(PatrioticPost.com)- Military analysts Jack Watling and Nick Reynolds conducted in-person interviews with Ukrainian troops for a paper by the UK-based Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) think tank, which contains intriguing new information on Russian artillery tactics.
It’s no secret that starting in April, Russia switched to an artillery-focused form of attrition warfare in Eastern Ukraine, hammering Ukrainian soldiers with heavy bombardment after their ambitious early strikes in February–March failed miserably.
According to Watling, Russia’s ground forces have been using massed artillery rounds to support a cautious and deliberate advance, which has helped to counter their typically subpar performance. The local population has been gradually displaced by the ongoing bombing, which had also destroyed the infrastructure and communities being defended, forcing the Ukrainian military to leave the region when it was utterly destroyed.
By June, heavy bombardments had progressively driven Ukrainian soldiers from Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, two key cities, while preventing Ukrainian forces from converging quickly enough and in sufficient numbers to mount a successful counterattack. Even more concerningly, according to Watling, Ukrainian manpower losses may now be comparable to Russian casualties.
The bright side is that Ukrainian forces have frequently escaped encirclement and annihilation—part of Moscow’s initial aims in Donbas—through prompt and largely orderly retreats and have even made gains in the area of Kherson in southern Ukraine.
Although Russia doesn’t have a significant numerical advantage over Ukraine in terms of fighting soldiers (since it hasn’t wholly mobilized), it does have far more artillery. It is producing a lot more artillery fires.
According to the research, on average, Russian howitzers fire 20,000 rounds every day instead of Ukraine’s 6,000. Even worse is the ratio between rocket artillery and ballistic missile launches. And Ukraine still runs the risk of using up its stock of 152-millimeter rounds made to Soviet specifications even sooner than Russia.
Giving Ukraine the ability to attack Russian artillery logistics is the quickest approach to level the playing field, given the imbalance in weapons and the lack of Russian precision fires.
Despite the report’s contention that Ukraine has not consistently taken advantage of this vulnerability, things may have changed in light of a remarkable string of precise assaults on Russian munitions stockpiles far from the frontline in July.
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