Russian troops in Ukraine Read Wikipedia for weapons info, use 1960s maps: NYT
- A New York Times investigation detailed Russia’s mistakes in launching an invasion of Ukraine.
- The Russian troops were sadly unprepared for the conflict, plagued by a lack of food and key supplies.
- “Never in its history has Russia made such stupid decisions,” a retired Russian general told the NYT.
From the start, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was plagued by strategic mistakes, with a military force unprepared for the conflict, and logistical problems that have plagued the Kremlin.
In a New York Times investigation detailing Russia’s failures throughout the conflict, the story of Russia’s 155th Naval Infantry Brigade is one of the clearest examples of the poor decision-making that has defined the invasion.
While in combat, the naval brigade troops lacked sufficient food, maps, critical medical supplies, or walkie-talkies, and were forced to use 1970s-era Kalashnikov rifles, with some members having to turn to Wikipedia to locate instructions for using certain weapons, according to the report.
In interviews with The Times, several members of the brigade told the newspaper that some of the newly enlisted military fighters had little experience with weapons and spoke of being low on bullets to use in combat.
Initially, members were told by their commanders that they would not see combat, according to the report. But once they witnessed their comrades being killed around them while Ukrainian forces fired on them, they realized they had not been told the truth about their role in the conflict.
A Russian soldier named Mikhail, who witnessed the deaths of many of his comrades near the Ukrainian town of Pavlivka in October, told The Times that out of 60 members of his platoon, 40 were killed and only eight members evaded serious injury. .
“This is not a war,” Mikhail told the newspaper from a hospital near Moscow. “It is the destruction of the Russian people by their own commanders.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin displayed a high degree of confidence in the country’s armed forces when he launched the invasion of Ukraine in late February.
But almost ten months later, Russia has been unable to defeat the Ukrainian army and has found itself pushed back and cut off from the West.
According to The Times, Putin “fell into a spiral of self-aggrandizement and anti-Western zeal”, which led him to make the decision to invade Ukraine “in almost total isolation”.
According to The Times report, Russia’s invasion plans showed the military expected troops to march through Ukraine and quickly take control of the country, and officers were instructed to bring their full dress uniforms and medals for parades. soldiers in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine.
The Russian military, which was considered a formidable force before the conflict, had actually been “severely compromised” by long-standing corruption, according to the report.
Russian troops in Ukraine relied on old maps, some from the 1960s, to navigate the country, and many used their cell phones to call numbers in Russia, allowing Ukrainian forces to locate and attack them. The Times report also detailed how some Russian pilots flew their planes as if they were not in danger.
In January, retired Russian General Leonid Ivashov, having seen reports of the impending conflict, wrote an open letter stating that a full-scale war with Ukraine would endanger “Russia’s very existence as a state.”
“Never in its history has Russia made such stupid decisions,” Ivashov told The Times during a recent telephone interview. “Alas, today stupidity has triumphed: stupidity, greed, some kind of revenge and even some kind of malice.”
Dmitri S. Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, pointed to the West’s involvement in assessing Russia’s numerous setbacks during the conflict.
“This is a big burden for us,” he said, referring to NATO’s strong support for Ukraine. “It was very hard to believe in such cynicism and such bloodlust on the part of the collective West.”
Since the conflict began, the Biden administration has continued to send advanced weaponry to Ukraine, including high-velocity anti-radiation missiles.
As of November, the United States has engaged $66 billion in aid to Ukraine.