25 March 2023, Saturday, 21:05
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Military Expert: Shoigu, Gerasimov Failed Putin's Task

Military Expert: Shoigu, Gerasimov Failed Putin's Task

What is happening now in Vuhledar, and why does the Russian Federation need it?

Oleksandr Kovalenko, a leading expert of the Ukrainian Center for Security Studies named after Dmytro Tymchuk, Ukrainian military-political observer, told the Charter97.org website about the current situation at the front:

— The Russian occupiers are really trying to seize Vuhledar now. In the future, this town is for them a kind of security buffer for the organization of transport communication, logistics from east to south. After all, the southern group is experiencing serious problems with logistics.

Today, the Crimean Bridge is the main transit hub of the Russian Federation for shipment to the southern base of logistics. So they want to try to increase the intensity of these deliveries at the expense of railway lines from east to south, but for this they need to capture Vuhledar. Since almost all logistics from east to south are fired through from this location.

By the way, this is not the first time that the occupiers have carried out an offensive operation in the direction of Vuhledar. In early November last year, they also launched an offensive with the forces of units of five battalions of tactical groups, but in the area of a small village of Pavlivka, everything went down the drain. All five battalions “wore off” and lost their combat effectiveness.

Now they have concentrated a slightly larger resource. These are, first of all, units of the 42nd motorized rifle division, the 58th combined arms army, the 40th and 155th separate guards marine infantry brigade of the Pacific Fleet. Among other things, they still keep at least three battalions of several motorized rifle brigades and units of the Patriot PMC in reserve.

That is, a serious resource. During the first 1.5 weeks of hostilities, the practical units of the 40th and 155th “wore off”, lost their combat effectiveness and now reserves are being introduced. The reserves have the prospect of advancing, but, on the other hand, they are currently critically lacking in artillery support. They did not appreciate the capabilities of artillery and providing it with ammunition. Therefore, it is possible that the reserves will suffer the same account as the 155th.”

— How do you assess the threat of a new Russian offensive?

— Now we have recorded the concentration of Russian forces and means from two directions: southern and eastern. The invaders want to create a kind of encirclement of the Donetsk region. The essence of all this lies in the fact that the southern grouping of the Russian Federation has a catastrophic understaffing not only in terms of the technical component, but also in terms of personnel.

If we talk about the eastern group, then there is almost a complete set of personnel, primarily due to the so-called “partially mobilized”. At the same time, there is a similar problem with a complete set of equipment. There is no staffing for each division. In general, hostilities are likely to intensify to a large extent. But the result of this activation seems to me rather doubtful in the future.

Putin has now set before Shoigu (Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation — edit.) and Gerasimov (commander of the combined group of troops of the Russian Federation in Ukraine — edit.) the task of reaching the administrative borders of the Donetsk region by spring or already in spring. They will not complete this task, because they simply do not have the necessary resources for this. The one that is can only imitate offensive actions.

— The war has been going on for almost a year. For all these months, Putin has achieved nothing in Ukraine. What does it say?

— In 21 days it will be the anniversary of the full-scale invasion. The Russians have been trying to occupy Bakhmut for more than seven months now. Small town. Do you think they will be able to reach the administrative borders of the Donetsk region in three weeks? Of course not!

This is the whole essence of the loss by the Russian army of potential and resources, starting from “Kyiv in three days” and ending with “Soledar in two months”. Here it is the difference between the potential that was, and that is now.

In the war zone, everything is changing very actively, but the general picture is just that. They are not able to conduct large-scale offensive operations with the occupation of large territories now. After all, they now need to carry out an operation within the framework of which approximately 15 thousand square kilometers of territory should be occupied. This is a very voluminous area for the resources that they have at their disposal.

I note that the human resource without the technical one is nothing. At present, Russia has only a human component, and they cannot provide the technical component from the word at all. This applies to both artillery and equipment.

— How do you assess the general tactics of the Russian Federation in the war with Ukraine?

— By itself, the tactics of living waves, which the invaders use, absolutely do not justify themselves. So they captured Soledar, and what happened to Wagner PMC? The group, which was concentrated in Ukraine, has practically ceased to exist. Here's the price. But is Soledar some kind of global, strategic value object? That's the point, no. A whole group, a huge amount of resources put into capturing a small town.

Such a further advance will simply nullify and level out the entire remaining potential of the Russian army as such. There will remain only a calculation on the human resource, which, again, with a leveled technical potential, will not play any significant role in modern warfare at all.

Everything has its time. At some point, the point of no return for the Russian army, which, in principle, is already close, will come. Then they will not be able not only to conduct offensive operations, but even defensive ones.

After all, the defense must be carried out not only at the expense of cannon fodder, but also at the expense of artillery, medium and lightly armored vehicles, and, of course, heavily armored vehicles. In Russia, all this is already being nullified.