Commuting to war, Soviet-era uniforms and other observations from our correspondent in Kyiv
"As long as there are Russian troops on Ukrainian soil...this won't be a frozen conflict."
Retired Marine Col. Andy Milburn is on assignment for Task & Purpose in Ukraine and we had a chance to speak with him on Friday from Kyiv. In this wide-ranging interview, Milburn, a former Marine special operations commander who retired after 31 years of service, shares his insight into what’s happening a month into Russia’s war.
So far, Milburn has written a number of dispatches from the war zone, one of which described the disastrous early start of the Ukrainian Foreign Legion that brought untrained and unprepared recruits onto an incredibly complex battlefield. In his other pieces, he provided important insight into how the Russian military was adapting its tactics and, using his own experience in fighting large scale urban battles, offered a preview of what lies ahead if the Russian military launches a full-scale ground attack on Kyiv, which Andy wrote, would be a potential “urban brawl not seen since the Second World War.”
We also discuss:
- How Ukrainian military forces “commute to the war” and back
- How a potential battle for Kyiv stacks up to other urban battles in the past
- What gear and weapons the Ukrainians are using, and what’s in short supply
- On the Russian side, meanwhile, Milburn says “they’re wearing Soviet-era uniforms,” in some circumstances.
- And the question on everyone’s mind: How does this end? What happens next in the war?
Watch the full interview below:
Read more exclusive T&P dispatches from Ukraine:
- Russia’s war in Ukraine is far from over (March 26)
- Russian forces face two choices in Kyiv. Both will be bloody and costly (March 23)
- ‘They own the long clock’ — How the Russian military is starting to adapt in Ukraine (March 21)
- Legion of the damned: Inside Ukraine’s army of misfits, veterans, and war tourists in the fight against Russia (March 18)