General Roman Polko believes that the use of Iranian drones by the Russians is indicative of Russia’s determination to arm itself and change its strategy rather than any indication it’s running out of munitions.
That change of strategy is a movement away from engaging in land battles and towards hitting energy infrastructure. Despite Ukraine being able to put up air defenses, this strategy of the Russians is having some effect, said Polko.
The former commander of the GROM special forces unit says that the use of these drones shows how the Iranian state works, which he says is always willing to sponsor terror. According to the general, Putin is finding the most sympathy and understanding from the likes of Iran and North Korea than anywhere else.
Gen. Polko says he does not think Putin’s declaration of martial law in the four newly annexed regions of Ukraine is a sign of retreat but rather the construction of the narrative that these territories really are a part of Russia. He also says it is a thinly veiled threat to the local population of what could happen to them if they disobey.
The general is not surprised that the Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has “talked the talk but has not walked the walk on the war” in Ukraine. Polko says that there is nothing for Belarus to gain in the war. This is why Lukashenko will give Russians access to his territory so they can attack Ukraine from it, but he wants to avoid Belarusian boots on the ground due to fears of the domestic consequences of such involvement.
“However, Putin is pressing, and Lukashenko is between a rock and a hard place in this war,” said Polko.