How a twenty-first century military is winning its war against a twentieth century foe.
On Saturday, Ukraine showed why it is winning its war against Russia. On Monday, Russia showed why it is losing. Those two days revealed sharp contrasts between the two militaries, writes the Atlantic.
One is clever, well prepared, willing to undertake complex operations, and focused on maximally damaging its enemy’s ability to fight. The other is prone to bursts of rage and is open to committing any crime possible, but its actions are ultimately self-defeating.
Excerpt from the Atlantic: The Ukrainian attack on the Crimean Bridge was typical of how the Ukrainian high command has waged war. Also known as the Kerch Bridge, the span was a legitimate military target. The road link between Russian-occupied Crimea and Russia itself has been helpful to the invaders’ war effort, but far more important are the railroad lines that run across it. On Monday, the Russians responded in a manner that was both homicidal and pointless. Starting early in the morning, they fired almost every type of missile in their arsenal against civilian targets in major Ukrainian cities. For two days they used this motley collection of expensive weaponry to show Ukraine their anger and muscle and to mollify nationalist hard-liners incensed over Russia’s recent defeats. Yet Russian officials are inadvertently revealing their powerlessness over much of Ukrainian resistance.
According to NPR, nearly a week after an explosion damaged a vital bridge in Crimea, Russian and Ukrainian authorities are still trading accusations and offering competing theories as to what and who caused the blast. But definitive answers remain elusive.
Surveillance video posted by Russian media shows a single truck driving from mainland Russia toward Crimea before a flash of light swallows he bridge. Photos posted by independent media outlets show at least three collapsed road spans resting crookedly on piers in the shallow water.
Excerpt from NPR: On Wednesday, Russia's Federal Security Service arrested eight men alleged to have taken part in an elaborate scheme to destroy the Crimean bridge. Investigators said Ukrainians, Russians and an Armenian camouflaged tons of explosives and shipped them to several countries before Saturday's attack. Russia says a driver with no previous connections to terrorism drove a truck bomb onto the bridge at a time to maximize damage. But Mykhailo Podolyak, a top adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, says Ukrainian intelligence believes that Russian forces planned the attack as a pretense to escalate the war in Ukraine. Credible theories abound in Ukraine and abroad about who is responsible for the Oct. 8 attack and how they did it. But, says Andrew Barr, an impact dynamics researcher at the University of Sheffield, "Despite all of the publicly available photos and videos, it's quite difficult to be certain about this."
On Monday, Russia fired 84 missiles, many at Ukrainian civilian infrastructure targets, causing power outages in many cities. On Tuesday, Russia launched another 28 cruise missiles. And on Thursday, the Ukrainian Armed Forced General Staff said Russia had hit more than 40 settlements since the day before. In all, more than three dozen people were killed, reports the Washington Post.
Excerpt from the Washington Post: But no matter how many times Russia fires at Ukraine, pro-war Russian nationalists want more, even though targeting civilian infrastructure is potentially a war crime. "It has to be done constantly, not just once but for two to five weeks to totally disable all their infrastructure, all thermal power stations, all heating and power stations, all power plants, all traction substations, all power lines, all railway hubs," said Bogdan Bezpalko, a member of the Kremlin’s Council on Interethnic Relations. But the hawks, who are demanding publicly on TV broadcasts and on Telegram to know why Russia does not hit more high value targets, won’t like the answer: The Russian military appears to lack sufficient accurate missiles to sustain airstrikes at Monday’s tempo, according to Western military analysts. Even as NATO allies on Thursday said they would rush additional air defenses to Ukraine, the experts said the reason Russia had yet to knock out electricity and water service across the country was simple: it can’t.