the start of a full-scale invasion, but it makes no sense for us to analyse it. During these two years, they felt like such second-class people who did not affect anything. And today they believe that by collecting signatures for Nadezhdin, they will be able to compensate for their inferiority complexes. But it doesn’t work like that.

Unfortunately, they just proved once again that they are not capable of action at all. It is an illusion that some kind of consolidated hard-line opposition will appear in Russia, which will be able to work effectively in international platforms, support Ukraine and really provoke significant protests in Russia itself. There is no hardline opposition.

The key conclusion is that no one will help us to correct the internal Russian situation, except for situational riots. And they appear in the following situations:

  • a significant increase in the number of destroyed Russian mobilized.
  • significant destruction of Russian equipment
  • significant tactical defeats
  • significant impacts on Russia’s tactical and strategic aviation
  • the final disappearance of the Russian Black Sea Fleet
  • [Ukraine] taking control of the airspace over the Crimean peninsula.

All this will affect the processes that will take place in Russia. Everything we see around Nadezhdin today is just an anecdotal attempt to realize his infantile ego.

About the help from the USA

Interviewer: What will affect the processes that will take place in Ukraine? For example, they say that Donald Trump is allegedly pressuring Republicans in the Senate to derail a bipartisan deal on border security. Together with this border security, aid to Ukraine is included in the same document. We have been waiting for this help since last year. What prospects do we have here?

Let’s not just talk about the United States. There is an understanding of a significant increase in aid from the national governments of a large number of European countries that are part of the pro-Ukrainian coalition. They increase direct military aid budgets. The same countries are significantly increasing investments in joint military production.

We also have absolutely progressive attitude of the European Commission, the European Union as a collective body, for the need to support macroeconomic indicators of Ukraine. That is, additional financial tranches to stabilize the economy of Ukraine.

Regarding the debate in the United States. This is a very heated debate; we can see it. Today, they have already entered the primaries and are forming the starting electoral positions. Yes, it affects the debate about aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

I think that, despite all their internal discussion, they will decide on the need to help these three countries. Because the United States will not give up its position as a global leader. After all, when you isolate yourself, the question arises, how can you influence extremely negative destructive processes that affect your internal politics. For example, international trade.

Today, the Houthis, attacking merchant ships in the Red Sea, significantly affect international trade. What are the United States doing with Great Britain? They strike back at the Houthis. That is, you cannot isolate yourself, because it is simply impossible in the global world.

In addition, the United States today moderates most economic processes, given that the Federal Reserve System is the issuer of the dollar. It is the key currency today. You cannot moderate economic processes, but not protect that there are rules in these economic processes.

Rules are primarily politics. We cannot simply allow authoritarian countries to destroy these rules. It is impossible to imagine, because then there is no United States, no global political space, no international law.

We understand that international institutions do not influence anything and cannot regulate any issues. Only the United States, for example, within the framework of a coalition that includes Great Britain, the European Union, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Canada, etc., can regulate the issue of countries such as Russia following at least some rules.

Of course, in this sense, supporting Ukraine is a mandatory function for a global leader. Because it is an investment in leadership, international law.

Let’s move on to the practical component. Key corporate donors are arms manufacturers, particularly Republicans. For them, now is a “prime time”. Today, they receive data on how this or that weapon works not from training grounds, but from a huge real battlefield. And they can adapt this weapon to the more specific challenges it has to face.

Joe Biden calls for approval of aid to Ukraine / Getty Images

In addition, today they have an absolute dominance of NATO-standard weapons on the battlefield in Ukraine. In this way, they are displacing their key competitor, Russia, from the global market. And this is a significant increase in the income of US arms companies. Today, they leave 90% of Ukraine’s aid package to their economy, which means additional jobs, additional investments in military production [in the US].

It has already been proven that Patriot, even in the modification of the 70s, is a much more effective weapon. It can significantly counteract the Kinzhal missile, which allowed Russia to dictate terms in various discussions on different continents. This is an effective political tool.

It seems to me that they will continue internal discussions for some time. But it is also obvious to me that the leadership of the Republican Party, the leadership of the Democratic Party, and officials at various levels are absolutely clearly aware that it is necessary to invest in Ukraine.

It is necessary to invest in Ukraine’s war against Russia, because then the security pact of the USA itself will be rewritten, where Russia will cease to be a key opponent.

Can Russia launch a powerful offensive?

Interviewer: Western media talk about a new large-scale offensive that Russia is preparing on the territory of Ukraine. We see that 40,000 Russian troops are gathering for another offensive on Avdiivka. Now we are told that an attack on the entire territory of Ukraine is possible again.

Of course, it is better to rely on the statements of the General Staff. They actively comment on it there, talk about the fact that everything is under control, in particular, the number of Russian armed forces that are in the occupied territory. Everything that they are concentrating, all the reserves that are brought up – all this is monitored both by the Main Directorate of Intelligence and directly by the General Staff. They understand and see it.

You know, it’s just a bit strange to me. In 2022, the Russians concentrated forces and equipment and so on. But today the Russian army is a slightly different army, they fight in numbers.

Russian invaders / Getty Images

Yes, they have some decent weapons that they use. There are old weapons, but there are newer models, and this is already a question of sanctions: why at the end of 2023 they could calmly produce “Iskanders” or “Kalibers” and so on.

However, Russia is no longer in a position to organize such a large-scale offensive operation. Today, they are actively trying to conduct offensive operations in the Donetsk region. We see 60-80 clashes per day there. But Ukraine, after two years of war, understands exactly what and how needs to be done and how to resist it.

The question here is that if we want to significantly destroy Russia’s reserves, then for this we need long-range missiles. This is obvious, because it is impossible to fight quantitatively against a quantitatively built army.

You can’t counteract Russia with quantity – you have to win in the quality of managerial military decisions, the quality of high-precision weapons, the quality of decision-making as such. That is, it is necessary to quickly make certain decisions. All this must be taken into account, so now let’s just calmly react to publications of this type.

Ukraine understands Russia’s plans

Russia will continue to spend a lot of money to say: “Fear us.” This is one of the elements of the propaganda campaign. In two years, we have gone through this more than once.

Yes, from time-to-time DRGs [sabotage and special forces groups] come from the north. We see what is happening in the Sumy and Chernihiv regions. They are sent specifically to kill the civilian population. This, by the way, is a specific manifestation of the genocidal type of this war. That is, DRGs go into these or other small settlements in order to kill the unarmed civilian population. They send the DRG during all 700 days of the war.

Russia continues to attack the civilian population. Deliberately attack Kharkiv and Kherson with artillery and ballistics, attack Ukrainians in other big cities every night with drones and missiles. They continue to attack the settlements near the frontline with guided aerial bombs, in particular the settlements where our civilians are located.

The occupiers continue to do all this, that is, there is no change in Russia’s tactics and strategy. Yes, they concentrate forces in certain areas, gather additional forces. However, regarding our strategy and tactics, it is absolutely clear what Russia will do. Everything they do defensively, offensively, amassing forces, where exactly they do it and so on.

The only thing that is not clear is when we read that Russia will attack NATO countries in 3-5 years. Why today, having this war, which can be resolved in a victorious way [for Ukraine and the West] thanks to the appropriate weapons, should we talk about the fact that in 5 years they will be fighting in other territories?

I can’t understand the logic. Are you definitely ready to maintain the same armed forces in your countries as the Armed Forces of Ukraine are today? You will definitely be able to mobilize people, raise them up to fight against the Russian army, which by then will have a huge experience of war, a huge experience of mass murder, a huge number of weapons. Will all countries be able to fight?

And if not, then it is necessary to evaluate what we see today. It is much easier to do now than at the beginning or in the middle of the [next] war. It is necessary to assess the scope of Russia’s instrumental and mobilized capabilities, the scope of taking certain tactical and strategic decisions. And finally understand that all this can be solved in the occupied territory of Ukraine once and for all in this way:

  • we take away Russia’s dominance in the air
  • we significantly increase the number of drones, if we cannot increase the number of heavy artillery calibres
  • in order to destroy all this on the approaches, you need long-range missiles in the amount of not 10-20 pieces, but 500-1000 pieces per month
  • aviation solutions and means of radio-electronic control are needed, i.e. EWs [electronic warfare capabilities] in any modifications.

All this is so obvious. But no country alone produces all this in such quantities. If you are ready, and 51 countries are part of the pro-Ukrainian coalition, then let’s recall once again the words of Mr. David Cameron, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Great Britain. He said that the GDP of European countries is 25 times greater than the GDP of Russia.

Therefore, it is necessary to somehow solve this issue. Will you continue to write scenarios of a possible Russian attack on the countries of Northern Europe, the countries of Eastern Europe, and so on? It is interesting to write about the attacks, about the fact that there will be a big war. The war is already going on in Eastern Europe today – a big war against Russia. And this war can be ended with the defeat of Russia, and then you and I will have 50 stable, guaranteed years of peace.

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