100 days of the war in Ukraine… Military lessons learned (2)

Written by – Elijah J. Magnier:

Russia committed several mistakes in the first two weeks of the war, which persuaded the US and Europe that they could destroy the Russian army and the Russian economy and remove president Vladimir Putin from power. However, the initial Russian failure turned in Moscow’s favour a few weeks later, as the goals became modest and the military plans changed. The fighting style and advance into cities shifted from relying on tanks to focusing on artillery, precision missiles and infantry. 

Russia also benefited financially despite being subjected to thousands of sanctions never imposed on any country before. Supporting the war is exhausting the West’s financial resources – and continues to do so – highlighting how the world is divided. Indeed, it is split between a Western camp and another camp consisting of Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia – the latter, which represents two third of the world – does not conform to Washington’s policy and is not hostile to Russia.

In the early days of the war, Western embassies closed in the capital, Kyiv, and the Russian army reached, in record time, the cities of Chornobyl and Hostomel, a few kilometres from the capital. A 67-kilometre-long convoy stopped only tens of kilometres from Kyiv, which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hastily left, despite the fake footage he was broadcasting to camouflage that he was still inside the capital.

However, Russia pushed its tanks into the midst of the battle without proper air protection and did not provide special forces coverage for the infantry to clean and secure the roads through which the armoured vehicles had to pass. Tanks were exposed to severe blows causing the loss of many armoured vehicles. However, this temporary victory produced a euphoric reaction from the Ukrainians, the US, and NATO, who believed eliminating Russia was easier than expected. Therefore, the West no longer tried to negotiate to stop the war – unlike today – and Ukraine rejected the Russian initial negotiation invitation.

Through their military operations rooms in Poland and Germany and the weapons sent to Ukraine, the Western military officers’ guidance has effectively inflicted heavy losses on the Russian forces on the battlefield. The Russian military movement plan was exposed to NATO staff officers, planning and directly communicating with the Ukrainian troops on the ground. NATO officers were able to identify the assembling of the Russian attacking force and their intentions and weaknesses to supply the appropriate weapons to inflict significant losses on the Russian. This prompted Kyiv to abandon diplomatic negotiations and announce that Ukraine would not stop the war until after the territories’ liberation, including Crimea. Thinking that victory was guaranteed, President Zelensky raised the ceiling of challenge in the face of President Putin.

The West failed to consider that Russia tolerates human and military losses as part of its doctrine as long as the objectives are achieved. The failure to reach the first objective prompted President Vladimir Putin to modify the plan of attack and abandon the “velvet glove” he used in the first weeks for many reasons including the family interaction between Ukraine and Russia. Russia seems to have mistakenly believed that Kyiv would surrender without a fight.

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Proofread by: Maurice Brasher


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