Certainly seems so, especially when looking back at Russia’s disastrous early results from its 2/24/2022 unprovoked invasion of the sovereign Ukraine. Remember those pics of *HUGE* Russian convoys of tanks, BTRs, and other military vehicles heading into Ukraine last year?
Everyone thought that Ukraine would be crushed by such a Russian invasion, but by day 2 it became obvious that Ukraine was not being crushed.
Vuhledar was recently the focus of ‘Russia’s widely-anticipated winter offensive‘ and it was disastrous for Russia, i.e., ‘Vuhledar is turning into a meatgrinder for the Russian army, with enormous implications for the wider offensive.‘
- ‘Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.‘ – George Santayana
Apparently Russia does not remember what happened early last year, and are already repeating similar mistakes that led to *HUGE* Russian losses of troops ‘n military equipment.
Here’s a Forbes article that does a great job explaining the continuing “downward spiral in Russian military effectiveness” – Smashed By Ukrainian Mines And Artillery, Russia’s Winter Offensive Just Ground To A Halt Outside Vuhledar:
- Vuhledar is further evidence of the downward spiral in Russian military effectiveness. Armies that lack robust recruitment, training and industrial bases tend to become steadily less effective as losses deepen.
(Russia’s desperate attempt to replace mounting losses last year led to many unplanned conscriptions & partial mobilizations throughout all of last year)
- Desperate to maintain the pace of operations, the army replaces any well-trained, well-equipped troops who’ve been hurt or killed with an equal number of new recruits—but without taking the time, or expending the resources, to train and equip those new troops to the previous standard.
- So the army gets less and less competent even as it inducts more and more new personnel. Incompetence leads to even greater losses, which prompts the army to double down: draft more green troops, train them even less and hurry them to the front even faster than it did the previous recruits.
That pretty much sums up why Russia has continued to suffer mounting losses of military personnel.
Bakhmut isn’t far from Vuhledar ‘n has been a main focus of Russia for a long time. The ‘Battle of Bakhmut‘ started around May of last year ‘n continues to this day. Putin recently got tired of waiting for the Wagner Group to capture Bakhmut ‘n has apparently replaced them wid standard Russian troops.
Russia continues to throw everything they basically have at capturing Bakhmut ‘n have had “significant” advances there recently. Still, it’s ‘described as one of the bloodiest battles of the 21st century‘, and even *IF* Russia captures Bakhmut the cost will have been so high that it will be considered a ‘Pyrrhic victory‘ at best.
Institute for the Study of War
Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, February 11, 2023 is a great read of Open Source research on Russia’s chances of being able to “launch a sweeping large-scale offensive” in Ukraine.
Ukrainian military officials and Russian pro-war nationalist voices are downplaying Russia’s ability to launch a sweeping large-scale offensive in Donetsk Oblast in the current circumstances of the Russian Armed Forces.
Russian forces’ reported culmination and tactical failures around Vuhledar, Donetsk Oblast, have likely further weakened the Russian ultranationalist community’s belief that Russian forces are able to launch a decisive military effort.
The disparity between the limited but significant Russian advances in the Bakhmut area and the lack of meaningful advances elsewhere in Ukraine may support milblogger and Ukrainian observations that Russian forces are unable to secure rapid advances through traditional mechanized maneuver warfare.
Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin is trying to salvage his declining influence in Russia as the Kremlin continues to sideline him and his mercenaries.
Ukraine continues to use tactics that allow Russia to continue its ‘circling the bowl‘.
Putin doesn’t care about the Russian people, he only cares about feeding his ego. He has proven to be a terrible leader, and a leader who has exposed his entire Military’s weaknesses in from of the world. A leader who believed his Military was unstoppable, but in reality it was a 2nd rate Military…at best.
Time is running out on Putin and Russia…as Ukraine prepares a massive counteroffensive.