Robin Horsfall. Oct 29, 2022
Putin is forcing his untrained conscripts into Bakhmut under the guns of his Wagner Mercenaries, as targets for Ukrainian bullets.
Having ‘press ganged’ hundreds of thousands into his army it appears that Putin wants to focus Ukrainian resources onto a single point and bleed Ukraine dry. This WW1 tactic of pure attrition is based on the idea that he is prepared to sacrifice more men and women than Ukraine.
Zelensky says ‘the attacks on Bakhmut are crazy’. They are, but they have purpose. Ukraine’s humanitarian philosophy of taking prisoners and treating them well, allowing civilian lives to affect operational decisions, not extending the war over the border and generally holding their soldiers to account with good discipline, are considered weaknesses by Russian Generals.
They will pour conscripts into repeated frontal attacks to drain ammunition stocks, clear mines, wear down front line UA troops and force manpower and food resources to be used caring for prisoners.
Verdun was General Falkenhayn’s ‘meat grinder’ in WW1, – it failed, but it cost a million lives. Ukraine is dominating the battlefield and achieving a measure of air superiority. The only limit to how many Russian conscripts will die will be dictated by the supply of ammunition to Ukraine’s front line and importantly the resistance of Russian wives and families left at home.
There is a serious air of desperation about Russian strategy. Their Generals are unskilled in modern warfare. As senior officers are repeatedly replaced or killed, the skill level is reduced even further.
To avoid this all the Russians have to do is go home.
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Picture. Russian war graves from Stalingrad.