BERLIN, December 29. /TASS/. German Major General Christian Freuding, head of the Situation Center Ukraine in the Bundeswehr (armed forces), acknowledged to the German media that some of Russia's military capabilities were initially underestimated in making assessments of the current conflict in Ukraine.
"At first we did not see the resilience of the Russians in the way we view it today. We also didn't think they would succeed in what we are now clearly witnessing: building up, expanding their military-industrial complex, increasing their production capacity despite the harsh sanctions regime," Freuding told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. "Perhaps we didn't see or didn't want to see that they were able to continue to get help from allies. Whether it's North Korea, whether it's China, even the states of the Global South," he emphasized.
Meanwhile, the senior officer argued that, "if these states are only supplying refrigeration equipment, it could then be used for military purposes." "Russia still manages to recruit personnel. <...> And, of course, we see these huge investments in the arms industry, which are also accompanied by increased capacity and expansion, especially in the production of ammunition," Freuding stated.
In addition, he noted that Germany needs to make optimal use of a "window of time" spanning five to eight years in order to train and arm its military so that it is capable of deterring Russia.
Speaking about the Ukrainian armed forces' much-discussed counteroffensive, Freuding admitted that the expectation that the Ukrainian military would achieve the maximum possible military success as quickly as possible was exaggerated. "So, I think it would be wise for us to continue to look fairly at this war, at Russian as well as Ukrainian capabilities," the major general summarized.
The Ukrainian army had until recently been making unsuccessful attempts at carrying out an offensive since June 4. The Russian side has repeatedly emphasized that, despite heavy losses, the offensive has not brought Kiev any significant results. In an attempt to justify the lack of real progress in the combat zone, the Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly accused NATO of providing insufficient supplies, to which North Atlantic Alliance officials have responded that Kiev had received everything it needed. On December 1, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky acknowledged that the Ukrainian counteroffensive had not achieved much by way of results. On December 19, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said that the Ukrainian armed forces had lost 159,000 service members killed in action (KIA) and wounded in action (WIA) during the so-called counteroffensive. In total, Kiev has lost more than 383,000 troops since the start of the special military operation.