Russian Battle Plans ‘Ridiculously Bad’ in Ukraine: Retired U.S. Commander

Retired U.S. Navy Commander James Stavridis told MSNBC on Thursday that Russia’s battle plans in Ukraine are “ridiculously bad.” Above, Russian President Vladimir Putin talks to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, right, near the Kremlin on June 22 in Moscow.GETTY IMAGES

Retired U.S. Navy Admiral James Stavridis described Russia’s battle plans in Ukraine as “ridiculously bad,” knocking Moscow’s continued failures in its ongoing invasion of the Eastern European nation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and other Kremlin officials reportedly believed that they would swiftly take control of most of Ukraine and topple the government in Kyiv, when they launched the international condemned invasion a little more than five months ago on February 24. In reality, Moscow’s forces struggled to make significant gains and failed in the initial phase of the war.

After taking heavy losses and failing to conquer major cities, Russia focused its efforts on the southeast of Ukraine. Although Putin’s military has made some progress, analysts have assessed that it has been relatively minimal considering heavy losses. Speaking to MSNBC on Thursday morning, Stavridis, who previously served as NATO‘s supreme allied commander Europe, gave an assessment of Russia’s military performance in Ukraine.

“As it’s gone on, the Russians have simply shown very little appetite or inclination to improve,” Stavridis said. “That is true not only in the failing logistics efforts, but also they continue these manifest war crimes, their battle plans are ridiculously bad as a general proposition.”

The commander noted that Moscow’s troops have been “more formidable” as they’ve “concentrated” in the southeast of Ukraine, but said the “challenges remain.” He went on to urge the U.S. and NATO allies to provide additional weapons and support to Kyiv as it continues the defense against Moscow’s aggression.

“These new HIMARS [High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems], surface-to-surface missiles, are striking at those [Russian] logistic log heads behind forward lines. That’s a vey good thing,” the retired commander said. “We need to give them more anti-ship cruise missiles.”

Retired U.S. Army General Mark Hertling touted the HIMARS as a “game changer” for Ukraine in a Saturday Twitter thread. “As for HIMARS – w/ fewer rounds, greater range, precision accuracy – it’s a game changer,” Hertling, who previously served as the commander of the U.S. Army Europe and the Seventh Army, wrote.

“Russia is in dire shape & losing, Ukraine is adapting to the fight & winning,” the retired general added.

Last Friday, the White House announced that an additional $270 million in security assistance would be sent to Ukraine, including four more HIMARS. The rocket systems have been seen as crucial to helping Kyiv’s forces repel Moscow’s military. The U.S. and NATO allies have already provided billions of dollars in military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters last week that Ukraine’s use of HIMARS was “degrading” Russia’s capabilities.

“These strikes are steadily degrading the Russian ability to supply their troops, command and control of their forces, and carry out their illegal war of aggression,” he said.

Russia claimed last week that it had destroyed some of the rocket systems. Ukrainian and U.S. officials disputed that assessment.

Representative Elissa Slotkin, a Michigan Democrat who serves on the House Committee on Armed Services, told CNN on Wednesday that tens of thousands of Russian troops are estimated to have been killed or injured since the invasion began in February.

“We were briefed that over 75,000 Russians have either been killed or wounded [in Ukraine], which is huge.… Over 80% of their land forces are bogged down, and they’re tired,” Slotkin said.

Russia rejected this assessment, claiming it was “fake news.”

“Nowadays even the most respected newspapers are not above spreading all sorts of fake news items,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday, Russia’s state-run Tass news agency reported.

“Unfortunately, this practice is being encountered more and more often,” he added. “This is how it should be treated.”


  1. “Russia is in dire shape & losing, Ukraine is adapting to the fight & winning,”

    That’s putting it in a nutshell and gets to the core, all at once.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Russia was bound to lose all along because that little zit that thinks he is smarter than everyone else on earth was making the calls. Yeah, the little KGB desk boy that had a hobby of blackmailing people. In the end do you think he will call for general mobilization or use a tactical nuke hoping the world will cave to him?

      Liked by 3 people

      • I would rather guess a general mobilization is what he’ll do next. I think nukes are there only for scaring little girls, like Scholz, Macron, Biden and so forth.

        Liked by 2 people

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