ORLANDO, Fla. - From his Orlando home, retired U.S. Army general Mike Repass says watching the Russian invasion of Ukraine has been emotional.
"Makes me sad and angry quite frankly," Repass said. "I wish I was there with these guys. I really do."
After retiring from his decorated military career as a special forces officer, Repass said he worked as an educator and advisor in Ukraine.
"We were heavily involved with training these guys and getting them ready for whatever may come next," he told FOX 35 News.
Repass said after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, Ukraine underwent a series of government and defense reforms. They were preparing for a Russian invasion, and last week, it happened.
"I think they’ve equipped themselves well on the battlefield," the retired general said. "The next week or two will be critical for the Ukrainian forces,"
Repass added that he doesn’t think Russia will be able to take over the entire country, but Russian President Vladimir Putin may focus on certain strategic areas.
His advice to the men and women fighting for their country?
"They don’t need my advice right now. What they need is they need weapons from Europe and the United States to take on the enemy that they have in front of them," Repass said.
He said he’s sent over messages of support and encouragement.