roaming infantry regiments lugging anti-tank missiles, across the gap between fortified towns, were key to Ukraine’s successful defense of its capital Kyiv against Russian invaders in February and March of this year.
This is an item by U.S. Army Infantry Officer Michael Anderson The conclusion of the new study.
Ukrainian Light Infantry Anderson wrote for West Point’s Modern Warfare Institute that the operation “was first delayed, then disrupted, and finally left Russia’s Back in Action”. “In Sumy and the neighboring Chernihiv Oblast, this effort negates the consolidation, resupply and massive scale of Russia’s main effort to encircle Kyiv.”
But with The same Russian tactics may not work well where the Russians have shorter supply lines and troops stretch out on the highways of northern Ukraine. That is, in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.
As the Kremlin begins to deploy most of its ground forces in preparation for an invasion of Ukraine starting in the spring of 2021, many analysts predict a quick victory for Moscow. The Russian army is bigger than the Ukrainian army – and better equipped, especially artillery and long-range rockets.
Russian teaching requires artillery to strike enemy strongholds ahead of tanks. Infantry rushes forward, isolating enemy troops so that artillery can take them out. But applying these tactics within the miles between the Russian assembly point and Kyiv, the ultimate goal of Russia’s initial phase of the invasion in late February 2022, requires flexible logistics.
Russian trains have to deliver tons of fuel and ammunition to railroad heads miles behind the front line, at which point trucks have to deliver supplies to the advancing front line battalion and its supporting artillery .
But the Russian army never had enough trucks. Its logisticians lack the skills and experience to deal with the stress of combat. When 125 Russian battalions, each with 500 soldiers or more, stormed into Ukraine on the night of February 23, the logistics brigade struggled to keep up. They are strung, under-protected, and vulnerable.
This went directly into the hands of the Ukrainians. Borrowing and changing the way the German Wehrmacht , Ukrainian army fortified towns and towns from World War II and Sumy and Chell The city between the Russian border in the Nigov Oblast and Kyiv, with a view to slowing, stopping, and then reversing the enemy invasion.
The Russian military theoretically knows how to deal with these prickly “hedgehog” strengths. Same as the Soviet Army – steadily advancing, encircling, cutting off and bombarding each town and city in turn. But this methodical, fire-first approach requires strong supply lines.
Russians do not. Taking advantage of this weakness, the Ukrainians deployed small groups of infantry in armored vehicles and even civilian vehicles, armed with locally-made Stugna-P or American-supplied Javelin anti-tank missiles.
Of course, the target of the mobile group was isolated Russian tanks. But they also started attacking Russian supply convoys. “In addition to isolating infantry from tanks, the Ukrainian army is directly fighting Russia’s vulnerable truck logistics system,” Anderson explained.
“March 21-March The days between the 24 represent a particularly intense period of Ukrainian hedgehog defense and motorized light infantry activity,” Anderson continued. “Resolute resistance to deny Russian control of the city and key terrain defended by Ukrainian troops as strongholds, as well as to disrupt the combination of Russia’s attempts to rally combat power and support any encircling forces of loitering light forces, was decisive in the Battle of Sumy.”
On March 29, Russia attacked Kyiv at crashed state. The supply lines of the front-line battalion were increasingly damaged.
“Russia’s inability to exploit the loopholes in the Ukrainian Discontinuous Defense Front appears to be largely due to the efforts of the mobile light infantry units,” Anderson noted. “The overall impact of this incident – and the defense of Chernihiv, Kharkov and other areas east of Kyiv – was the collapse of Russia’s offensive operations in the first week of April, abandoning the Kyiv axis and Complete withdrawal of northeastern Ukraine.”
After retreating from Kyiv, leaving thousands dead and wrecked vehicles of entire troops, the Russians consolidated their battered vehicles in the east The battalion, a month later, resumed the attack – targeting the most vulnerable Ukrainian city in the Donbass just a few miles from the front.
Occupy the cities of Severo-Donetsk and Lysichansk and advance to the outskirts of Bachmut by August.
The same defensive tactics that worked for the Ukrainian army around Kyiv apparently didn’t work in the Donbass – it’s not hard to see why. Kyiv is 60 miles from the Russian border, while Severo Donetsk is just a few miles from Russian-controlled territory.
The Russians did not have to stretch their supply lines in order to besiege Severo Donetsk and other Donbass strongholds. They never showed their vulnerable logistical flank to the Ukrainian army.
Ukrainians have adapted, They use their new long-range rockets and drones and saboteur groups to carry out raids on Russian supply lines deep in Russia-controlled Ukraine…even inside Russia.
In a sense, these deep strikes accomplish the same thing that motorized infantry did in March: they complicate the flow of supplies to Russian front-line troops, gradually weaken them. But it remains to be seen whether a deep strike can force the Russians to retreat from their current positions, as the infantry raids did in the early stages of the war.
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