FOX 7 Discussion: Russia's invasion of Ukraine entering sixth week

Russia's invasion of Ukraine is now entering its sixth week. Ukrainian forces continue to fight back to reclaim their territory from Russian troops, while other Ukrainians still in the country struggle to locate necessary resources like food and water. This week, dozens of bodies were found in Bucha and other Kiev suburbs in Ukraine, leading officials to call Russian forces "evidence of genocide." 

Former Pentagon Adviser and Austin-based Author Jody Ferguson joins FOX 7's John Krinjak to discuss the conflict overseas. 

JOHN KRINJAK: We are almost six weeks now into the war in Ukraine with no real end in sight. Ukraine's president now using the word ‘genocide’ to describe Russia's attacks on his country. Joining us tonight to talk about where things stand in this conflict is Austin based author and former Pentagon adviser Jody Ferguson. Thanks for being with us tonight.

JODY FERGUSON: Thanks for having me, John. It's good to be back.

JOHN: So tonight, Russia is denying these allegations that their troops are responsible for what Ukraine is calling a "Massacre" in the city of Bucha comes after hundreds of bodies were found in the city in the suburb of Kiev. What can you tell us about this just horrific situation? What's Russia's strategy here?

JODY: It's hard to say with Russia's strategy is when it comes to something as horrific as what's happened there. If the reports can indeed be verified, and they've been, the sources have been come from as far afield as Israel and the rest of Europe. But if this is in fact the case, we're looking at crimes that perhaps the worst year I've seen, certainly since the war in Yugoslavia. As far as the Russian strategy, it's hard to tell whether this is in fact something that came from an order from above or whether it was something that happened among the officers there in the fields. Of course, the Russian government, as you mentioned, has denied it. It's hard, as I've mentioned before, in talks with you all. It's hard to really understand what's going on in spite of all the massive coverage we're getting on this war. And there's also even been videos that are unconfirmed as well of Russian prisoners war being tortured and shot by Ukrainian soldiers. So it's a serious information war going on between the two at the moment.

JOHN: And as that was going on in Bucha, we saw in another city, a port city, Odessa, Russia shelling that's kind of strategic on the Black Sea. Russia, in this case, is admitting, ‘Yeah, we did this.’ What is the significance of that attack?

JODY: Odessa is a city that's not seen much of the war. It's the largest port city on the Black Sea for Ukraine. A lot of Ukraine's exports go out of Odessa. They hit an oil refinery. Of course, as we know, there did not appear to be any casualties. But Odessa would be the final goal if Putin wants to create his novel, what I see, as he's been claiming and cut off Ukraine from the Black Sea, Odessa would be the final key to that puzzle. So far, they've had trouble taking Mariupol and the rest of the Black Sea coast, so if the war spreads through Odessa, it signifies the expansion of war.

JOHN: And meanwhile, Russia is blaming Ukraine for an attack on a fuel depot in Russia, Ukraine is denying that. What do you make of this?

JODY: That was a significant strike is that again is indeed confirmed, and in fact, the Russian government has said that these oil depots were struck by the Ukrainians, so we can probably take it for a fact. What's interesting, I alluded to last time that the Fourth Guard's Tank Division, a storied Russian division that was to help defend Stalingrad and was in on the defeat of Berlin in 1945, met a stinging defeat on the battlefield earlier this month. They were in Belgorod, the city that was shelled that was hit by Russia, by Ukrainian helicopter. They were there to regroup and perhaps remobilize down to the Donetsk region. So the fact that Ukraine is taking the fight on to Russian territory shows that things are not going as well as perhaps the Russian government expected up to this point.

JOHN: Just have a few seconds left here. I mean, to that point is Russia kind of reassessing their strategy now? And what could that mean?

JODY: I think they are reassessing their strategy again. It's hard for me to say which one hundred percent, surely, but the fact that they've remobilized some of their forces, and we've seen that they've moved out to the Kiev region down to the Donetsk region, perhaps the new strategy is rather than decapitating the Ukrainian government. They want to just stick with the eastern provinces that have been under dispute thus far.

JOHN: All right, Jody Ferguson, always appreciate your insight. Thanks for being with us tonight.

JODY: My pleasure, John. Thanks for having me.

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