Makhmut Gareyev: ‘The main threat comes from NATO’
Tatar General of the army about the war in Syria, hybrid warfare in Ukraine and the Square by Malevich
Military analyst, General of the army (the second highest military rank in the Russian Federation, inferior only to a marshal and superior to a colonel general) in retirement Makhmut Gareyev believes that the main threat to our country comes from NATO. At the same time, Russia will not attack first. What the Russian military do in Syria and whether they are present in Ukraine, he said in an interview to Realnoe Vremya.
'It is the day when the Red Army repulsed German invaders for the first time'
Makhmut Akhmetovich, on 23 of February we celebrate Defender of the Fatherland Day. People have different attitude to this day. Is it right that we celebrate it exactly on 23 February?
Peoples of our country defended honour and dignity of the Motherland together, its independence. They preserved the core of the state. So, defense of our homeland is our duty, no matter what political system is.
Some people offer to change the day, believing that in 1918 the Red Army did not win a victory over Germans at Narva and Pskov.
Only sick people think so. They need to read the decree of the government of the time. It doesn't say that they won. It says that it is the day when the Red Army repulsed German invaders for the first time. They did repulse. The forces were unequal, Pskov was abandoned. But exactly this first repulse is celebrated today.
'The duty of strategists is to distribute the actions skillfully to avoid unnecessary complications'
Let's talk about the present day. Russian troops are conducting a military operation in Syria. Don't you think that Russia's participation is a reckless scheme?
How can it be a reckless scheme? There are terrorist states, there are parties from our country, too. There are some forces that want to create a terrorist state. They and their efforts will be directed against our country. We shouldn't wait until they come to us. It is better to defeat them on their site – this is the principle of defence.
The duty of strategists is to distribute the actions skillfully to avoid unnecessary complications
Russia has to transport their troops across Bosphorus, belonging to Turkey, by air, which is not very convenient. Is it possible that the exacerbation of relations with Turkey will lead to the fact that they block the Straits?
Anything can happen. The duty of the strategists is to distribute the actions skillfully to avoid unnecessary complications. We hope that they will not close the passage for Russian ships.
What do you think, how will end the war in Syria?
It will depend on the people, the government and their attitude. If they act more vigorously, they will achieve some unity of the Syrian people, then we may hope for all good things.
What is a 'good thing'? Under whose leadership? Assad, his successor, protege of the USA or Russia, Iran?
It must be a person, chosen by the Syrian people. And he will represent primarily the interests of its people.
Will the country be united or be split into some parts – Kurdish, Sunni and Alawi?
You know, now in NATO, in the EU, the British said they want to be independent. They were given that right. Why is someone given that right and someone is not? Syrian people should be allowed to make their choice, and others should not interfere in their internal affairs, then everything will be fine, Allah willing.
How did journalists invent 'hybrid warfare'?
Now there are military operations in the South-East of Ukraine. The processes happening there are defined by the term 'hybrid warfare'. Can you explain the essence of this phrase?
This expression is journalistic, not scientific. It is the same when journalists invented Molotov cocktail, though Molotov did not invent it. During the Finnish War the rumor was that that these cocktails were prepared for Molotov. And now is the same situation. While there are no other terms, they use 'hybrid warfare'.
Now, some scientists suggest that an economic, political, information warfare is also a war. But we are guided by the law on defence yet
In 'hybrid war' all possible means are used. In the Law 'About defence' the article 18 says that the war starts with the beginning of hostilities. That is, if no hostilities, no war. Now, some scientists suggest that an economic, political, information warfare is also a war. But we are guided by the law on defence yet. By the way, do you know, how is an information war conducted?
Recall the Black Square by Malevich. He just painted the square. Any person who doubted the genius of this work were denounced as troglodyte, backward man, he was ridiculed. Finally, everyone began to recognize it as a work of genius. That is a pressure on all lines.
There were mentions in the media about presence of Russian military in Donbass. What do you think, is it true or not?
In Ukraine there is a struggle inside the Ukrainian people after the coup arranged by Americans. Americans rule there. On the top there are foreigners, not Ukrainians. Probably, there are Russian citizens in Donbass. But those who served before. Operating military should not be there.
'Nuclear weapons deters all attacks on each other for now'
Western analysts have calculated that if a war between Russia and NATO suddenly starts, our country will be able to occupy the Baltic States for 60 hours. How about this?
We are not going to attack neither Latvia or Estonia or someone else. You should ask those people who make up such things. It is a provocation.
Is there a threat of the Third World War?
Such threat is not excluded. For now, nuclear weapons deters all attacks on each other yet. Let's hope that this will not happen. The risk of war takes place, and it is a danger.
We will hope that there will be enough prudence. The British were not given independence from the EU, now they are. In some issues the countries, organizations go each other on concessions. Common sense will prevail.
What is a threat to our country – the US, Turkey, Europe, China, NATO?
For us the main threat is North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which includes USA, European countries, Turkey. The second threat is from terrorist organizations. They get money, are fed from America and other countries. A lot of poor people are pushed for all sorts of extremist actions.
Thank you very much for your answers. Happy holiday!
Makhmut Akhmetovich Gareyev — General of the army (the second highest military rank in the Russian Federation, inferior only to a marshal and superior to a colonel general) in retirement, Doctor of Military Science, Doctor of Historical Science
- From December 1942 — the participant of the Great Patriotic War. In February 1945, after releasing from the hospital, he was sent to the Far East. Fought during the Russo-Japanese War in August 1945.
- In 1959, graduated from the Military Academy of the General staff. Since 1959 — deputy division commander, commander of motor-rifle and tank divisions, the chief of staff, 28th combined arms army in the Belorussian military district
- 1970-1971 — the chief military adviser to the United Arab Republic. Since 1971 — chief of staff of the Ural military district. Since 1974 — head of Military-scientific Directorate of the General staff, Deputy Chief of the Main operations Directorate of the General staff.
- Since 1989 he was chief military advisor in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of the limited contingent of Soviet troops.
- Since 1990, a military adviser — inspector of Group of General inspectors of the USSR Defense Ministry. Since 1992 — retired.
- After foundation in February 1995 of the Academy of Military Sciences, he was elected as a president.
- An author of over 100 scientific papers, over 300 articles and publications.
- Awarded the Order of Lenin, four Orders of the Red Banner, order of Alexander Nevsky, two orders of Patriotic War I degree, order of Labor Red Banner, three orders of Red Star, order 'For service to Motherland in the USSR Armed Forces' II and III degrees, 'For merits before Fatherland' III degree, medals.