In a matter of minutes, the images They went viral and went around the world. A few weeks ago, a Ukrainian driver he filmed himself the moment your vehicle reached a armored and even tank Russians, surprisingly detained in the gutter of a local minor road.
– “Hey, guys, do you have a breakdown?”, he asks them, with a hint of sarcasm.
-“We have run out of fuel”, the Russians reply with resignation.
After releasing the invaded, between laughs, a painful barb at the invaders – “Do you want me to tow you back to Russia?” – he, without any fear or concern of reprisals, engages in a dialectic fight with the Russian military, after which he draws the conclusion that the disoriented state in the blocked armored column it was total and that none of its members had the remotest idea of exactly where it was located geographically.
The scene comes to symbolize the difficulties that the “special operation“Russian in Ukraine, using the official slang with which the Kremlin calls the war in the neighboring country. Repeatedly, information appears in the media, both Ukrainians and opposition Russians or foreigners, about logistical problems, low morale among the troops, disorientation and incoordination. Even from the Russian rearguard, subjected to ironclad government propaganda and a significant level of political repression, there are reports of police and soldiers who refuse to be transferred to the neighboring country to fight. “The Russian military operation began with a rapid invasion from 10 directions; to the four months from its inception, it seems that it has entered a deep crisis“, notes the independent Russian publication Meduza in a long article memorial after the first month of fighting.
The consequence of all this is obvious, as the military analysts. Russia has not achieved any of the objectives that had been initially set, that is, control of the large northern cities, such as kyiv or Kharkov, mostly Russian speakers; even the establishment of a land runner from Odessa until the pro-russian donbasor alternatively from Crimea to the enclaves controlled by militias loyal to the Kremlin.
As pointed out Michael Samusex-Ukrainian soldier at the head of New Geopolitical Research Network, a Ukrainian platform specializing in military and geopolitical issues, the origin of most of the problems lies in “poor pre-war intelligence work”. “Either the previous preparations failed, or at some level (of the Russian bureaucracy) they were modified to please Putin,” he continues.
The examples of this resounding failure have been verified since minute 1 of the military offensive. According to this military analyst, during the first hours of the February 24thdate of the start of the conflict, Russia launched a series of attacks with missiles against military airfields and control centers intended to neutralize the Air Forces and the Ukrainian anti-aircraft defenses. Immediately afterwards, without checking the results of this first wave of bombardments, the military commanders ordered the armored columns to enter the territory of the neighboring country, which would ultimately be disastrous, since they became an easy target for the Ukrainian forces. .
The logistical and supply problems experienced in this first month of war show that the thinking minds of the Kremlin conceived an operation of “a week” at most, which would be preceded by the fall of kyiv in “a couple of days”, says Samus. “They didn’t even expect the Ukrainian military to resist, they thought the government would disintegrate in a matter of hours,” he notes. Thus, the armored vehicles that received the order to reach kyiv have been blocked halfway, isolated, without supplies and being able to advance, becoming an easy target for the ukrainian defenders.
The southern front is the only place where Russian troops have managed significant territorial advances, but the goals are also far from materializing. It remains to conquer the besieged port of Mariupolwhere, according to Samus, “thousands of troops still defend the city” and prevent for the time being the desired territorial continuity between the annexed Crimea and the separatist enclaves of Donetsk and Luganskin eastern Ukraine.
Thus, while on the battlefield there is talk of Ukrainian counteroffensives to recover lost territory, something unheard of given the imbalance of resources between one contender and the other, in Moscow the idea of reducing expectations and setting goals is making its way more realistic. Instead of causing the collapse of the Ukrainian state and authorities, what Moscow is now trying to do is shore up the areas controlled by pro-Russian militias in the east of the country. It is about “….concentrating the bulk of efforts on the liberation of Donbas.” Or what is the same. A Copernican twist for an ambitious military mission that was originally intended to return Ukraine to Kremlin fold.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.