Sunday, March 6, 2022

Ukrainian Battle Tactics Adapt To Russian Attack

As Russian forces continue to bombard civilian urban areas in Ukraine, the Ukrainian military and home defense forces are adapting to a strategy of imposing maximum pain on the brutal invaders. But rather that fruitless frontal assaults, the Ukrainians are using hit-and-run tactics on the bogged down Russian supply lines:

"Ukrainian officials have indicated that after surviving the initial invasion, they intend to launch a counteroffensive against Russian forces. That is likely to favor armed ambushes rather than a major, open assault on the numerically superior Russian military, said Douglas London, a retired senior CIA officer and an analyst at the Middle East Institute.

'They’re not going to be able to mount a major counterattack, organize the troops and go, ‘Charge!’ It’s going to be an asymmetrical effort to break up Russian attacks,' London said. 'The Russians have a lot of static targets because of their own logistical problems, and that’s just gold for a harassing special-operations force operating in the rear. That’s just what they do.'

London predicted that, given Russia’s vast military advantage, Putin will press his advantage and Ukrainian forces will eventually have to adjust again."  (our emphasis)

The provision of anti-tank / anti-armor weapons like the Javelin missile and surplus RPGs by the western alliance has been geared toward these tactics. Drones are also having an impact, especially when attacking the stalled convoys of Russian tanks and other vehicles outside of Kyiv. 

Another key to holding off the Russian advance appears to be the suppression of Russia's air force through anti-aircraft missiles like the Stinger. Also, reports yesterday that the Biden Administration was in discussion with Poland to provide a number of their Russian-made MiG and Sukhoi aircraft to Ukraine -- which has the pilots to fly them -- are a sign that not ceding control of the skies over Ukraine to Russia is of utmost importance.

(photo: Russian tank destroyed last month in the Lugansk region. Anatolii Stepanov / AFP/Getty Images)

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