Explainer: Russia’s military woes mount amid Ukraine attacks

Even Kremlin moved to take over parts of Ukraine in a sharply escalating conflict, Russian Army suffered new setbacks that highlighted its deep problems on the battlefield and opened rifts in the Russian government.
The setbacks have tarnished the image of a powerful Russian military and increased tensions around an unplanned mobilization. They also fueled the war among the people in the Kremlin and caused the Russian President to leave Vladimir Putin increasingly cornered.
Here are the latest Russian losses, some of the reasons behind them, and the potential consequences.
Relying on Western-supplied weapons, Ukraine has continued last month’s gains in the northeastern region of Kharkiv by pushing deeper into the occupied areas and forcing the withdrawal of Russian troops from the city of Lyman, a important logistics center.
The Ukrainian army also launched a widespread counter-offensive in the south, capturing a series of villages on the west bank of the Dnieper River and advancing towards the city of Kherson.
Ukrainian interests in the Kherson region after relentless attacks on the two main intersections on the Dnieper rendered them unusable and forced the Russian troops on the western bank of the Dnieper to depend entirely on the intersections. with buoys, which have also been repeatedly attacked by Ukrainian troops.
Phillips P. O’Brien, professor of strategic studies at the University of St Andrews, has predicted many of Russia’s defeats at Kherson, noting that “it’s hard to stabilize a frontline when your logistics are stretched to the point of being stretched. , your army is exhausted and your opponents are many, much smarter.”
Squeezed by a wide river and severe supply shortages, the Russian military faces an unfortunate setback that could set the stage for a potential Ukrainian effort to regain control of the Crimean Peninsula, which Moscow has long been unable to control. merged in 2014.
Military reporters and bloggers with their hands on the Russian military in Ukraine paint a bleak picture of a poorly equipped and poorly organized force under poor command.
As the war progressed into the eighth month, the Russian army suffered from severe personnel shortages, lack of coordination among units, and unstable supply lines.
Many Russian units also had low morale, a depressed mood in stark contrast to Ukraine’s combative forces.
Unlike the Ukrainian military, which relies on intelligence data provided by the US and its NATO allies to select and strike targets, the Russian military has been plagued by poor intelligence.
When Russian intelligence detects a Ukrainian target, the military engages in a lengthy process to secure clearance to strike that target, often until the target disappears.
Russian war correspondents particularly lamented the shortage of drones and noted that the Iranian-supplied drones were not used to their fullest potential due to poor targeting.
Russian President Vladimir Putin Responding to the Ukrainian counter-offensive by ordering a partial military mobilization, aimed at reinforcing at least 300,000 reservists to reinforce forces along the 1,000-kilometer front in Ukraine.
At the start of the invasion, Ukraine announced a sweeping maneuver, with the goal of forming a 1 million-member army. Russia had up to that point managed to win the war with a shrinking contingent of volunteer soldiers. The US brought the initial invasion force to 200,000, and some Western estimates put Russian casualties as high as 80,000 killed, wounded, and captured.
While Moscow hawks welcomed the long overdue mobilization, hundreds of thousands of Russian men fled abroad to avoid recruitment, and protests erupted across the country, posing challenges new formula for the Kremlin.
The rookies posted pictures showing them being forced to sleep on the floor or even outdoors. Some reported being delivered rusty weapons and told to buy their own medical kits and other basic supplies. In tacitly acknowledging supply problems, Putin dismissed his deputy defense minister in charge of military logistics.
Mobilization is no quick fix for Russia’s military disasters. Recruits will take months to train and form combat-ready units.
Putin then increased his advantage by abruptly annexing the occupied regions of Ukraine and voicing his readiness to use “all available means” to defend them, a blunt example of an arsenal of weapons. Russian nuclear.
In an unprecedented sign of infighting within higher levels of government, the Kremlin-backed Chechen regional leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, has harshly criticized top military allies, accusing they are incompetent and autocratic.
Kadyrov blamed General Alexander Lapin for failing to secure supplies and reinforcements for his troops, which led to their retreat from Lyman. He declared that the general deserved to be stripped of his rank and sent to the front lines as a private to “wash away his shame with his blood”.
Kadyrov also directly accused Russia’s top military officer, General. Valery Gerasimovintended to cover up Lapin’s mistakes – an attack aimed at fueling speculation that the Chechen leader may have forged an alliance with other hawkish members of the Russian elite against the leadership. leading military.
In a blunt statement, Kadyrov also urged the Kremlin to consider using low-yield nuclear weapons against Ukraine to reverse the course of the war, a call that reflects this idea’s growing popularity in the Middle East. Kremlin hawks.
To show his continued support for Kadyrov, Putin promoted him to the rank of colonel to mark his birthday, a move sure to anger his top counterparts. And while Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described Kadyrov’s statement as overly emotional, he strongly praised the Chechen leader’s role in the fighting and the bravery of his army.
In another sign of growing dissent at the highest levels, Yevgeny Prigozhin, a millionaire businessman dubbed “Putin’s chef,” criticized the governor of St.
Several other members of the Russian elite were quick to support Kadyrov and Prigozhin, who increasingly acted as fronts for Moscow hawks.
Retired lieutenant-general Andrei Gurulev, a senior member of Russia’s lower house of parliament who strongly supports the Chechen leader, said that Russia’s defeat in Lyman stemmed from a desire to give Putin only good news.
“It’s a matter of outright lies and top-to-bottom positive reports,” he said.


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