WebClick Tracer

THINK TALK: Is Russia Losing the War in Ukraine?

mindaviews thinktalk

MATALAM, North Cotabato (MindaNews / 19 April) – When an aggressor is held off for some time, does not make significant progress in terms of gaining territorial grounds, and loses more troops, tanks and other military equipment than the enemy, it is technically losing the war. Russia’s damage may not be as huge as Ukrainian sources suggest, but nonetheless, it was far more than what Putin could have imagined.

The latest big blow to the Russian military was the sinking of its navy flagship carrier “Moskva” in the Black Sea on April 14. Moskva was a guided missile cruiser of the Russian Navy. Moscow was quick to dismiss this as an accidental fire onboard which spread into the ammunition room causing the ship to burst into flames. The chief of the Ukrainian forces calls this “cheap alibi” because Moscow cannot accept such big humiliation in the hands of the defenders. The Ukrainian military chief claims that Russia’s battle ship was hit by a Ukrainian-made “Neptune” missile.

Whether “The Moskva” was a victim of accidental fire or hit by Ukrainian anti-ship missile could cause Putin’s fury. US Intelligence sources reported that on the night of the tragedy Putin got “furious in the bathroom.” He banged chairs on the wall mostly belonging to the Russian navy. This only showed how vital was “The Moskva” to Putin and his military.

In one late night news on CNN, somewhere in early part of the second week of April, it showed that a Russian armored column was moving down a street in Busha, Ukraine (Busha is different from Bucha). Ukrainian military hit the first one then the last one then moved down the line and destroyed all armored vehicles in between. This is called a “structured” ambush. A lot of vehicles destroyed, and a lot of men killed. This was a perfect tank ambush. Those Ukrainian guys knew what they were doing, the Russians did not.
You have to have infantry with the tanks and you certainly don’t line up tanks one after the other so close together. This is bad tank combat planning. These guys were caught all by themselves rumbling down the street like ducks. The same thing happened in Kyiv. Russian tanks lined up with no infantry getting hit left and right.
The invasion is not what the Russian ground commanders thought it would be and they are showing the world that they have no idea how to plan a battle. This could also be attributed to the Russian military’s highly centralized chain of command and top-heavy military planning.
There is, however, an apprehension on the consequence of defeating Putin’s army on the ground as this might encourage him to deploy and use tactical low-yield nuclear weapons. But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told CNN that Russia will only use nuclear weapons in case of an “existential threat” to Russia and the Russians. Russia’s military doctrine includes “escalate to de-escalate” principle of launching a small nuclear weapon to regain advantage on the ground.

US President Joe Biden is deeply concerned about avoiding a third world war and eluding a threshold in which nuclear conflict becomes possible. NATO countries seem to be towing the same line. But when interviewed by CNN on April 18 (morning, Manila time), Garry Kasparov, Russian former world chess champion and among the open critics of Putin, said: “I do not understand such logic. Putin does what he wants to do anyway. So, are we waiting for more civilians to be killed before we give Ukraine the kind of weapons it needs?”

Putin had placed Russia’s nuclear force on high alert since the war started on February 24, but the US says it has not monitored any sign of unusual nuclear movements in Russia. The truth is Putin had long deployed nuclear weapons in Kaliningrad, Russia’s gateway to the Baltic Sea passing though Belarus. Kaliningrad is strategically located on the border separating Lithuania and Poland which are both members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). It has been regarded as a “dagger in the heart of Europe.” Belarus, a close ally of Russia, is connected to Kaliningrad through a 104-km tri-point corridor called Suwalki Gap.*

The apparent setback of the Russian invaders can be attributed to the following:

First, all other factors equal, attacking forces would tend to lose more soldiers than defending forces who are more familiar with the battlefield terrain and more motivated to defend their land, families, and properties.

Second, even with 200,000 soldiers deployed by Russia as attacking force, this is outnumbered by the Ukrainian defending forces with the regular army bolstered by the paramilitary, reserves, armed civilians and volunteer foreign fighters.

Third, and probably the most important factor hindering the advance of Russia’s invading force, is NATO’s support to Ukraine.

Fourth, apart from the hundreds of millions of dollars in financial aid, tens of thousands of shoulder launched anti-tank missiles were supplied to the Ukrainian army. In fact, there are more Javelin anti-tank missiles and other “tank killers” than all of Russia’s main battle tanks (MBTs) combined, according to a source from NATO public bulletin.

Fifth, the Ukrainian army is already in possession of thousands of Russian-made rocket propelled grenade (RPG) launchers which are found to be effective against light-skinned armored personnel vehicles transporting Russian soldiers to the frontlines.

And sixth, NATO is providing direct satellite data in real time to the Ukrainian forces that greatly help them in monitoring the movement of Russian forces and positioning their equipment for live targeting.

This is clearly a proxy war between NATO and Russia with Ukraine as the battleground.

One thing the West should know is that since Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014, Crimea’s economy has significantly sank.** The ethnic Russians who were for the annexation are not anywhere near as eager for it now. They want their bustling tourist industry back, which they had thought could be bolstered under Russian supervision. With the present situation of Crimea, a Russian state full of secret police, who would enjoy lurking around its scenic spots and popular tourist destination? The annexation clearly failed to fill in the Crimean’s fun buckets.

Indeed, Putin destroys almost everything he touches!

* Google
** Washington Examiner

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Maugan P. Mosaid holds a doctorate degree in rural development. He is a freelance writer, planning consultant, and teaches Statistics and Methods of Research in the graduate school. He can be contacted at mauganmosaid6@gmail.com.)

Your perspective matters! Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We welcome diverse viewpoints and encourage respectful discussions. Don't hesitate to share your ideas or engage with others.

Search MindaNews

Share this MindaNews story
Send us Feedback