I as soon as wrote a narrative titled, “Let’s discuss some extra about logistics. It is the explanation Russia is dropping this battle.” However that was one week into the battle. Now that we’re greater than a month in, I’ve modified my thoughts. Logistics have actually hindered Russia’s battle effort, but it surely’s simply a motive Russia is dropping, not the motive. And even when it had the very best logistical system in fashionable warfare, Russia would nonetheless be dropping.
Let’s take a look at the map:
The very first thing you may discover is how little penetration Russia has had into Ukraine’s inside. All these pink areas, apart from the south (and its large open terrain with few rivers), hug its territory. It’s exhausting to speak about provide strains after we’re speaking provide strains within the dozens of kilometers, not a whole lot. However what’s worse is that Russia has been unable to seize any of the cities on its precise border—Chernihiv (pop. 285,000), Sumy (pop. 265,000), and Kharkiv (pop. 1.4 million). Think about if the US invaded Mexico, and it was unable to right away seize Nogales (pop. 261,000) or Cuidad Juarez (pop. 1.5 million).
Chernihiv is round 100 kilometers (~60 miles) from the Russian border, and nearer but to Belarus. Sumy is 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Russia, and Kharkiv is round 22 kilometers away (16 miles). These are distances that army autos can journey on a single tank of gasoline. We’re not speaking prolonged strains, just like the 300-400 miles American forces moved to get from Kuwait to Baghdad through the Iraq Battle. Russian artillery can actually sit on Russian soil and bombard Sumy and Kharkiv, and but they’ve did not make a lot headway.
Let’s zoom in on these final two cities:
That orange blob south of Sumy is generally clear, the results of Ukraine’s gorgeous victory in opposition to the supposedly “elite” 4th Guards Tank Division (GTD). Aside from a single village between Sumy and the border, Yunakivka (pop. 1,740), Russia has been unable to take some other settlements. That pink territory stays by advantage of the truth that Ukraine has zero motive to push out any Russian troops camped on the market (if any).
North of Kharkiv, Russia holds three small settlements, however the state of affairs is similar—Russia “holds” territory between its border and town, however has had hassle pushing right into a metropolis that’s 74% Russian-speaking, and presumably had greater pre-invasion affinities towards Russia. But each time Russia makes an attempt a transfer within the space, they get spanked. Like yesterday:
Malaya Rohan? Did J.R.R.Tolkien get all his names from Ukraine? There’s video:
A battalion tactical group (BTG) is 10 tanks and 40 armored personnel carriers (APC). A BTG is taken into account “destroyed” if it loses three tanks or 13 APCs; the remnants would then must be faraway from the sector of battle for reconstitution within the rear with reinforcements. (I believe that “mixed BTG” within the tweet above is precisely that, a bunch of smashed BTGs smushed collectively into a brand new one.)
We see 4 destroyed autos in that video, so hardly sufficient to destroy a single BTG, a lot much less three. However we don’t know what number of different losses these models suffered previously few weeks, nor do we have now an entire image of Russia’s precise losses past this one single video. We’re nonetheless seeing extra footage of losses suffered by the 4th GTD emerge days after their epic rout.
No matter whether or not Ukraine exaggerated Russian losses or not, this tells us that 1) Russia remains to be unable to safe key provide strains south and east of Kharkiv, and a pair of) Ukraine has the maneuver functionality to increase out from town to wreak havoc on any approaching marauders. And all of that is occurring simply kilometers from Russia’s border. Even worse, try what’s throughout the border from Kharkiv:
Belgorod, Russia, is dwelling to a number of massive Russian military models. They didn’t even have to journey from elsewhere in Russia. That is dwelling base! Belgorod additionally hosts a significant railhead, with direct connection to Moscow, and a global airport. And it’s situated simply 80 kilometers (50 miles) away from Kharkiv. That’s the space to a ahead deployment, not one thing any competent army would sweat resupplying.
Russia’s army failures on this border area can’t be blamed on logistics. This was purported to be the simple a part of their lightning invasion. Ukraine had ready its armed forces to transition into between 4 and 6 soldier groups of guerrilla partisans, to harass Russia’s rear whereas Ukraine desperately held on to the western half of the nation. As an alternative, one month in, Russia can’t even handle to take cities by itself border.
P.S. Talking of Belgorod, this occurred two nights in the past:
Munitions have been set off at Russia’s army base on the town, reportedly killing 4 troopers. Russia blamed artillery shelling from Ukraine, throughout the border, earlier than altering their story and blaming an accident. (The latter is essentially the most believable rationalization, which remains to be what I feel took down that touchdown ship in Berdyansk port.)