Almost a year has passed since that fateful February 24, the day on which the so-called special military operation Russia on Ukrainian territory. The conflict has gone through several phases: from the initial advance of Moscow’s troops close to the peripheral districts of Kiev to the shift of the epicenter of hostilities in the Donbass and the coastal strip, from the summer operational lull to the Ukrainian counter-offensive. Until today’s substantial stalemate, broken only by surgical operations and raids, and awaiting new offensives.
What, at least initially and according to many analysts, seemed to be a formality, has been transformed for the Russia in a sort of strategic catastrophe. And not just because of the vital support – both in terms of intelligence and military resources – provided by the West a Volodymyr Zelensky. But also, and probably above all, due to multiple, serious, internal errors committed by the Russian Federation itself.
A thorough investigation of the New York Timesbased on interviews, wiretaps, documents and secret battle plans, showed how a sort of “walk in the park” has transformed, for the Kremlin and Vladimir Putinin a real hell. In a diabolical quagmire which, after almost 12 months, continues to swallow up Russian men and resources.
One of the major misjudgments made by the Russian high command coincided with the limited resources assigned to each soldier sent in Ukraine. Among the critical issues encountered, he highlighted the NYTwe find the little food available to the military, perhaps because it should have been a short-lived operation, i bullets counted and the instructions even taken from Wikipedia for weapons which many Russians barely knew how to use.
From a strategic point of view, however, several soldiers have crossed enemy territory relying on old maps dating back to the 60s recovered directly on the battlefield, or without any map. Worse – the Kremlin troops repeatedly communicated with each other using simple open telephone linesthus revealing strategic positions and objectives, and further highlighting the widespread disorder and incompetence among the Russian rank and file.
L’training prior to the war of these soldiers, then, would not have been up to the mission they were faced with. Furthermore, once trained, they would have received absolutely unrealistic data, timetables and objectives relating to the conquest of Ukraine. Many complained about being thrown into a “meat grinder“.
Between unpreparedness and disorganization
The investigation of NYT begins by shining a spotlight on the troops of the 155th Naval Infantry Brigade Russian. In the Ukraine, advancing through cratered farms, these men had no maps, med kits, or even working walkie-talkies. Net of possible exaggerations, to be taken into consideration in any case when we talk about such delicate issues, the reconstruction offered by the US newspaper appears all in all faithful to what could really have happened in the last few months on the Ukrainian chessboard.
For example, by reading various documents, we discover that the members of the aforementioned brigade, a few weeks before their deployment in September, were truck drivers and workers. Who, from their living rooms, watched on TV the alleged Russian military victories achieved on the front. Well, they would suddenly find themselves on the roofs of overcrowded armored vehicles, clutching rifles over half a century old, without food or air or artillery cover. THE reinforcements called by Moscow to replenish the army already deployed in Ukraine, they were less prepared than ever. So much so that several soldiers admitted they barely fired.
However, no one was worried, because their commanders had repeatedly repeated that they would not see any combat. Only when the bullets started crashing around them, tearing their comrades to pieces, would they realize they had been deceived.
And yet, the war envisioned by Putin should not have been this. When the CIA chief visited Moscow last year, he said he found an extremely confident. Putin’s national security adviser boasted of his armed forces, considering them advanced and strong enough to resist even the Americans.
The Russian invasion plans, obtained from the New York Times, would be the clearest evidence of how the Russian military expected to run hundreds of miles across the Ukraine and triumph in a matter of days. Something went wrong. And today Putin finds himself facing “the greatest human and strategic calamity of his nation since the collapse of the Soviet Union”, wrote the US newspaper.
The most important critical issues
We had to synthesize the five critical Russian issues more important, would be the following: 1) soldiers with few resources; 2) maps not updated for the mission to be performed; 3) use of open telephone lines; 4) inadequate training, including reinforcements; 5) unrealistic and imprecise goals.
The Russian army, despite Western assumptions about its prowess, was actually badly compromise, gutted by years of mismanagement. Hundreds of billions of dollars had been earmarked for the modernization of the armed forces under Putin’s leadership, but corruption scandals have ensnared thousands of officers.
Since February 24, Russia has squandered most of the advantage potential he had on Ukraine by orienting himself on old maps and bad information to launch its missiles (an estimated 60% of Russian cruise missiles missed their intended targets), leaving Ukraine’s air defenses intact, ready, as they did, to defend the country. Russia’s vaunted hacking teams have tried and failed to wage cyber warfare. Russian soldiers, many shocked that they were going to war, used their cellphones to call home, allowing the Ukrainians to track and shoot them down very easily.
Moscow thus captured more territory than it could defend, leaving thousands of square miles in the hands of undernourished fighters, poorly trained and poorly equipped. Many were conscripts equipped with 1940s equipment and equipped with printouts taken from the Internet explaining how to use a sniper rifle. Following the arrival in Ukraine of western weapons, Ukrainian soldiers carried out an effective counteroffensive, regaining most of the lost territories. The Kremlin still continues to send waves of troops, as if nothing had happened.
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