Russian armed forces appear to have been slowed down and not progressing in their military campaign in Ukraine. In marching (rather than combat) orders, columns of Russian combat groups no longer travel tens of kilometres a day. At the same time, the Ukrainian and Western media say that the Russian Army continues to suffer losses due to Ukrainian counterattacks on advanced groups and from ambushes and raids on rear columns. Both Ukrainian journalists and ordinary civilians with mobile phones record these successes and post them on social networks.
But the same videos and images show the geolocation of the Russian troops, which shows they have made significant progress towards their intended targets.
Kyiv is actually blocked from three sides: Russian troops have crossed the Kyiv-Zhytomyr highway going west from the capital and are moving south along the outskirts to cut off the city from any communication with the country’s western regions.
The Russian offensive is underway, despite constant pressure on both flanks of Kyiv and Zhytomyr. The Ukrainian Army continues to inflict losses on the advancing Russian Army, as evidenced by the published videos and images. It is not known if the Russian Army is inflicting similar casualties on the Ukrainians. But what is known is that Russia is imposing massive losses to the Ukrainian infrastructure. Russia also seems to be busy cutting off Ukrainian forces. Russia may not be counting on territory acquisition as a goal as the Russians are simply driving away from the villages that the Ukrainian troops have vacated. It may also be because the Ukrainians return and engage the Russians in the villages, resulting in civilian casualties. Only in Donetsk and Luhansk the militia is consolidating the towns.
The ‘wandering technique’
In an interview with RBC Ukraine, the Air Force commander PS Yuri Ignat spokesman says, “The skies above Kyiv, Zhytomyr and Kharkiv are the main points of their [Russian ed.] aviation. They regularly, like clockwork, enter a large group of aircraft and, without entering the area affected by our air defense.. But we know where it happens; we take it into account, quickly adjust our work and work on them.”
The statement shows that the Russians keep the Ukrainian Armed forces guessing. Yevgeny Lyushilin, an expert with the publication Military Review, tells Pravada that the Russian troops are using ‘wandering technique’ to keep the Ukrainians guessing. It involves inflicting unpredictable strikes on enemy military targets, which does not allow the enemy to prepare.
He said the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the national battalions could not understand which target should be protected by the air defense system. A good example of a tactic used is the missile attack on an aircraft repair plant near Lviv.
As per the expert, the military infrastructure of the Kyiv regime continues to receive blow after blow. The Ukrainian Army is now isolated into groups. The Russian troops are striking from Kramatorsk, Nikolaev and Slavyansk, which are the main concentrations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
How do we judge the Russian tactics?
It is challenging to understand Russian tactics, including its goals, except what is stated by President Putin. Russians have not given any specific deadlines or milestones.
Ukrainian military infrastructure is knocked out, especially it’s air defense systems, missile and artillery positions, radars, and many tanks and armoured vehicles. Cities are blocked except for humanitarian corridors. Ammunition dumps are being hit, and the Russian Army is cutting off the supply of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The most important measure of success is that the Russian Army is moving forward.