The news Russia has canceled a planned prisoner exchange with Ukraine is an example of the "utter chaos on the battlefield" retired U.S. Air Force Brigadier Gen. Blaine Holt told Newsmax on Saturday.
"There's just absolute utter chaos on the battlefield, especially around the eastern portions of Ukraine," Holt, a former NATO official, told "The Count." "It's creating also a lot of friction in the inner circles of [Vladimir] Putin, and we've seen evidence of that by a lot of leadership changes over the last week, even though they've taken Soledar, they look to be in circling bomb mood right now."
According to the Kyiv Independent, Russia canceled an agreed-upon prisoner swap with Ukraine, meant to take place Saturday, according to Ukraine's Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War.
The countries had agreed to exchange 40 prisoners of war, Russian Human Rights Ombudsman Tatiana Moskalkova told Reuters on Jan. 11, but Russia reportedly backed out at the last minute.
Alyona Verbytska, the Ukraine President's Commissioner for Protecting Defenders Rights, said at least 3,392 Ukrainian soldiers and civilians remain in Russian captivity as of Jan. 3.
Holt Saturday said it is not difficult to guess why Russia pulled out of the exchange: "Frustration."
"There's disarray on the Russian command and control side, but no one should take that as any sign that the Russians are going to be capitulating any time soon," he said.
Holt added Gen. Valery Gerasimov, the newly named general of all Russian forces, "comes with certain authorities in his position that allow him to use weapons much higher in technology and lethality than what we have seen yet, so I'm very worried about what's coming."
The retired general Saturday also discussed a war games scenario conducted this past week by the Center for Strategic and International Studies showing, under a hypothetical scenario, if China would invade Taiwan, the coalition forces of the United States, Taiwan, and Japan would win, but that would come at a heavy cost to the allied forces.
"We should take the war games very seriously," Holt said. "There's no question about that, but I think if you look internally as to what's going on with China, they're looking at thousands and thousands dying per day from their ill-fated choices on COVID, their economy is absolutely shredded. And Taiwan, they might be a small land mass, but they are a very formidable fighting force."
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Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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