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RUSSIA FAILS TO FIX AD-HOC COMMAND DURING UKRAINE ‘PAUSE’: WAR INSTITUTE

By Jason Lemon

Newsweek

July 16, 2022

 

Russia apparently has failed to fix its “ad-hoc” command structure amid an “operational pause” in Ukraine, a new report from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said Saturday.

The full-scale war in Ukraine began nearly five months ago, when Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his military into the country in a bid to topple the government in Kyiv and take control of the Eastern European nation. Although Putin’s initial invasion largely failed , Russia has since pulled back its troops and focused its efforts on the Donbas region with more substantial success.

Regardless, Russia has faced significant resistance from Ukraine’s military and ordinary citizens fighting back against the unprovoked aggression. Moscow’s forces had been in an “operational pause” until Saturday in a bid to rest troops and re-position for future assault. Despite the pause, the Russian military appears to have done little to address its command structure issues, which analysts have repeatedly pointed to as a key cause of Moscow’s failures in the war.

“The Kremlin’s failure to use the operational pause to reorganize the Russian military command structure in Ukraine and its decision to instead retain an ad-hoc command structure is very odd,” the ISW’s report stated.

“The apparent dual command of two very senior generals over operations in a very small area may hinder Russian operations going forward,” it added.

Admiral Sir Tony David Radakin, the head of the British Armed Forces, told the BBC on Sunday that Russia’s overall force is “struggling” despite some effective troops. “They’re struggling in terms of their numbers, but they’re especially struggling in terms of their morale,” he said.

The ISW report also touted the success of Ukrainian rocket strikes against Russian forces.

“Ukrainian operators have been using the HIMARS [High Mobility Artillery Rocket System] to strike multiple Russian targets— notably ammunition depots —since June 25. The destruction of these ammunition depots has likely degraded Russian forces’ ability to sustain high volumes of artillery fire along the front lines,” the report assessed.

A senior U.S. Defense Department official told a background briefing at the Pentagon on Friday that the weapons systems are having a “significant impact on what’s going on, on the front lines.” Since their delivery, Kyiv claims it has carried out a number of successful strikes against Russian forces using the systems.

Newsweek reached out to the Russian foreign ministry for comment.

Putin and other Moscow leaders have bizarrely claimed that Kyiv is led by Nazis in a bid to justify their invasion of Ukraine. In reality, the Eastern European nation’s President Volodymyr Zelensky is Jewish and had family members killed in the Holocaust genocide perpetrated by the Nazis in World War II. When Zelensky was first elected in 2019—with nearly three-quarters of the vote—Ukraine’s prime minister was also Jewish.

Russia and Ukraine are currently digging in for what some analysts assess will likely become a long and protracted war. Putin and his allies reportedly initially believed that they could quickly take control of large swaths of Ukraine and topple Zelensky’s government, thinking that many Ukrainians would welcome their arrival. To the contrary, the invasion turned many previously pro-Russian Ukrainians against Moscow.

More than 6 million Ukrainians are estimated to have been displaced within their country by the war. More than 5 million more have managed to flee their nation to neighboring countries as the war rages on.