Military circles have long known Russia’s army was overrated.
But this invasion has exposed them well beyond those assumptions.
To understand how Ukraine will win, you must first understand Russia’s obsession with tanks — and why they are suicidally incompetent.
It starts with the cold war philosophy
The Soviet doctrine has two main gears for military strategy:
Overwhelming firepower and force.
In Crimea, you saw #1: Helicopters and tanks rolled over the border unannounced. Unsuspecting citizens were caught off guard and didn’t fight back.
Entrenched warfare (#2) was born in Russia’s success in the World War II. They allowed Nazi Germany to overextend and surrounded them — as they will soon do with Kyiv.
But it won’t work.
This strategy, like #1, requires many many tanks. And so for decades, Russia has doubled and tripled down tank purchases.
Here’s the problem: Anti-tank weaponry wasn’t nearly as sophisticated as it is today. It was less mobile and destructive. There were no drones available.
But this is only the beginning of the problems.
Where things are falling apart in Ukraine
Tank suppliers in Russia are members of the oligarchy.
They secure unending deals to manufacture equipment. Because of this corruption, the bid process isn’t as competitive as it is in the US.
Even Russia’s newer tank models aren’t nearly as effective as their modern counterparts.
Many of the tanks you see are old models and poorly maintained.
Putin and his cronies live in a bubble of their own making and now they’re paying for it.
Their tank strategy is even worse
Russian soldiers are treating tanks as a solution rather than a tool.
Tanks are highly effective when used in coordination with air and infantry support — and with supplies set up nearby (tanks only get ~1 mile per gallon).
The infantry will screen a perimeter against anti-tank soldiers lurking nearby.
You use anti-air to screen for drones and airstrikes. But Russia’s anti-air units, PANTSIR-S1, are often not even present. Many are being abandoned:
Each farmer that owns these has won a $12 million lottery. (Author via Twitter.)
This anti-air artillery shouldn’t usually be getting destroyed by drones. But, inexplicably, they are being crushed by the things they are supposed to destroy.
The cardinal sin of Russia’s tanks
They are slowly approaching single file towards heavily armed and ready cities. It happened yesterday outside of Kyiv.
The tanks were fully visible and in range of Ukrainian artillery.
The tanks bunched up like morons.
They started taking mortar and explosive rounds — which caused splash damage to hit multiple tanks.
They knew they were in deep shit and turned around, speeding away:
That smoke isn’t tank farts. That is incoming fire. (Author via Kyiv Today)
They were this close to being completely annihilated.
Death for tank crews is not pleasant. If you’re lucky it’s instant death. Otherwise, you’ll be burned alive.
I saw drone footage of a lone tank cruising through neighborhoods by itself in occupied Mariupol:
Author via IMG
I repeat, alone.
In a city of armed civilians that hate you. Shortly after this, it was hit by an RPG, and kept moving — but was on borrowed time.