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Why Ukraine is winning the war

Nov 3, 2022 | Featured, The View From Here - Walter Kish

Russia’s Defense Minister Shoigu reported last week that Russia had completed its recent mobilization of an additional 300,000 troops, and that 82,000 of them had already been deployed to the front in Ukraine. To those not knowledgeable with all the details of what has actually been happening, this may seem as something of great concern and worry to Ukraine.

In reality, this will cause very little change to the fact that for the past several months, Ukraine has been winning this war, and doing so decisively. It will continue doing so, despite all those additional Russian troops. Let me clarify why I think this is so. First of all, those 82,000 fresh troops dispatched to the front line are a poor excuse for soldiers. Despite Putin’s stating that only experienced, trained reservists would be called up, we know for a fact that those claims are a mirage. There are numerous substantiated reports that the military is conscripting huge numbers of young and old, raw and untrained “warm bodies” to fill their quotas. They have even scoured the prison system and recruited criminals into the forces in exchange for their release from prisons. These conscripts are being sent into the fighting with little or no training, and are being equipped with obsolete firearms, no body armour, and substandard rations and equipment. They literally are nothing more than cannon fodder. One should also understand that at the beginning of the war, the Russians sent the best, most experienced and most professional forces that they had in their standing army to Ukraine. These have now been decimated and demoralized by the Ukrainians, and most of their modern equipment destroyed in the past eight months of fighting.

The influx of even hundreds of thousands of fresh troops will not change the ultimate outcome, since the fighting quality and capacity of these replacements is dubious at best. To add to Russia’s military crisis, it has been demonstrably shown that Russia’s hide-bound, hierarchical command structure is obsolete in the way modern wars are now fought. Further, the rotating door of generals being replaced because of their failures is clear evidence of the incompetence of the Russian armed forces leadership. But the weakness in military leadership is not only at the top, but also in the lower ranks of NCO’s. They have no ability or authority to react to rapidly changing conditions on the battlefield, as all decisions must be referred up many levels in the chain of command.

On the Ukrainian side, things are far different. The Russians may have mobilized 300,000, but the Ukrainians have mobilized more than twice that many since the war started. They have also taken the time to train and equip them properly, assisted greatly by the support of the U.S., NATO and many other countries. For most of the past decade, the Ukrainian forces have received excellent training from their allied partners that have brought them up to NATO standards. The NCO’s and lower ranks of officers are given far more authority and autonomy in terms of making tactical decisions as the situation on the ground warrants. They can react faster and with more flexibility than their Russian counterparts. They have also adapted far more quickly to the use of new technology such as drones than their Russian counterparts. One could also argue strongly that the morale and fighting spirit of the Ukrainians far exceeds that of the Russians. The Russians have made it clear that their ultimate aim is a genocidal extermination of all things Ukrainian. What better motivation for Ukrainian defenders to give it their all against such a barbaric foe? The typical Russian soldier on the other hand, often has to be coerced into fighting in a war that he doesn’t understand, for a cause that most of them realize is artificial and knows full well that their officers all the way to Putin himself are more than willing to sacrifice his life for their egotistical and often irrational goals.

Lastly, it is becoming clear that the vaunted Russian military is rapidly running out of their stocks of high-tech weaponry with little ability to replenish them in the near future due to the crushing effects of western sanctions. One should not conclude from all this, that winning this war will be easy for Ukraine. The Russians still have large stocks of very destructive bombs, missiles and artillery munitions, and fully intend to do everything they can to destroy as much of Ukraine as they can. However, there is ample reason to believe that Russia’s days in Ukraine are numbered, and Ukraine will prevail in the end.

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