German top-selling Bild newspaper has published a long-form article about the huge problems facing the Ukrainian armed forces, including the poor quality of military leadership and command, as well as a lack of basic equipment.
For its piece, the paper cited several soldiers and officers who said that Kyiv’s much-vaunted summer counteroffensive, which failed to produce any significant success, was a big mistake.
“Ukrainian troops have to use 50-year-old Soviet civilian SUVs to get to the frontline,” some of the soldiers told Bild, pointing to an acute shortage of armored troop carriers and military SUVs. According to one source, the soldiers have to pay for repairs to their vehicles and fuel themselves.
“In a garage, we paid for everything out of our own pockets,” said the soldier. The Kyiv forces also suffer from a lack of reconnaissance and strike drones, which they also have to acquire themselves or ask various aid organizations and private donors for.
“We also have to pay for the houses we sleep in and for food, which is infuriating,” said one soldier, adding that while Russia invests huge amounts of money in its army, Ukrainian soldiers have to rely mostly on themselves.
Some acknowledged that Western air defenses were barely reaching the front. Dozens of Western anti-aircraft systems, such as the German-made Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, are used as stationary anti-aircraft systems in various cities, a soldier told Bild.
Many have criticized the country’s high command, which they say has virtually nullified NATO training.
“As the senior officers are the same as before, little has changed in the way of warfare compared to the Soviet era,” a soldier trained by NATO member states told Bild, adding that Ukrainian forces do not carry out “combined arms” operations.
Many in the army ranks are increasingly angry at Ukraine’s political and military leadership.
The Ukrainian General Staff should never have passed on the counter-attack orders delivered to President Zelensky from abroad, one officer told the newspaper.