A Soviet approach to war could hamper Ukraine’s fight against Russia

A Ukrainian pilot and a Mi-24 attack helicopter during a military exercise in the Dnepropetrovsk region. Viacheslav Ratynskyi/Reuters

  • A Soviet approach to war could slow Ukraine’s counteroffensive against Russia.
  • US officials told the New York Times that Ukraine’s armed forces were evenly distributing their resources.
  • Ukraine has continued to pour resources into eastern areas like Bakhmut, baffling US officials.

Ukraine’s counteroffensive against Russia is stalling and Western officials are struggling to persuade the country to break with tradition and move resources to where they are needed most.

Unnamed US officials said the New York Times that Ukraine must concentrate its counter-offensive resources on southern Ukraine, since it has spread equipment and troops too widely, and too little effect.

The problem is that, like Russia, Ukraine is fighting under an old communist doctrine aimed at curbing power struggles between military divisions through an equal sharing of resources, the Times reported.

That mindset has prompted Ukraine to pour resources into the eastern Bakhmut region and surrounding areas, baffling US military officials, according to the report.

The strategy has left insufficient resources in the country’s south, where Ukraine is expected to cut off Russia’s supply lines and target the bridge linking the country to Crimea.

Currently, the commitment to regimental equality appears to be holding back these efforts.

The US has worked to change Ukraine’s Soviet tactics and turn its troops into a more modern, “agile” force.

In a Department of Defense briefing In April 2022, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby described how training Ukrainian troops in Germany ahead of the Russian invasion was turning the country away from old fighting styles.

“They have better leadership and control,” Kirby said.

“You have better initiative on the battlefield. They have a competent NCO corps empowered to make tactical decisions on the battlefield. It’s no coincidence,” he added.

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Amanda Walker

Global events enthusiast. Reporting with a critical lens to offer readers a deeper perspective.

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