kyiv accuses Russia of ‘mass murder’ after the discovery of hundreds of bodies buried in Izium

Desertions, refusal to obey, low morale… Faced with a highly destructive conflict in terms of equipment and men, the Russian army – whose precise losses remain unknown – was quickly confronted with problems of manpower management.

Several generals and a large number of officers have also fallen on the field of honour, further paralyzing a chain of command already described as not very responsive. However, their replacement is all the more complicated since“there is a problem with training cadres, in particular the absence of a non-commissioned officer corps in the Russian army”, said a senior French military official. According to him, non-commissioned officers are taken from among the oldest soldiers. Gold “a non-commissioned officer is an expert in his field”, he assures. And “when the only relationship with his subordinates is the balance of power”it is complicated to “going on the attack”.

Strengthened by its flattering image inherited from the glory days of the Red Army, sometimes viewed even in Western military staffs through the prism of the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942-1943, the Russian army in reality certainly appears strong in numbers , but low in quality. And its shortcomings increase as the conflict lasts and its losses accumulate.

“An army is a sum of skills and capabilities. Lacking a strong recruiting/learning/innovation infrastructure, the Russian sum has steadily decreased”observes the ex-colonel and historian of the war Michel Goya. “The Russian maneuver force has weakened, poorly replaced by fewer and lower quality units. »

Worse perhaps, the Russian military is undermined by an institutionalized lie. Historian Chris Owen has published remarks by Russian soldiers, some of them disseminated for Ukrainian propaganda purposes, but nonetheless revealing. They report reduced maneuvers to embezzle budgets, distorted assessments of the state of a combat unit, objectively false reports on the results of an operation. “Planning is based on reports. And the reports are different from the reality”summarizes Chris Owen, who ensures that the false nature of the documents circulating in the army has been documented “in Russian units of all fronts and trades, from paratroopers to mechanized infantry”.

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