That’s bad enough in itself, the lack of what are now basics in Western forces are lacking across the board, the modern body armour, as some observers have mentioned the much vaunted Russian standard rifle, AK-12, supposedly to have optics as standard as Western forces for the past 25-30 years have, from footage rarely seems to have them. That’s Russian released footage mostly, meant to, you would think, show them in their best possible light
(Then you see Ukrainian reservists, civilians essentially, being trained on old AKM’s but with modern optics even for them).
As for Russian goals, which one?
The initial one of knocking over the Ukrainian government, installing a puppet, mop up in around a week, that one?
The permanent incorporation of regions in the East already under Russian subversion and pressure since 2014?
The control of the Black Sea? How’s the flagship for Russian ambitions there doing?
Whatever, there are constant reports now of Putin taking personal command of the operation, down to battalion level. He hasn’t a day of military experience in his life, was he the mastermind behind that notorious attempts at river crossing, same place, in daylight, battalion got chewed up?
The Russians are taking huge losses, but are also progressing in the Donbas and controlling the Black Sea. Downplay like you want, but I really fail to understand how Ukraine will be able to take control of all the territory they lost after February 24th.
Not ‘downplaying’ anything, however I am more likely to believe what the intel agencies who were proven correct in their assessments of Russian intentions, likely plan, assets they had for any operation, which some thought was Western anti Russian rhetoric- those voices also usually the same saying the Ukrainians should accept some Russian demands in the 1930’s style hope that appeasing a dictator makes them go away.
What they were not so correct was the sheer incompetence of the Russian forces and their leadership, this can even be seen in what weapons were supplied, just prior to the invasion (by those nations who happened to be the most correct, well they have the intel assets to be able to make an informed assessment and perhaps those that did not or they were under domestic political pressure to tone down their assessments because we cannot offend Russia. How has that worked out?)
But when others stepped in too, what was supplied? Weapons suited for light infantry with also an eye on transition to partisan warfare if Russia takes mostly as they intended, major cities and eventually much of the country.
Now what is being suppiled ? A bit beyond equipment for the above situation because it’s nowhere near happened.
Ukraine has a pipeline of increasing amounts of material, Russia due to sanctions and years of corruption and plain BS about their ‘modernized’ military cannot do the same, reliant as they are on Western technology. Plus what proported to be ‘elite’ Russian troops got badly chewed up early on so what can Russia do? Greatly expanding via a mobilisation adding even worse trained, more young men who really don’t want to be there, thus bringing the realities of this war right into Russian homes in the major cities of European part of the country. Something Putin for all his grip on power, wants to avoid.
You seem to be downplaying the fact that despite a city the Russians expected to take in a day or two finally was taken this week but only after they flattened the place, the Ukrainians have also taken back some territory, even to the Russian border. In a region the Russians subverted from 2014 and had expectations of a lot of support from the local populace. Since they have carried out their usual war crimes and when chased out just fling artillery back in fustration. Not hearts and minds is it? They will never be accepted even there.
Now consider, given the apparent mismatch in forces between Russia and Ukraine, how is that even possible? Well 8 years of the UK, US, Canada and the have skin in the game Baltic states training to NATO standards, plus the weapon systems plus most of all Ukranians themselves. They are fighting for survival, in every sense of the word.
While the Ceasar gun systems are a good addition for Ukraine, the fact is that in terms of value of weapons suppilied, tiny Estonia has sent double what France has so far.
Macron got totally played by Putin, not having a go at him, fact is every President of the Fifth Republic has to be seen to trying to get one over diplomatically on the Anglo Saxons because of......reasons.
Then there is the broader strategic Russian failure, on the Sweden and Finland NATO thread, I posted a link to a long form, fair, balanced, well argued piece on that, worth a look.