Ret. Col. Macgregor also argued that Russian forces have so far wrought much less damage upon Ukraine than the United States inflicted on Iraq during the military operations there in 1991 and in 2003.
As Russia continues its military operation in Ukraine enters its second week, Ret. Col, Douglas Macgregor, former senior adviser to the US defence secretary, compared the tactics currently employed by Ukrainian forces with those used by extremists in the Middle East.
Speaking with Fox Business earlier this week, Macgregor noted that Ukrainian forces are “taking refuge in population centres, cities, because they have no mobility, no air defence, no air cover, no logistical infrastructure.”
“They are now mingling with the population, much as we’ve seen in the Middle East whenever we drove the Islamists out of business – they ran into cities, used people as shields, the civilian population, and tried to avoid being annihilated,” he said. “And I think that’s essentially what’s happening today with the population being used by the Ukrainian forces to avoid destruction.”
When the host asked Macgregor whether Russian President Vladimir Putin would attempt to “flatten Ukraine,” Macgregor replied that Russian forces “worked hard” to keep the country intact.
“Surprisingly little damage, frankly, Stuart,” he told the host. “Much less damage than we inflicted on Iraq when we went into it, either on 1991 and again in 2003.”
As Macgregor explained, in his opinion, the Russian troops in Ukraine are merely surrounding Ukrainian forces and are “annihilating them,” with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy merely “postponing the inevitable in the hopes that we are going to rescue him, and we are not coming – President Biden has made it very clear.”
He also remarked that, while the end of the Russian military operation may well be in sight, the question is what the Ukrainian president is going to do.
“The Russians have made it very clear: what they want is a neutral Ukraine. This could have ended days ago if he accepted that,” Macgregor said, apparently referring to Zelenskyy.
He also pointed out that, while the eastern part of Ukraine currently seems to be “firmly in Russian hands”, the Russian troops “are not seizing territory” but instead focus on destroying Ukrainian forces.
Macgregor also made a rather unflattering assessment of Zelenskyy himself, calling him a “puppet” who is “putting huge numbers of his own population at unnecessary risk.”
He added that he does not see anything heroic about the Ukrainian head of state, and suggested that the most heroic thing he can do at this point is to “come to terms with reality.”
“Neutralise Ukraine,” Macgregor elaborated. “This is not a bad thing. A neutral Ukraine would be good for us as well as for Russia. It would create the buffer that frankly both sides want. But he is, I think, being told to hang on and try to drag this out, which is tragic for the people that have to live through this.”