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Why was the Russian military so unprepared for its war with Ukraine?

The news from Ukraine spells trouble for Russia's military. Over 10,000 visually confirmed lost equipment pieces, including 2,000+ tanks. Total tank losses estimated around 3,000. More than half of Russia's Ka-52 attack helicopter fleet now destroyed — 5 in one week alone during Ukraine's June counteroffensive. So why is the once-mighty Russian military floundering so badly against Ukraine? Serious flaws are proving disastrous, from overconfidence and poor planning to underestimating Ukraine's capabilities. The outlook remains dire as strategic deficiencies continue to cost Russia dearly. Read our revelatory narrative to find out! 🤯🧨⛔

By InfoPublished 10 months ago 3 min read
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Expectation X Reality 🤯🧨⛔

Institutional Rot: How Corruption and Soviet Rigidity Have Crippled Russia's Military

Six months into Russia's disastrous invasion of Ukraine, the operational and cultural failings plaguing its armed forces have been ruthlessly exposed. Despite numerical advantages in manpower and equipment, Russia is losing territory daily while enduring horrendous casualties.

Decades of graft, toxicity, and Soviet inertia have left Russia's military embarrassingly ineffective and inflexible when finally confronted with real resistance in the form of Ukraine's fierce defenders, heavily reinforced with NATO weapons, intelligence and training.

This article will analyze the institutional deficiencies undermining the combat capabilities of Russia's army, air force, navy and strategic forces as military traditions nurtured under totalitarianism collide with modern realities.

Toxic Culture: Abuse, Corruption and Soviet Traditions Destroy Troop Quality 🤯🧨⛔

Toxic Culture: Abuse, Corruption and Soviet Traditions Destroy Troop Quality

On paper, Russia's 900,000 active-duty military appears formidable. However, swaths are comprised of poorly trained, abused conscripts with little will to fight. Endemic corruption ensures funds for provisions never reach them.

Hazing is rampant, with dedovshchina or 'rule of the grandfathers' seeing senior soldiers brutally torment juniors. Humiliations, torture, sexual abuse, and slave labor are common. This climate of oppression destroys morale and unit cohesion.

Additionally, the Soviet mentality persists. Blind obedience is valued over initiative. Officers treat soldiers as sub humans, not fellow citizens. Rather than defend Russia, many fight only to survive their own military's predations. Resistance and desertions multiply as pointless casualties mount.

This culture of graft and abuse grind down manpower quantity and quality. Despite ambitious reforms, the Russian military's human capital - its soldiers - remain woefully deficient versus motivated Ukrainian troops benefitting from NATO training standards and morale.

Missing Backbone: No Professional NCO Corps or Functional Reserves

A major structural weakness is Russia's lack of professional non-commissioned officers. Western NCOs form the disciplined core of combat teams. But Russia relies on unempowered junior officers and raw conscripts.

With no seasoned middle management, operations are rigid and tactical proficiency suffers. Orders flow down, but battlefield feedback struggles to filter upward under centralized Soviet doctrine.

Russia's military also lacks capable reserves. Despite 18 million men fit for conscription, only 10% of reservists get meaningful refreshers. The rest serve briefly as one-year conscripts. Unprepared, they replenish frontline losses with little effect.

Faltering Logistics: Theft, Corruption and Supply Crises 🤯🧨⛔

Faltering Logistics: Theft, Corruption and Supply Crises

Logistics have also proven disastrous. Endemic corruption ensures funds are siphoned away at every echelon. Fuel, rations, and payroll are stolen by officers and requisitioned supplies sold off.

Spare parts and munitions have been choked off by sanctions on Russia's defense industry. Resupplying battered Soviet armor and fighters has become nearly impossible.

This logistics crisis nullifies Russia's advantage in manpower as under provisioned reinforcements starve at the front. The military was already brittle from corruption, but unprecedented wartime demands have broken it completely.

Technology Disparity: Sanctions Exacerbate Equipment Shortfalls

Russia's vaunted military hardware has also severely underperformed. Graft typically limits production of advanced models like the T-14 tank to token amounts. Instead, even elite units rely on dated Soviet death traps like the T-72.

Advanced NATO anti-tank and anti-aircraft munitions supplied to Ukraine now thoroughly outrange and outmatch these outdated relics. Russia is also critically deficient in precision guided missiles, forcing inaccurate strikes that cost it horrendous aircraft losses.

This growing technology gap is plunging Russia's lumbering, graft-riddled military into a downward spiral as its procedures and gear lag decades behind NATO rivals at a time when sophisticated arms are essential.

Plummeting Morale Feeding a 'Death Spiral' 🤯🧨⛔

Plummeting Morale Feeding a 'Death Spiral'

As Russia's professional soldiers die in a war the population supports only abstractly, they are replaced with ever less motivated and prepared conscripts, creating a circulating "death spiral."

Even veteran combat pilots are now being thrown into the meat grinder to reconstitute air units. Their lessons and experience are lost, accelerating the air force's demise in a manpower free-fall. These mutually reinforcing trends are sapping Russian morale.

Doctrinal Rigidity: Overcentralization Stifles Battlefield Agility

Hidebound Soviet military traditions also handicap Russia against Ukraine's agile NATO-enhanced tactics. Junior officers cannot exercise initiative due to centralized decision-making and endemic mistrust of soldiers.

Tactical flexibility is nonexistent as field decisions are kicked upstairs through bloated command bureaucracies. Consequently, Russian forces are often outmaneuvered and outthought before a shot is fired. The army's outdated force structure hobbles combat capabilities.

Conclusion: Potemkin Military Withering on Contact 🤯🧨⛔

Conclusion: Potemkin Military Withering on Contact

In conclusion, Ukraine has defied expectations because Russia failed to modernize its military beyond a sclerotic Soviet facade. A culture of abuse, legendary graft and regimental traditions nurtured under totalitarianism produced feeble cohesion and combat motivation relative to freedom-fighting Ukrainians.

Top-down rigidity and technology deficits negate Russia's manpower advantage against agile NATO methods. Only direct and massive Chinese intervention can save the Kremlin now as its Potemkin military withers before the world's eyes.

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