The Stuck Russian Military Column

A large deployment of Russian ground forces, containing hundreds of military vehicles, are seen in convoy northeast of Ivankiv, Ukraine on February 27, 2022. GETTY IMAGES / MAXAR

What does this mean for Ukraine? A brief assessment

The military column north of Kyiv is stuck. It is said to be around 65 kilometers long, or about 40 miles. It hasn’t moved for at least two days. As of this writing, it is still standing.

What’s going on?

Unquestionably, the longer it takes to reach Kyiv, the more preparations the defenders can take. More weapons and ammo can be shipped into the city, more Molotov Cocktails made, more roadblocks made, making existing roadblocks bigger and so on and so forth. It’s inconceivable that the generals in the Russian staff are not aware of this. Maybe those things are not important for the Russians because they will simply try to pound the city into submission. Possibly they have other reasons to take it slow. Who knows?

But taking it slow is unlikely to be a part of their planning.

On another note, let us put ourselves in the boots of the Russian soldiers that are in this convoy. They’ve been practically living in their vehicles for days now. Assuming that they have plenty of food and water, what does this mean? It means exhaustion. Anyone who’s been on a lengthy road trip will know what I mean. A road trip that basically goes well is still taxing on those involved. On such a trip, you eventually stop in the evening at a hotel or motel and have a good meal, a shower and then off to bed. These guys don’t have that. Certainly, a soldier’s lot is a tough lot, but they are young and they can put up with hardships. Some can do so more than others. Overall, however, this is not a good thing, no matter how you look at it. Let us not forget that this scenario does not take into account how long they’ve already been on the go before they even joined the convoy. It’s anybody’s guess.

Nonetheless, if a lack of food and water is added to this calculation, what then? Several news reports claim that the troops in this column are lacking food. Indeed, there are many stories of hungry Russians plundering food stores around the country. I’ve seen evidence that they are eating military rations that are expired for seven years. A lack of food seems quite plausible. Suffering from thirst and hunger only adds to the physical stress that lack of proper sleep induces.

Now, let us assume the column moves again. This demands attention to traffic conditions. The others, who only ride along, are trying to sleep. The hours grind on. They eventually reach their place of deployment and then must prepare artillery emplacements, retrieve ammo from the trucks, dig entrenchments and many other tasks that are required. To put it short, these soldiers have been partially used up already even before they fire the first shot. Just as important is the ensuing low morale. The troops might’ve already had low enthusiasm even before they got into the column in Belarus and rolled to the south, towards Kyiv. If they are tired and hungry, it only makes everything worse.

These soldiers do not possess full fighting value even now, not matter how you turn the coin.

There are other assumed reasons why the column has stalled. One of them is the lack of fuel. Military vehicles by their very nature are fuel hogs. How many gallons or liters must they lug along to keep them moving? How do they refuel them along the way? On the same note, what about breakdowns? How can you repair a broken truck or tank that’s in a long line of vehicles? This too must be in the overall calculation.

One more explanation given for the stoppage is Ukrainian resistance. It is said by some reports that the column has been fiercely resisted by Ukrainian fighters, while others state the resistance had been light. I haven’t seen any sort of substantiation over any of this, nor have I’ve seen any footages or pictures. This does not mean it’s not happening. A simple act could cause a big effect. For instance, if you destroy the first few vehicles on that relatively narrow road, the rest of the line is blocked. A blown bridge could also be done with relative ease. I certainly would not put it past the brave Ukrainians to attack this column at strategic points.

Some are even claiming that the generals are regrouping … that they are changing their tactics. This does not seem plausible. They could do so as the column slowly lumbers along its way towards Kyiv. Besides, how can they regroup or change tactics now? There is only very limited space to maneuver along this road. To the east, only a few miles away, is the large Kyiv Lake. This is a formidable barrier. The roads to the west and south-west are small country roads, weaving in and out of small villages. Bottle necks are guaranteed. In one report it was said that some vehicles tried to circumvent the blockade by maneuvering into the terrain and got stuck in mud. That’s very possible. If so, this limits a regrouping even more than it already is. It makes no sense to regroup from this point. But, there simply is not enough info coming in to make heads or tails out of this situation. It’s all speculation.

One thing is certain. Regardless of what is causing this delay, I doubt that it was planned. Looking at the multiple blunders that the Russian planners of this campaign already have committed, my personal opinion is that the column is, for some reason unknown to us with certainty, inadvertently stuck.  

A good thing about the stalled column is that it is not only a bad omen for the invaders, but a good one for the defenders. Maybe I’m just reaching for straws when I say this. Right now, it’s all we have … unless the war criminal and crime syndicate boss Vlad Putin finally gets removed from power in some way or killed.


  1. I hope that the Ukrainians see what a grand opportunity fate had served them on a silver platter with this giant sitting duck.

    • They are likely out of fuel and why they have been brought to a halt. With their mobility killed, there is not a lot they can do. They can defense themselves in a static defense, but that would be all. Ukraine has some SU-25s. I would be laying bombs along the axis of the column. I would also be going after anything Russian that moved. The way things are going, the battlefield can be isolated and the Russians destroyed or captured.

      • It could also be they are just decoys meant to intimidate Ukraine and a large chunk of the invaders said wtf and went home. Therefore they have vehicles but not enough drivers.

        • Entirely possible. They need to knock out columns as soon as they can, so they can turn their attention to other areas.

          • The Moskali are also masters of distraction. Hoping Ukraine will shit their pants looking at a 60 km column. I noticed the column is widely spaced which is not protocol for the invaders.
            Also a distraction because Putin’s Navy is busy in the South and it appears the wonderful city of Kherson has been temporarily lost to the fascists.

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