Looking at the article in the Ukrainian edition of Forbes, the author is most concerned about the consequences of the loss of Severodonetsk and the possibility that thousands of Ukrainian troops could be separated and destroyed if Ukraine does not return on time. However, the sentence that many Western readers are likely to find both frustrating and intimidating may be:
Russia’s superiority in labor, heavy weapons and air support poses significant challenges for Ukraine.
Three months after Vladimir Putin’s illegal invasion, Oryx has definitively recorded the loss of 4,192 units of Russian machinery. It includes 742 tanks, 1453 armored infantry vehicles and combat vehicles and 251 artillery units or MLRS. According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, Russia has lost more than 27,000 troops. According to the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense and the Pentagon, Russia has lost between one-third and one-half of all troops deployed in Ukraine.
Every day we get pictures of the boom in Russian technology and stories of Russian troops returning home after losing so many people, cars or both that they are no longer effective – and that is no longer effective. standards for people who have been feeding the units in a sausage mill for several months. These are pre-ground units. So polished they are not worth grinding again.
With all this in mind, how in seven hells can Russia still have “superiority in labor, heavy weapons and air support ”?
Well, they started with more. And despite Russia’s well-deserved reputation for not being able to juggle the logistics of children’s birthday parties, they have proven their ability to maintain a supply line as long as the length of that line is virtually zero. Russia has been fighting Ukraine in an area right next to its controlled territory for eight years, just above stockpiles of equipment and ammunition, a place where “fresh” tanks can roll directly over Russian railway lines … as long as “fresh” means the last time They have also shown that while Ukrainian pilots can easily be knocked down by a Russian pilot dog and Ukraine’s air defense may not be dead, Russian planes can still contribute to the fight, especially if they can do so. still flying over.
It doesn’t matter if all your equipment collapses before it can travel thirty miles if it only needs to travel ten.
Russian equipment is poorly maintained and subject to both greed and incompetence. Russian troops are poorly trained and lack drivers who know more than just ordering yachts. Russia has urged its forces to move forward as long as it lacks the numbers needed to overcome the excavations in defense, and as a result suffers heavy losses. How many people and how many machines can they still have?
Enough. The answer is that at least so far they have had enough. There is a point where the tactics of defeating opponents by throwing bodies against their weapons fail, but Russia is not there yet. They may not get in before Ukraine will be forced to hand over significant territories to the east.
Many of the reasons are that Ukraine has also suffered heavy losses. We don’t know the numbers, except for 1116 lost equipment. However, we knew from the outset that their numbers were smaller, and although the West has been injecting weapons into Ukraine since the invasion began, Kos made it clear from the outset what each of these systems had its problems. supplies, maintenance and training. Systems do not get on the battlefield overnight, and when they do, they are largely ineffective.
The list of heavy weapons delivered to Ukraine is starting to look quite healthy, and some of them, such as the 270+ tanks, are very similar to the gear already used in the UA army. But working with everything from four different APC families to seven different types of self-propelled guns is effortless. No instant fix.
In addition to tracking the equipment destroyed during the invasion, Oryx already looked in March at what equipment the Ukrainian military really needed to compete with Russia. The conclusion at the time was the same as what Ukrainian officials have now said:
… In order to protect Ukraine’s assets on the ground and make sure that Russia does not achieve air supremacy, it desperately needs stronger air defenses. Although MANPADS (both foreign-supplied and Ukrainian) have been devastatingly effective in the conflict, greater distance systems would allow defenders more freedom in a friendly area, thus providing more effective protection and counter-attack.
Russia currently has more planes and helicopters and, operating from positions along the border, can provide support at a relatively lower risk, although “lower” is not “low”, as shown by the two Russian helicopters withdrawn in the last two days. ). That needs to change, and the way to do it is to get more long-range air defense weapons near the front line. Ukraine must also be able to effectively eliminate Russia’s air defense if it is to launch an effective counterattack.
But the most important weapons category in which Ukraine is superior is still in the artillery / MLRS camp. At the moment, it seems that every NATO member has promised Ukraine some artillery, either towed or self-propelled. Fortunately, many of these systems throw away the same NATO standardized ammunition, so the supply chains are as complex as the number of models suggests, but when Ukraine gets: 20,152 mm ShKH vz. 77 DANA, 20+ 122 mm 2S1 Goździk, 6 155 mm Caesar, 12 155 mm PzH 2000, 20 155 mm MHS Krab and 8 155 mm AHS Krab, and 8 155 mm sh2H. These are just self-propelled weapons, and the complexity of training, supplying and supporting them is already daunting.
This does not mean that any of these facilities is less important, that Ukraine does not need it all, or that NATO allies are drowning Ukraine in white elephants. This means that rushing along the way to deliver a mixed inventory collection to forces that are desperately looking for a means to shoot but don’t know what’s coming from the back of the truck may not be helpful.
MLRS systems can be even more important. It seems that the United States is ready to pack some systems, but it is clear exactly what they are sending. No matter how absolutely necessary this equipment is, it will not be a change of overnight games.
If NATO had started supplying these tools two years ago, Ukraine would have effectively distributed them to all its forces and integrated them into tactics. But NATO did not and Ukraine did not. It all happens under the weapon and everyone goes as fast as they can to make up for lost time.
In addition, NATO is not supplying one thing that Ukraine needs most: people.
Throughout this invasion, we have all enjoyed seeing the forces of Ukraine show an impossible level of courage and courage. We have watched them dance as artillery exploded around them, singing under the fire and laughing at the rubble of the cities they defended there. They have been incredible. But they are exhausted. They are tired of fear and afraid of being tired. They need the opportunity to retreat, to eat a meal where they do not have to worry about artillery rain. They need a shower and a good night’s sleep. They need a break.
The only people who can give it to them are Ukraine. Or Ukraine var giving them it in time is a really good question.