There are two versions of Gerasimov's fate: assessing the significance of a possible new Russian war leader for the invasion of Ukraine

According to Ukrainian sources, Russian President Vladimir Putin has removed General Staff Chief Valery Gerasimov from the „special operation“ in Ukraine. However, according to military expert Darius Antanaitis, it is more likely that Gerasimov was seriously injured or killed.

According to Ukrainian sources, Russian President Vladimir Putin has removed General Staff Chief Valery Gerasimov from the „special operation“ in Ukraine.<br>AP/Scanpix nuotr.
According to Ukrainian sources, Russian President Vladimir Putin has removed General Staff Chief Valery Gerasimov from the „special operation“ in Ukraine.<br>AP/Scanpix nuotr.
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May 13, 2022, 12:34 PM, atnaujinta May 13, 2022, 12:36 PM

„There are two possibilities. One possibility is that Gerasimov did not prove himself in his position, which I doubt. The second possibility is linked to the latest report that the Ukrainian army struck the headquarters where Gerasimov and other high-ranking Russian officers were present at the time and that Gerasimov was injured.

From the latter conclusion, there are two more options – either Gerasimov is wounded to the extent that he is unable to perform his duties for a certain period of time, a month or two, or he was killed,“ D. Antanaitis said on the „Lietuvos rytas“ TV show „New Day“.

He said that a new military commander would indeed be good news for the Ukrainians.

„Usually, nobody changes horses when they go through a ford. If there is a change of key planning officers, who know the whole situation, and who have contacts in the Kremlin, I think it will make the situation of the Russian army a bit worse because the new commander will have to get used to the new situation. Even if they have been there before, they will still have to make a new 'entry'.

I think this is very good news for Ukraine and its army“, the military expert reflected.

Have the Russians lost their offensive power?

Antanaitis said he believes that Russian forces have already lost their offensive power in Ukraine.

„The Russians are retreating closer and closer to their borders. And in terms of how many tanks they have lost – and tanks are very important for an offensive because you just can't move forward without having the firepower, the armour, and the passability that a tank has. I think so – they lost“, the warfare expert assessed.

According to the military expert, there is more than one possible reason why the regime did not announce a general mobilisation.

„Mobilisation would not help anything at the moment, and the Russians need help here and now. That is why they are withdrawing their troops from Syria and other places instead of mobilising. Mobilisation should equate people, train them, assign them to units, and transport them.

It should also be made clear to the public that you do not 'de-Nazify' something but actually attack it, and that is why we need more people there. This is a whole bunch of reasons why the mobilisation has not been announced yet“, said Antanaitis.

At the moment, he said, the Russian forces are being replenished, but the equipment being replenished is old, 50 years old.

„A breakthrough could be if Russia is joined by an ally and fights together against Ukraine, but it is unlikely that anyone would want to join a belligerent country“, he noted.

However, according to Antanaitis, Russian forces have the potential to hold on to parts of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian forces, according to Antanaitis, reached a turning point in the war when the West started supplying arms.

„The turning point came when the Ukrainians started to receive normal Western weapons and when they absorbed them. It was also when an informal alliance of 40 countries came together to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia.

I think that was the turning point when the Ukrainians first believed that they could do it, that they were not alone in the world, and that was a morale boost.

Only if you have morale, but you do not have the right weapons, you are just a corpse of high morale. In this case, they have both morals and Western weapons“, Antanaitis said.

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