On the eve of a full-scale Russian invasion on February 24, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valeriy Zaluzhny ordered the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from their permanent deployment points, where the enemy then delivered the first missile and bomb strikes. He told Time magazine about it.
According to Zaluzhny, against the background of other skeptics, among whom was the head of state Vladimir Zelensky, he considered a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine only a matter of time.
Thus, a few weeks after taking office on July 27, 2021, a new The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine allowed the commanders in the Donbass to return fire «from any available weapon», if they were attacked, and not to wait for a signal from the senior command.
«We had to discourage them from attacking. We also needed to show teeth», — notes Zaluzhny.
The publication notes that the general was disappointed with how some commanders «not serious enough» reacted to large-scale military exercises (took place on the eve of the Russian invasion), the main maneuvers of which were supposed to imitate a Russian attack so that the Armed Forces of Ukraine could track down their weak points. According to Zaluzhny, the exercises were a central element of Ukraine's defensive strategy and its best chance of survival.
The commander-in-chief said that before the invasion, military equipment was secretly relocated and camouflaged, troops with weapons were withdrawn from the checkpoints to other places: aircraft , tanks and armored vehicles, as well as anti-aircraft batteries, which will soon be needed to maintain control of the sky.
«The smell of war is unmistakable, and it was already in the air. I was afraid that we would lose the element of surprise. We needed the enemy to think that we were all stationed at our usual bases, smoking weed, watching TV and pissing on Facebook», said the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.