Lieutenant General Ben Hodges has stated that the Russian invasion of Ukraine
has exposed their military shortcomings. Russian Armed Forces are considered
among the best on the planet. Still, Hodges, a former General for the U.S Army
in Europe, stated that the weaknesses manifested in terrible maintenance,
logistics, and the lack of sergeants to instill discipline. President Putin
underestimated the Ukrainian army, viewing them as easy and weak targets, but
the results were different. The bravery
of Ukrainians who have the heart and never-ending will to defend their country
has surprised even a brutal dictator like Putin.
March, Retired Lt. General Hodges and 27 foreign policy experts had written an
open letter supporting a no-fly zone over all human corridors in Ukraine. They
stated that the no-fly zone was needed to protect civilians. On orders from
President Vladimir Putin, Russian forces have inflicted on massive pain and
destruction on Ukraine since the country's invasion on February 24 but have
found Ukrainian resistance to be quite forceful. According to NATO official,
the morale among Russian troops is relatively low, who has estimated the number
of soldiers killed in the conflict to be between 7500 and 15,000.
Triumph and Russian Dysfunctional military
Though the war
is not yet over, Ukraine's victory in the battle of Kyiv against the Kremlin has
been an epic victory for ages. Russian troops were faced with withdrawal from
the outskirts of the capital Kyiv which is not a small feat against a powerful
military. A manifold of deficiencies was exposed during the unprovoked attacks
and invasion of Ukraine. The deficiencies include low morale, faulty logistics,
poor intelligence, poor coordination, corruption, low morale, and
over-centralization. An 1854 article in Economist explained that Russia early
defeats in Crimean War are similar to the Russian current military travails.
commentator Stephen Douglas tweeted excerpts from an Economist article from
1854 and noted that the Russian military is experiencing the same problems
still plaguing it today. The Ukrainian
Army, an outgrowth of the Red Army, was initially hobbled by many difficulties similar
to the ones Russians are experiencing. In
2015, the Ukrainian military and the state reformed themselves along democratic
and western lines. Though Ukraine has a small army compared to its adversary
Russia, it has a superior military culture.
reported that Russian forces had completely withdrawn from Kyiv and Chernihiv
regions and refitted to Russia and Belarus. According to a senior Pentagon official,
Ukraine was reported hitting the Russians as they were retreating, further
depleting them. Pentagon Spokesperson John Kirby noted that Moscow had achieved
zero of the strategic goals and Ukraine could win the war.
Robert Burns, a
writer at The Associated Press, noted that the failure to capture Kyiv remains
of the Russian military failures of ages, arguing that Kyiv was the main prize.
Kremlin's failure will be long remembered for defying prewar expectations and
exposing surprising weaknesses in a military considered one of the strongest in
the world. Frederick Kagan, a military history expert for the Institute for the
Study of War that called Russia failed to take over Kyiv as stunning. Moscow
announced a special military operation in Ukraine, but the ultimate goal was to
take over Ukraine's capital which failed. Australian retired Maj. Gen. Mick
Ryan assessed that Ukraine is proving difficult for Kremlin, and they are
witnessing some of the most significant defeats since the Afghanistan war.
Colonel and Military history professor Peter Mansoor at Ohio State University
noted that capturing a country's capital is difficult. Prof. Mansoor notes that
Moscow has proven to be wholly incapable of conducting modern armored warfare. Russia
left horrific scenes of destruction and death in retreat, and Ukraine says it cleaned
up Russian unexploded ordnance and mines. Kyiv is under threat, according to
Pentagon, and should be protected. But Russia will probably surround and crush Ukraine's
battle-hardened forces in the Donbas region, and Ukraine should continue to put
a brave fight.
According to Military
Strength Ranking, the Russian military offensive in Ukraine has exposed that it
is less organized than in the Soviet Union era. Russia attempted to transform
the military under the leadership of Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukob, who
wanted to make the Kremlin military compact with a core emphasis on
professionalism. However, after the dismissal in 2012, the reform was abandoned,
and the salaries of contracted companies were reduced. The current troops sent
to Ukraine included conscripts later recalled, which affected combat
reconnaissance of targets, Moscow has revealed a significant weakness as
analysts concluded that the goals were set using an old data set probably
developed in 2014. In one instance, a Russian missile was fired at a place
where there was a military facility that was long gone. The missiles were used
powerful and were used irrationally. Target reconnaissance is one of the most potent
tools, and every powerful military should be able to carry out effective
resistance, ground attacks, and urban warfare from Ukrainian soldiers are
causing Putin and the Russian military to change their strategy. Kremlin changed its initial strategy of
invading and taking over to a more brutal war of attrition. They have resulted in
destroying everything and every municipality, town, and city in order to create
a problematic humanitarian situation that they can use to weaponize, putting
pressure on Zelensky and European governments. Washington Post writer Max Boot
argues that the Russian military ruthlessness does not make it any less
dysfunctional. Boot argues that Russian military history is one of dysfunction.
success in holding the capital city Kyiv, the Ukraine crisis still poses an
immediate and severe threat to the security and prosperity of Europe. Lord
Stirrup, a former Chief of Defence Staff, the priority must be an immediate
challenge with addressing exposed strategic weaknesses. Even though the security risks to Europe are
not obvious, and the unbounded capacity in the future unpleasant ways. More weapons
should be given to Ukraine to assist in defeating the invaders. Russian
military strength has been exposed, and threats from Moscow should not deter
the military assistance being offered to Kyiv.
Geofrey Robert is an experienced freelance researcher and writer with over five years of experience. He holds a Bachelor of law. His research interests are: International law, Peace & Security, Conflict, humanitarian issues, and climate change. He worked as a peace and security news writer for Peacehumanity.org. and also contributed to their periodic PEACE MONITOR MAGAZINE as a peace researcher and writer focusing on the Israel-Palestine conflict.