Russia’s military predicament rises amid Ukrainian offensive

Even as the conflict escalated sharply, with the Kremlin moving to absorb parts of Ukraine, the Russian military suffered fresh defeats, highlighting serious problems on the battlefield and creating rifts at the top of the Russian government. rice field.

The retreat severely damaged the image of a powerful Russian military and heightened tensions over haphazard mobilization. there is

Here’s a look at recent Russian losses, some of the reasons behind them, and potential consequences.

A Series of Defeats in the Northeast and South

Relying on weapons supplied by the West, Ukraine has moved deeper into the occupied territories and withdrew Russian troops from the key logistics hub of Lyman, following its achievements in the northeastern Kharkov region last month.

Ukrainian forces also launched a widespread counterattack in the south, capturing a series of villages on the west bank of the Dnieper and advancing towards the city of Kherson.

Ukrainian military victories in the Kherson area followed persistent attacks on two major crossings over the Dnieper, rendering them unusable, and Russian forces on the west bank of the Dnieper have been repeatedly attacked by Ukrainians. It was forced to rely solely on pontoon bridges.

Phillips P. O’Brien, a professor of strategic studies at the University of St. Andrews, predicted more Russian failures at Kherson, saying that “stretched logistics, exhausted troops, many enemies and much smarter.”

Pushed by a wide river and suffering from severe shortages of supplies, the Russian army faces looming defeat and a potential Ukrainian push to regain control of Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014. May set the stage.

Military shortages and the predicament of the command

Military journalists and bloggers from the Russian military in Ukraine paint a dire picture of the incompetent, poorly equipped and organized forces.

Eight months into the war, the Russian armed forces are suffering from severe manpower shortages, poor coordination between units, and unstable supply lines.

Also, many Russian units have a depressing mood that contrasts sharply with the low morale and unmotivated Ukrainian army.

Unlike the Ukrainian military, which relies on intelligence data provided by the United States and its NATO allies to select and strike targets, the Russian military has been plagued by inadequate information.

When Russian intelligence discovers a Ukrainian target, the military engages in a lengthy process to secure clearance to attack it, often until the target disappears.

Russian war correspondents particularly lamented the lack of drones, pointing out that due to poor target selection, drones supplied by Iran are not being used to maximum effectiveness.

Kremlin muster more troops and annex territories

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a partial military mobilization aimed at gathering at least 300,000 reservists to reinforce troops along Ukraine’s 1,000-kilometer front line. Responded to counterattacks.

At the start of the invasion, Ukraine announced a drastic mobilization with the goal of raising an army of 1 million. Until that moment, Russia was trying to win the war with a shrinking volunteer force. The United States set the initial invasion force at a maximum of 200,000 men, and some Western estimates put Russian casualties as high as her 80,000 killed, wounded and captured.

Moscow hawks welcomed the delayed mobilization, but hundreds of thousands of Russian men fled the country to escape conscription, and protests flared up across the country, posing a new challenge to the Kremlin. .

Recruits posted images showing them being forced to sleep on floors and outdoors. Some people reported being ripped off. Putin, tacitly aware of the supply problem, dismissed the deputy defense minister in charge of military logistics.

Mobilization is not a quick solution to Russia’s military predicament. It takes months for recruits to train and form combat-ready units.

Putin then raised the bar by suddenly annexing the occupied territories of Ukraine and stating that he was ready to use “all available means” to protect them.

crack opens at the top

In a sign of unprecedented infighting at the highest levels of government, Kremlin-backed Chechnya regional leader Ramzan Kadyrov has lashed out at military cadres, accusing them of incompetence and nepotism.

Kadyrov accused Colonel Alexander Lapin of failing to secure supplies and reinforcements for his army which led to the withdrawal from Lyman. He declared that the general deserved to be stripped of his rank and sent to the front as a private first class to “wash the shame with blood”.

Kadyrov also directly accused Russia’s top military officer, General Valery Gerasimov, of covering up Lapin’s failure.

In a candid statement, Kadyrov urged the Kremlin to consider using low-yield nuclear weapons against Ukraine to reverse the course of the war.

To show his continued support for Kadyrov, Putin promoted him to colonel to celebrate his birthday. However, he strongly praised the role of the Chechen leader in the fighting and the bravery of his troops.

In another sign of growing dissent in the upper echelons, billionaire businessman Evgeny Prigozhin, dubbed “Putin’s chef,” has lashed out at the governor of St. Petersburg, calling Prigozhin’s Wagner Private Security Company For not helping, he accused it of helping Ukraine.

Several other members of the Russian elite provided prompt assistance to Kadyrov and Prigozhin, who are increasingly frontmen of Moscow’s hawkish circles.

Retired Lieutenant General Andrei Gurlev, a senior member of the Russian parliament, strongly supports the Chechen leader, saying Russia’s defeat at Lyman was rooted in the desire of the upper echelons to report only good news to Putin. did.

“This is a matter of outright lies and positive reporting from top to bottom,” he said.