Russian attacks on more than 20 Ukrainian cities on Monday were in retaliation for the weekend’s Crimean bridge attack, which Russia blames on Ukraine. But at the same time, according to military expert Mick Ryan, the Russian shelling revealed one thing above all: the certainty that Russia could not beat the Ukrainian military on the battlefield and would instead have to terrorize Ukrainian civilians.

There are several reasons why Putin’s army is currently inferior to the Ukrainian troops. So far, Russia has ignored one of the most important principles in military operations: unity of command. This means that all armed forces operate under a single commander who has the authority to direct these forces in pursuit of a common goal.

However, the numerous offensives early in the war of aggression in Ukraine’s north, north-east, east and south all took place under different commanders and “without any apparent coordination mechanism,” Army Maj. Gen. Ryan wrote on Twitter.

In April, Putin then tried to rectify this error by appointing Aleksandr Dvornikov as commander-in-chief. However, since Dvornikov was responsible for heavy losses in the fighting in the Donbass, despite his superior artillery superiority, and was only able to capture Sievjerodonetsk, the commander-in-chief was replaced again in June. Colonel-General Sergei Surovikin has been in office since the Crimean Bridge attack. He is now the supreme commander responsible for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

But that doesn’t change anything, according to Ryan: “In reality, there is no living Russian general who could reverse the situation in Ukraine.” The mistakes in Russian combat performance are not only due to poor leadership on the battlefield, but go deeper rooted. “The biggest single reason for failure in the Russian invasion has been bad strategy,” the Australian said. It would have been based on “false assumptions and a fundamental mismatch” of desired political outcomes with available military means.

Since Putin insists that Ukraine is not a real state, he assumed that the Ukrainian military would not fight and that Ukraine would welcome the Russians as liberators. He also believed that the West would not intervene decisively.

“And because of these strategic assumptions, Russia invaded with too small an army, attacked uncoordinated on too many fronts and failed to capture Ukrainian airspace,” the army major general said. While it is already difficult to recover from any of these setbacks, a combination of all setbacks is fatal for the Russian “special operation”. Given the smarter, more effective and better-managed Ukrainian army, it is very unlikely that Putin’s troops will be able to recover.

The war could have taken a different course if Russia’s president had limited his political goals to the “liberation of the Donbass” and geared the military deployment to this. But with the annexation of the four Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Cherson and Zaporizhia, Russia would have further expanded its war aims. Achieving this with an army that is already stretched to capacity and the existing mobilization problems still shows that Putin’s political visions are incompatible with military capacities.

“Putin may continue to use rockets at innocent Ukrainian civilians in the short term,” Ryan said. “But he is finding out that his strategic mistakes will forever haunt him and the Russian people.”

Russia has appointed a commander for all Russian troops in Ukraine for the first time. He is considered a brutal war leader with a dark history. With his appointment, Putin wants to send a clear signal to the West – and to his critics at home.

In Russia, people have had to do without some amenities for months. The country is being deprived of numerous goods as a result of the sanctions imposed in the course of the invasion of Ukraine. But thanks to the “grey market trade”, some products still end up in the markets – even from Germany.

Vladimir Putin is coming under increasing pressure in Russia. Fierce disputes following the recent defeats in the Ukraine war are dividing the president’s power base. “Putin will probably be gone soon,” says historian Harold James. But that doesn’t have to mean only good things.

Amazon Prime Day will take place a second time on October 11th and 12th, 2022 – but this time under the somewhat clumsy name “Prime Exclusive Offers”. The campaign for Prime members started at midnight sharp with some exciting bargains that we don’t want to withhold from you. A few other retailers are also taking part in the discount battle.