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What is behind the poor military performance of the Russians in Ukraine

And because in Italy it is difficult to acknowledge and recognize the causes …

There is a fundamental difference between the analyzes of the war in Ukraine formulated by Italian experts and those that are published in the rest of the Western world, in the United States and in the United Kingdom in particular.

The reports of the US intelligence or the studies of the authoritative Rusi of London (the study center founded by Wellington), albeit with great prudence and with a different degree of optimism, note that the Russian army is not up to expectations. In the difficulty in supplying the troops, as well as in the inability to protect their generals ( seven killed since the beginning of the war) and in the insufficiency of aviation that has not yet managed to conquer full dominion of the air, analysts Westerners note that there are structural deficiencies in the Army, not just the mistakes made in this campaign. General David Petraeus , who won the last phase of the counter-insurgency war in Iraq, albeit with a thousand cautions, even speaks of the possibility that the Ukrainian David could beat the Russian Goliath on the field. Before him, General McMaster , Donald Trump's former national security adviser, said so.

When you return to the Italian language, however, you enter another world again. A world where the Russian Army is a slow steamroller that crushes what it wants. And if he doesn't crush something, it's only because he doesn't feel like doing it. Putin did nothing wrong, in short, he never failed the initial blitz to behead the Ukrainian government because it was never his intention . The logistical difficulties, evident from the early stages? Nonsense, it is we who have not understood how the Russians fight . So why is the war going so badly? … The Russians are already taking everything they wanted . To produce these analyzes, in addition to teachers who barely manage to hide their sympathy for Vladimir Putin, there are also generals, experts, super-partes technicians.

Yet none of them can explain why an army that presents itself as the second in the world, with the largest fleet of tanks and vehicles, which boasts of being at the forefront of armored warfare, finds itself fighting in flat terrain ( ideal for any commander of armored divisions), with full air superiority, a clear superiority of men and means, against a nation that is among the two poorest in Europe … and in more than a month it can't even break through the lines. We hear it repeated that, sooner or later, the Army will break through and spread. We do not doubt it, given the disparity of forces in the field. But war, as the whole world has seen it up to now, is already an indelible stain on the Army's reputation. On paper, Russia had to be able to hold its own against NATO in a confrontation in Central Europe. In reality, it has been bogged down for a good month due to the resistance of an army to which NATO is only giving small arms and intelligence information.

It remains to be understood why in Italy there is so much difficulty in taking note of the Russian military fool. What good is it? The answer must not follow the usual simplistic and Marxist "follow the money" argument. Money has nothing to do with it here. The real problem is cultural. In battle, it is unequivocally revealed whether a political system, in this case even an entire culture, is healthy or sick. As the military historian Victor Davis Hanson wrote in "Massacres and Culture" :

“Military history must never ignore its tragic key event , the killing of human beings, which finds its full realization only in battle. What determines whether after the fatal hour of the fight thousands of young people, mostly innocent, will be alive or in tatters, is the culture within which the armies move ”.

In what culture does an army move that sends columns of tanks, maneuvered by conscripts, to end up in ambushes by the Ukrainian infantry? What culture inspires pilots who drop bombs on coordinates dictated by the command, without even knowing what they are hitting (discovery made thanks to pilots shot down and taken prisoner)? What culling inspires commanders of armored units who carry out strict orders written on paper? What is the culture of an officer corps that does not reveal the nature of the mission to its soldiers, so that when they are captured or killed in Ukraine they did not know they were at war? And in their house they do not even know where they have ended up, considering that it is even forbidden to talk about "war"?

The culture that is producing this shameful performance is the product of an authoritarian regime that does not trust its subjects and feeds on lies, as well as spreading them with both hands. No one can express doubts to Putin, because everyone is terrified: it is enough to see how the director of foreign secret services was treated , in a video published online, just before the war. And who knows what happens, at all levels, away from the cameras. Nobody can question the orders. Indeed, it is better that the orders remain confidential, as well as the purposes of the mission as a whole, and are carried out in the most mechanical way possible. As for the efficiency of armaments, equipment and their maintenance, we only have to ask ourselves what economic fabric produced them, with what methods, with what quality checks and with what sincerity the results of the almost twenty-year modernization of the armed forces were exposed. Russian. Who dares to say that something is wrong and corrections are needed?

In Italy it is hard to talk about Russian military failures, because the Russian system as a whole should be called into question. And that is what the politicians and experts, civilian and military, who until now have been selling us Russia as a "healthy" alternative to the alleged decadence of the West, want to avoid.

The post What is behind the bad military performance of the Russians in Ukraine appeared first on Atlantico Quotidiano .

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Atlantico Quotidiano at the URL https://www.atlanticoquotidiano.it/quotidiano/cosa-ce-dietro-la-pessima-performance-militare-dei-russi-in-ucraina/ on Fri, 01 Apr 2022 03:54:00 +0000.