Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Sir Robert Fry on the capacities of the Russian forces massing on the Ukrainian border

 There is a very good piece about the Russian Army, how it has developed and the threat it poses on "The Article" website by Sir Robert Fry.

General Sir Robert Fry completed a full military career which included appointments as the Commandant General of the Royal Marines and Deputy Commanding General of coalition forces in Iraq. After military service, he became a vice president of Hewlett Packard and chair of Albany Associates. He is a visiting professor at King’s College, London.

His article begins as follows:

"We can be certain of few things about the crisis in Ukraine: that NATO seems to have some life in it yet, that the French President is irredeemably grandiose, that the German Chancellor seems just as irredeemably reticent and that Liz Truss can manage a passable Margaret Thatcher tribute act. 

My money remains on a no-score draw (see Putin needs to tread carefully in Ukraine,  20 January). It is militarily irrational in the long term to take on a Ukraine that seems determined to fight beyond the initial, conventional phase of any conflict and into an insidious and draining subsequent phase of popular resistance, where Putin would lose all the hybrid advantages he holds now.

That said, the commentators who make the point that we are now entering into the most dangerous stage of the process so far are exactly right. The large scale exercises the Russians are holding along Ukraine  s northern border means that they are manned up, fuelled up and deployed in tactical formation, only awaiting the order to roll across the border. The difference between this and a week ago is that the Russians were then deployed administratively and the switch into tactical formation would have been a key combat indicator of intent. We have lost that element of warning and the indicator that now becomes critical is the forward deployment of live ammunition stocks, particularly artillery ammunition. Once they are bombed up too, we can only fear the worst."

You can read the whole piece here.

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