Russia Says Military’s ‘Flawless Training’ on Show in Ukraine

By David Brennan

Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and President Vladimir Putin on Monday lauded the country’s special operations units, which the former said had demonstrated “flawless” preparation for Moscow’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Shoigu praised the units to mark the Special Operation Forces’ Day, which is celebrated on February 27; the same day that Moscow’s “little green men” invaded Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014 in a prelude to its eventual annexation. Putin decreed in 2020 that the date would henceforth celebrate Russia’s special forces.

Shoigu said Russia’s elite units had performed well in the ongoing invasion, which after a year has punctured many myths of Russia’s assumed military prowess.

“During the special military operation, the servicemen of the Special Operations Forces are displaying flawless training, heroism and courage and are successfully achieving the goals set by the country’s leadership,” Shoigu said—as quoted by the state-run Tass news agency—using the Kremlin’s terminology for the full-scale invasion that began on February 24, 2022.

Putin added his congratulations in a statement published on the Kremlin’s website on Monday.

“All fighters and commanders of the Special Operations Forces are distinguished by the highest level of training, their ability and readiness to act boldly, decisively, with lightning speed in key areas and directions, and to effectively solve the most complex and responsible tasks of strategic importance in any regions of the world where this is required by the security and the national interests of Russia and our people,” the president said.

In Ukraine, specifically, Putin praised special operations units for “following the orders to the end, protecting your comrades, saving women, children and the elderly, defending Russia, our nation and our land from the neo-Nazi threat.” Putin and Russian officials have falsely framed Moscow’s invasion as a crusade against neo-Nazism in Ukraine.

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Russia’s special forces have not been spared from the ballooning casualties incurred by Moscow’s units since February 2022. The Russian invaders are thought to have suffered hundreds of thousands of dead and wounded in a year dominated by costly Russian battlefield defeats.

Russia does not release details of its casualty figures, so it can be difficult to ascertain how badly Moscow’s elite troops have been mauled. The fortunes of some individual special forces units, however, are indicative of Russia’s most intense and punishing military operations since World War II.

One European defense official told Newsweek in December that the Pskov-based 2nd Special Purpose Brigade—a Spetsnaz special forces formation and part of the GRU military intelligence agency—is among those that have suffered badly.

The official estimated the brigade had suffered “heavy losses” of 30 to 40 percent casualties. The unit was awarded honorary “Guards” status by Putin in July for its actions in Ukraine.

A BBC investigation published in October suggested a similar fate for the 3rd Guards Spetsnaz Brigade, which it said may have lost up to 75 percent of its reconnaissance company troops. The unit suffered particularly badly around the railway hub of Lyman during Ukraine’s surprise offensive in September, the BBC said.

Western and Ukrainian officials have blamed the apparent poor training and lacking equipment of Russian troops for the high suspected casualty figures, especially since Putin’s September mobilization order.

Russia, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said this month, “continues to pour large numbers of additional people into the fight. And those people are ill-trained and ill-equipped, and because of that, we see them incurring a lot of casualties. And we’ll probably continue to see that going forward.”

Newsweek has contacted the Russian Defense Ministry to request comment.


  1. “During the special military operation, the servicemen of the Special Operations Forces are displaying flawless training, heroism and courage and are successfully achieving the goals set by the country’s leadership,”

    So into the 2nd year of Putler’s 3 day genocide, in the last 6 months the cannon fodder managed to take a village with a prewar population of 600, to prove the prowess of the orc training.

  2. There is a sci-fi/horror movie : Phase IV, made in 1974, about genetically modified ants developing a hive mind. It was adapted from an HG Wells novel: Empire of the Ants.
    In it, the ants are capable of learning from their mistakes, as they seek to dominate their human enemy. They keep on attacking and dying in huge numbers, but they can afford to take almost infinite losses in order to achieve their objectives. They are relentless.
    Another Wells novel : War of the Worlds, explores similar themes.
    The thing is; RuZZia is very like a Wells nightmare. Their people are a type of pitiless alien with a hive mind that will stop at nothing. Give them an inch and they will take a mile.
    Yet even now the allies are not taking the terrible threat seriously. Nato or the Budapest signatories in partnership with Poland should be moving into Ukraine by now.
    But we know they won’t. And even now, they are still providing only a small fraction of the help Ukraine needs to remove this monstrous and evil species from their land.

  3. Anyway. What many seem to ignore is, that even if (theoretically) Ukraine would retake Donbas and Crimea – it would not mean victory or the end of the war. As long as RuSSia is the base where the attacks come from, they can continue bombing indefinitely. To win and end the war Ukraine would have to take Moscow. You don’t win a war by defending yourself only, but by defeating the aggressor state. How realistic is it?

    • I don’t think they have to conquer Moscow to end the war. Strikes on vital industries, particularly the oil industry infrastructure can end the war. A strike on the big oil pump station at Samara would put even Moscow’s domestic oil supply in serious jeopardy. Starting there, and then striking refineries and pump stations would end Russia’s oil supply if Ukraine were to keep at it. No modern country can stand the loss of oil supply. Hitting synthetic oil production at Mannheim in 1944, nearly brought the Wehrmacht to a standstill. By comparison with today, the demand for oil was relatively small then.

  4. Yes, their training is flawless. They get killed in masses in flawless continuity. Their evil is flawless, their alcoholism is flawless, their lack of hygiene is flawless, their lack of education is flawless.
    Mafia land can be proud of its flawlessly trashed army. It’s a reflection of the cesspool as a whole.

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