Artillery vehicle

Putin can’t hit the artillery to victory in Ukraine

Ukraine War Update: The Russian military continues to face seemingly insurmountable challenges in Ukraine, even after nearly six months of war. On Day 175 of the Russian invasion, the Russian army continued to press Donbass.

Russian casualties

The Russian army continues to suffer heavy losses in Ukraine. The force generation problems plaguing the Russian war machine only precipitate the challenges created by the heavy casualties Moscow suffered during the war.

Without mass mobilization – which would present its own domestic political challenges – Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin simply cannot find enough men to put on the front line. The Russian army particularly lacks infantry, which it tries to compensate with devastating artillery fire. However, artillery can help gain territory, but it cannot capture or hold it on its own.

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry claimed that as of Tuesday, Ukrainian forces had killed around 43,900 Russian troops (and wounded around three times that number), destroyed 233 fighter, attack and transport planes, 196 helicopters attack and transport, 1,880 tanks, 989 artillery pieces. , 4,152 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 263 multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), 15 boats and cutters, 3,049 vehicles and fuel tanks, 136 anti-aircraft batteries, 790 air systems unmanned tactical vehicles, 92 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four Iskander mobile ballistic missile systems, and 190 cruise missiles shot down by Ukrainian air defenses.

The Missing Russian Black Fleet

A few months into the war, the Ukrainian military surprised Russia and the world by sinking the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

On April 14, Ukrainian forces launched two Neptune anti-ship missiles and sank the missile cruiser Moskva in the Black Sea. With a crew of over 500 men, the Moskva is one of the largest warships to be sunk in modern warfare.

Since that action, the Russian Black Sea Fleet has understandably been reluctant to take risks. In its Daily War Estimate, the UK Ministry of Defense focused on the challenges the Russian Navy in general, and the Black Sea Fleet in particular, faced during the war.

“The surface ships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet continue to follow an extremely defensive posture, with patrols generally limited to waters within sight of the Crimean coast. This contrasts with increased Russian naval activity in other seas, as is typical at this time of year,” British Military Intelligence said. assessed.

Russian artillery firing. Image credit: Creative Commons.

“The Black Sea Fleet continues to use long-range cruise missiles to support land offensives, but is currently struggling to exercise effective maritime control. It has lost its flagship, MOSKVA; a significant portion of its carrier air combat aircraft; and control of Snake Island,” the UK Ministry of Defense said.

“The currently limited effectiveness of the Dark Fleet undermines Russia’s overall invasion strategy, in part because the amphibious threat to Odessa has now been largely neutralized. This means Ukraine can divert resources to put pressure on Russian ground forces elsewhere,” British military intelligence said.

M777

SYRIA – U.S. Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit fire an M777 Howitzer during a firefighting mission in northern Syria as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, March 24, 2017. The unit provided a 24/7 support in all weather conditions to enable troop movements, to include denial of terrain and containment of enemy forces. More than 60 regional and international nations have come together to enable partner forces to defeat ISIS and restore stability and security. CJTF-OIR is the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria. (Note: these are similar weapons to those sent to Ukraine).

[1945’sNewColumnofDefenseandNationalSecurity[1945’sNouveauchroniqueurdedéfenseetdesécuriténationaleStavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (National Service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ) and a graduate of Johns Hopkins University. His work has been featured in Business Intern, Sandboxand SOFREP.