Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Smart Bombs: Military, Defense and National Security

Russia Has a Problem: Ukraine’s Military Is No Joke (Here’s Why)

Russia Ukraine
Soldiers with the Ukrainian army’s 1st Battalion, 95th Separate Airmobile Brigade train with a DShK 12 mm machine gun during their training cycle at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center on the International Peacekeeping and Security Center near Yavoriv, Ukraine on Sept. 6. Yavoriv CTC Observer Coach Trainers, along with mentors from the Polish army and the U.S. Army's 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, led the training for soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 95th Separate Airmobile Brigade during the battalion's rotation through the Yavoriv CTC. The 45th is deployed to Ukraine as part of the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine, an international coalition dedicated to improving the CTC's training capacity and building professionalism within the Ukrainian army. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Eric McDonough, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team)

Clearly, Russia has made several important tactical errors during the invasion of Ukraine. That explains why their timetable has been severely disrupted especially in the north, where they have been virtually stuck in the same positions since early in the week. 

They have severely under-estimated their logistics requirements and many vehicles have run out of fuel and have been abandoned, and the long convoy of vehicles moving on Kyiv has stalled. Their air assets haven’t been completely brought to bear and the Ukrainian Air Force which was thought to be swept from the sky in the first few days is still a viable if small force. 

Russia’s Mistake: Underestimating Ukraine’s Armed Forces

But the biggest miscalculation has been that the Russians have been surprised by the amount of resistance they’ve faced in Ukraine. The Russians expected Ukraine to capitulate and many Russian conscripts that have been captured said that they expected that the Ukrainians would welcome them with open arms. 

While the Russian military may eventually prevail due to having numerically superior numbers in men, armor, artillery, and aircraft, the Ukrainian military strategy, helped along with amateurs, local townspeople with rudimentary, if any military training, have exacted a toll on the Russian troops. It has been a true example of an old adage from World War II, “rifle behind every blade of grass.” 

How Ukraine Learned to Fight Russia 

But the Ukrainian strategy probably takes much of its tactics from the joint US/Ukrainian Special Operations Forces (SOF) training that has been conducted for several years at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center near Lviv in western Ukraine. The Ukrainians have learned some tough lessons from the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, and have been preparing for this eventuality.

The Ukrainians created their own Special Operations Command (SOCOM) in 2015 shortly after the Crimea situation. Their command consists of four regiments, with four army units, three naval units, along with two training locations. Its stated strength is reported to be 2,000 troops. 

Although mentions of Ukrainian SOF have been virtually non-existent in the news, their fingerprints are all over the resistance that has been seen in the country. Because those Ukrainian troops trained by US SOF then were sent to select regular units to share their expertise on what they’ve learned and what the strategy is. 

The US Green Berets trained with their Ukrainian counterparts and developed a modern force with equipment and practices aligned with NATO SOF elements. Even more so, Ukraine signed a Letter of Intent that was to bring Ukrainian SOF in line with NATO SOF, so that its special operations troops would be certified and become part of NATO’s Response Force as they sought membership in the alliance. They dress alike and are equipped very similarly to their NATO counterparts. 

Ukraine Will Resist Russia

While the Ukrainians haven’t published their resistance plans, one can absolutely expect their resistance efforts will not just continue but step up in the event of a Russian takeover. 

An excellent piece in Business Insider by 1945 National Security Columnist Stavros Atlamazoglou earlier this week highlighted what the plan of the Ukrainian resistance may be in the coming weeks. I was asked to provide a small amount of information on what plans the SOF personnel may implement. And it seems like much of it is already happening. 

Keep the Arms Flowing and Win the News Cycle

As with any resistance movement, they need a friendly border where they can receive arms, ammunition, and equipment. And those borders are plentiful in Ukraine’s west with Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary to the west where NATO forces can keep them not only resupplied but offer sanctuary for guerrilla units fighting the Russian occupation. 

The information war will be important. Russia is cracking down on non-state-approved news, but the disinformation they are spreading can be controlled by reports coming out of Ukrainian resistance elements. 

Steve Balestrieri is a 1945 National Security Columnist. He has served as a US Army Special Forces NCO and Warrant Officer before injuries forced his early separation. In addition to writing for 19fortyfive.com, he has covered the NFL for PatsFans.com for more than 10 years and his work was regularly featured in the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News newspapers in Massachusetts.

Written By

Steve Balestrieri is a 1945 National Security Columnist. He has served as a US Special Forces NCO and Warrant Officer before injuries forced his early separation. In addition to writing for 1945, he covers the NFL for PatsFans.com and his work was regularly featured in the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News newspapers in Massachusetts.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Jerrystern

    March 5, 2022 at 2:26 pm

    We stopped Japan with 2 nuclear bombs we almost stopped vietnam with cluster bombs agent Orange and napalm the Russians only have to do what we did in Japan there fighting boots on the ground respect them we fought in Afghanistan with bunker breaking bombs they fought us with rubber bands in an a vietnam veteran arron Neville is good on our side listen to the sound and answer me

  2. samir sardana

    March 6, 2022 at 8:41 am

    Putin is going to take out the NPP of Ukraine !

    All the Fuel is from Russia,and Putin will be a fool, if he allows the U-235 ,to be used for further enrichment – and to be launched on Russia ! RUSSIAN URANIUM ON RUSSIANS ?

    Basically,the Russians will remove every gram of U-235 and Pu, from the plant – which means the fuel rods and the SNF – and to either destroy or contaminate the tailing ponds,so that the DU and SNF,cannot be salvaged !

    The real target is the Commercial reactors !

    Putin is going to take out the UKRANIAN NPP, on the pretext of accidental bombing, and a terror threat !

    With 100,000 refugees in Moldova and Poland,any TERROR Group,can sneak into UKR.They could be from anywhere – Chechens ….

    Hence,Putin has the EXCUSE to seize the Nuclear assets,and then strip them off the Fuel – Fuel Rods,SNF and Tailings

    Ultimately,the NPP will be used by UKR leaders,to make Nukes,and use them as a defense !

    Using Russian Reactors and fuel,to Nuke Russia – ain’t something,that Putin will not allow !

    UKR leaders have said that they want a Nuke

    Half of UKR power comes from Nuke Power – and the fuel is almost entirely Russian !

    PUTIN WILL TAKE BACK ALL THE ENRICHED URANIUM FUEL RODS and the SNF !

    He will ensure that no U235 or PU, can be salvaged from the SNF ,and no PU is irradiated in the Power plants.

    BUT THEN AFTER HE EXITS UKRAINE – THE US WILL SUPPLY THE FUEL ! WHICH MEANS THAT UKR WILL HAVE U235,AND WILL GENERATE PU – AND SO,CAN START ENRICHMENT FACILITIES,TO HIT WEAPONS GRADE URANIUM – U-235

    SO WHAT IS THE SOLUTION ?

    THE ONLY SOLUTION FOR PUTIN – IS TO TAKE OUT ALL THE NUKE POWER PLANTS – ID.EST., TAKE THE FUEL ,AND CRIPPLE THE NPP !

    WHICH IS Y,PUTIN RUSHED IN,AFTER THE NUKE DESIRES, OF THE UKRANIAN LEADER !

    THE 1ST TAKE OUT WAS CHERNOBYL – WHEREIN THE RUSSIANS TOOK HOSTAGES !

    The hostages are to secure the plant blueprint,storage sites and controls,and will be let off – after the plant is mapped !

    Russians are taking care of Cherno !

    That is Y the Russians,did not TRIP the Grid !

    The PWR use Grid power, to Cool the reactor and the ponds.If there is no power – then the DG sets will run out of diesel !

    UKR buys power from Belarus !

    One call from Vlad – and Belarus will cut the power !

    No need to do a cyber hack,or bomb the grid !dindooohindoo

  3. Alex

    March 6, 2022 at 12:01 pm

    If you look at the real maps of the territory of Ukraine, then we do not see any problems with the Russians. More than 70% of Ukrainian equipment was destroyed, the stationary air defense of Ukraine was broken. The losses of manpower of Ukraine are huge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement