Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Appraising the War in Ukraine and Likely Outcomes
Appraising  the War in Ukraine  and Likely Outcomes

Appraising the War in Ukraine and Likely Outcomes

After six weeks of combat, where is the Russo-Ukrainian War going? Modern technology both facilitates and hampers the answer to that question. Every day, this war is evaluated from every angle and perspective, but modern technology provides only a soda-straw view of the war’s entire canvas. This article will try to discern that larger canvas of the war, including a focus on casualties, information operations and morale, and logistics to see how they and the tactical correlation of forces may influence several possible strategic outcomes.

Destroyed houses are seen in Borodyanka, amid Russia’s invasion on Ukraine, in Kyiv region, Ukraine, April 5, 2022. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Correlation of Forces and Strategies

Despite pessimistic pre-war scenarios regarding its ability to defend itself, the Ukrainian armed forces have blunted the advance of Russian Federation forces and counterattacked to liberate areas near Kyiv and Chernihiv. By some accounts, Ukraine’s goal is to exhaust or minimize Russia’s offensive potential and stabilize certain territories.[1] The unstated second part of this strategy is to wait for Russia to collapse, either militarily on the field of battle or politically at home. While Russia’s initial offensive culminated in the north, it still holds the initiative in the south, and conventional wisdom is that in the next phase of the war, forces will attempt to destroy Ukraine’s will to fight by pulverizing cities and seizing the Donbas. Russia also continues its efforts to seize Mariupol to create an uninterrupted land bridge from Russia proper to Crimea.

A lack of unity of command, wherein the army conducts several disjointed fights rather than one coordinated campaign, impairs Russian operations. Russian tactical communications are an open book to the Ukrainians, which gives them excellent intelligence and targeting opportunities. Further intelligence comes from the ubiquitous presence of cell phone cameras amongst the occupied populations and their ability to disseminate targeting information via cellular networks. Russia still struggles to achieve air control, let alone air superiority.

Russia may hold Ukrainian territory, but it has no hold on the population. Occupied Ukrainians have not rallied to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s cause as happened to some extent in Crimea and in Donetsk and Luhansk in 2014. Furthermore, the almost entirely road-bound Russian forces only truly control the towns that they occupy, the roads they sit on, out to the range of their main tank guns.

Russia is changing tactics due to its failure to the win the war quickly via a coup d’main of Kyiv. Russia has turned to air and artillery bombardments to destroy urban resistance and avoid further losses of its armored and infantry forces. These tactics to surround, shell, and starve cities into submission conquered Grozny and Aleppo, but face a different environment in Ukraine.

Russian forces used siege tactics in Chechnya and Syria against relatively small numbers of lightly armed insurgents who had no air defenses. Even then, the sieges of Grozny and Aleppo took many weeks, even months, to complete. In Ukraine, Russia has not one Grozny or Aleppo to conquer but multiple fortified cities whose supply lines have not been cut (except Mariupol) and whose forces have abundant supplies of anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons. The Russian military will be hard-pressed to resupply the large amounts of ammunition needed for multiple sieges. After six weeks of fighting, it has expended immense amounts of precision-guided munitions, cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, and other ordnance, which cannot be quickly replaced.

Ukrainian service members stand in a front of an Antonov An-225 Mriya cargo plane, the world’s biggest aircraft, destroyed by Russian troops as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, at an airfield in the settlement of Hostomel, in Kyiv region, Ukraine April 3, 2022. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

In regard to manpower, reinforcements from Russia’s Far East and the Caucasus have entered the conflict, while other units redeploy from the north of Ukraine to the south. Once they arrive on the battlefield, they may be the last trained and equipped combat units that Russia can generate for months. If these reinforcements and revised tactics do not achieve success, then the Russian military has limited options to quickly generate additional forces. Belarus is reluctant to enter the war, and recruiting Syrian volunteers for urban combat is wishful thinking since part of the reason for Russia’s 2015 intervention in Syria came from the reluctance of Syrian forces to engage in urban combat.

Russia has already committed three quarters of its available ground and airborne tactical units to Ukraine. It has only approximately 30-35 battalion tactical groups in reserve, and some of these must stay in Kaliningrad and the North Caucasus to leave a modicum of military power for other contingencies. Unlike the Soviet-Finnish War of 1939-1940, Russia does not have a large enough army to send in endless echelons of troops to steamroll enemy opposition. What forces it commits in the next few weeks will be its strategic reserve. For the first time in the history of modern European warfare, Russia may run out of soldiers.

How Russia uses its remaining tactical units will be critical. The Ukrainian General Staff believes that Russia will now seek to occupy the Donetsk, Kherson, and Luhansk regions in their entirety.[2] To do so, Russia may attempt to encircle Ukrainian forces defending the Donbas. If successful, Russia could claim that it has “demilitarized” Ukraine and use the occupied territory as a bargaining chip in negotiations or formally incorporate these regions into Russia.

If this is Russia’s backup strategy, then it will be as hard to achieve as its first. A Donbas offensive faces several challenges. First, supply lines from Russia to the recently captured city of Izium, a likely attack position for a Donbas offensive, are very tenuous. Second, Russian command and control and logistics capabilities to date offer little confidence that they can coordinate and support deep tactical movements. Third, Ukrainian forces have the advantage of interior lines of communication and could shuttle forces to attack dispersed Russian axes of advance. The withdrawal of Russian forces near Kyiv also frees Ukrainian forces to deploy to the Donbas and strike the flanks of any Russian encircling movement. Fourth, the withdrawal of Russian forces from the north may provide additional troops for the Donbas offensive, but these units require time to refit and reassemble. The road movement of forces from the vicinity of Kyiv to attack positions near Izium or Donetsk via Gomel, Belarus; Belgorod, Russia; and Luhansk, Ukraine is the equivalent of driving from St. Louis to New York City. If it does not use railcars and tank transporters, the mechanized forces completing that road march will require extensive maintenance before any attack, and the troops will need time for refitting and recovery. Finally, if Russia takes too long to concentrate men and materiel for a Donbas offensive, then the Ukrainian military may strike first. If Ukraine can quickly reorganize its forces, then it could preempt any Russian offensive by trying to retake Kherson and possibly the Perekop Isthmus to Crimea.

Whatever Russia does next, if it does not strike soon and succeed, then the initiative for offensive action could shift to Ukraine. Ukrainian forces on the offensive would require Russian forces to defend disjointed fronts with unreliable supply lines or face the most difficult of tactical maneuvers: a fighting withdrawal. Therefore, Russia’s next steps must either win this war, or it will soon have no good military alternatives.

A local woman salutes Ukrainian service members, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Chernihiv region, Ukraine April 2, 2022. Picture taken April 2, 2022. REUTERS/Serhii Nuzhnenko

Understanding the Tangible and Intangible Supporting Elements of the War

For both Russia and Ukraine, their ability to turn tactics on the ground into strategic success will depend largely on three factors: a capability to continue to field combat units, supply them, and have them fight. Therefore, this article will now analyze casualties and losses of war materiel, logistics, and morale for each side. Understanding, as best as possible due to the fog of war, the losses that both sides have sustained provides an approximate yardstick regarding the challenges to come in maintaining tactical units on the front lines. A brief review of logistics should show the limitations each side may face in carrying out the fight. Finally, a review of each nation’s information operations and the morale of their armed forces and population may give a sense of the will of each army to continue this fight as well as the will of each country’s population to make sacrifices for it.

Casualties and Materiel Losses

Russia. Due to the wide area of the battlefield and the confusion of multiple combat operations, determining exact casualties is problematic even for the Russians themselves. On March 2, 2022, Russia announced that 498 troops had died, with 1,597 wounded, and on March 25, it updated that casualty list to 1,351 dead and 3,825 wounded.[3] On March 8, a U.S. intelligence official estimated Russian deaths between 2,000 and 4,000.[4] Ten days later, press reports of U.S. and allied intelligence assessments put the range of Russian killed in action (KIA) between 3,000 and 10,000, with one report calling a figure of 7,000 deaths “conservative.”[5] Taking the middle figure of these two assessments provides a KIA rate of approximately 3,000-3,500 KIA every ten days. On March 23, the Wall Street Journal reported a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) assessment that since February 24, the Russian military had suffered between 7,000-15,000 KIA and total casualties could number 40,000.[6] The figure of 15,000 KIA circa March 23 is unlikely because it would mean a jump from 7,000 to 15,000 KIA over a ten-day period. That doubles the KIA rate at a time when much of the Russian army was conducting an operational pause. However, if the loss rate stayed basically the same or slightly lower due to fewer Russian attacks during the last ten days of March, then a more likely figure for Russian KIA by early April sits at approximately 10,000.

Estimating the number of combat wounded is equally problematic. A modern military standard to approximate the number of killed-to-wounded is one dead soldier for every three or four wounded. Using this standard would mean that the Russian military has sustained between 30,000-40,000 wounded if it has suffered 10,000 KIA. However, the modern ratio of 1:3 or 1:4 for killed-to-wounded may be inapplicable because Russia’s demonstrated inadequate logistical system means not only the inefficient delivery of supplies to the front but also a similarly inadequate delivery system of wounded to the rear. Therefore, poor medical evacuation capabilities and loss of the “Golden Hour,” the first hour of emergency medical treatment for wounded soldiers, for many Russian wounded could mean a killed-to-wounded ratio of 1:2.3, which is consistent with the ratio of losses by Soviet forces in the Second World War.[7] Additionally, the most recent official Russian casualty claims had a killed-to-wounded ratio of 1:2.8, less than the 1:3 or 1:4 ratio common to military planning. Therefore, a killed-to-wounded ratio of 1:2.3 approximates the number of Russian wounded at 23,000 if there have been 10,000 KIA.

However, Russian forces are suffering further losses beyond the normal count of killed and wounded in action. First, Russia lost over 550 prisoners of war by mid-March and likely more by early April.[8] Second, considering winter conditions, there must be a number of cold-weather casualties, frostbite, trench foot, and hypothermia, and illnesses, such as pneumonia, flu, or COVID, that have taken men off of the battlefield. Third, accidents—vehicle crashes, negligent discharges of weapons, etc.—are natural occurrences on any battlefield. In the Second World War, Soviet non-combat deaths were approximately nine percent of combat deaths, which would mean Russian forces in Ukraine may have sustained approximately 900 non-combat deaths beyond the estimated 10,000 combat deaths. Fourth, psychiatric casualties are not uncommon on a battlefield. For example, one account of U.S. casualties in World War II states that 312,354 men were discharged for combat-related psychiatric breakdowns in comparison to the 671,846 who were physically wounded.[9] Finally, there are the missing in action: those who are genuinely lost or cut off from their units and trying to make their way back and those, as noted below in the discussion on morale, who have purposefully absented themselves from the battlefield and have fallen back to a safe position to avoid further fighting. The number of total Russian casualties after six weeks of fighting probably exceeds 35,000 men, and when all factors are considered, the figure could approach 38,000. Higher numbers are possible, as are lower, but this figure is still an astounding casualty rate for an army in a post-World War II conventional conflict.

Personnel losses are compounded by materiel losses, which further degrade Russia’s combat capabilities. The website Oryx, which meticulously tracks materiel losses in this war using social media to confirm its data, estimated Russian combat equipment losses as of April 6 at 446 tanks and 824 armored/infantry fighting vehicles and personnel carriers.[10] Again, based on conservative methodology, actual losses are probably much higher, and these do not account for a plethora of other destroyed vehicles, artillery pieces, anti-aircraft weapons, etc. In the short run, Russia has the reserve capacity to replace these losses, if it can transport new equipment to the battlefield. The question, then, considering combat losses and a limited number of reserves is: who will man this replacement equipment if it ever arrives?

Ukraine. On March 12, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that the Ukrainian military had suffered approximately 1,300 deaths in the first 16 days of fighting. Kyiv has not provided additional official updates, so casualty rates must be extrapolated—therefore, like Russian losses, can only be rough estimates. If the Ukrainian KIA rate remained constant with the first official announcement and a slight downturn is factored in for decreased fighting over the last ten days, then, as of early April, Ukraine may have suffered approximately 3,100 KIA. Since Ukrainian military medical services can use nearby civilian medical infrastructure, a 1:3.5 ratio for killed-to-wounded could be assumed, which would mean Ukraine has had approximately 10,850 combat wounded. According to press reporting, Russia has given the International Red Cross information on 500 Ukrainian military prisoners.[11] In addition to prisoners of war, adding factors, such as illnesses, accidents, missing in action, and psychiatric casualties, would put total casualty figures for the Ukrainian military as of early April at approximately 16,000-18,000. This, too, is a substantial casualty rate for a modern army, but Ukraine is in a better position to mitigate these losses than Russia. Fighting on its own territory, Ukraine can more easily find replacements for its casualties due to its ability to mobilize citizens, including an informal reserve of nearly 400,000 veterans, who fought between 2014-2022 along the line of control in Donbas, into local territorial defense units.

Losses of Ukrainian military materiel are largely unknown due to operational security measures, but the website Oryx, as of April 6, reported that Ukraine has lost 94 tanks and 171 armored/infantry fighting vehicles and personnel carriers.[12] True losses are likely greater but have not affected the combat capabilities of the Ukrainian military, which is maximizing man-portable anti-air and anti-tank missiles against Russian forces as much as its armored and mechanized vehicles. However, for the Ukrainian military to transition from a defense utilizing small groups of soldiers and territorial reservists with hand-held weapons to a conventional combined arms offense, it will need to find a way to reconstitute its regular army infantry, armor, and artillery units. The side—Russia or Ukraine—which is the quickest to reconstitute its tactical units, may have the best chance to gain the initiative in the next phase of this war.

Logistics

Russia. Russia’s logistical system has been unable to fully support Russian operations and is unlikely to improve in the next several weeks. Russian soldiers have complained about a lack of materiel support and have looted stores for food, most likely less out of maliciousness and more out of self-preservation. No new Russian offensive will succeed if its troops are not resupplied, nor will plans to shell Ukrainian cities into submission succeed if sufficient munitions never reach the front.

Ukraine. Ukraine has three supply sources: domestic arms factories and stockpiles, international shipments, and captured Russian equipment and ordnance. This has been sufficient to maintain its army in the field. However, usage rates of anti-aircraft missiles and losses of aircraft are critical vulnerabilities as both are hard to replace. Suggestions and plans for providing alternative sources of these items have been made but not enacted.[13] The failure to do so will degrade Ukraine’s ability to defend itself from the air beyond short-range man-portable anti-air missiles. Also, the failure of the West to provide Ukraine with anti-ship missile systems leaves Ukraine’s remaining port of Odessa vulnerable to the threat of an amphibious assault and allows the Russian navy to continue to blockade Ukraine’s maritime commerce with impunity.

Meeting of the Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine, with foreign journalists, March 2, 2022. (Office of the President of Ukraine)

Information Operations and Morale

Russia. Russia has opted out of the information war to win over international public opinion, probably knowing it would never win sympathy for its Goliath fighting the Ukrainian David. Instead, Russia has concentrated its information operations on a more important center of gravity: domestic public opinion. To a degree, that strategy is working. Currently half of Russians support the war either actively or passively, and even Russian dissident Mikhail Khodorkovsky acknowledges an uptick in popular support for Putin due to patriotic impulses of a nation at war.[14] The “Z” symbol serving as an identity marker on many Russian vehicles in Ukraine has become a rallying sign for pro-war Russians.

However, there is a backlash against the war in part of Russian society. This may grow larger once sanctions further diminish Russia’s economy, especially consumer disposable income, and the scale of casualties becomes known. Various Russian cultural, educational, sports, and entertainment figures have come out against the war. Demonstrations have taken place in numerous cities throughout Russia with thousands detained.[15] Probably more unsettling for the Kremlin are the cracks showing in its normally tame mainstream media. On a pro-Kremlin prime time talk show, guests not only criticized the war in Ukraine saying it will be worse than the Soviet war in Afghanistan, but also complained about the war isolating Russia.[16] One Russian media figure, Marina Ovsyannikova, dramatically protested the war by disrupting a news program.

Putin has not taken a public-facing role to garner domestic support. Since his initial address to the nation on February 24, Putin rarely appears in public or speaks on television to rally support for the war. In two appearances, a televised meeting with regional governors and at a concert-rally celebrating the eighth anniversary of the annexation of Crimea, he castigated enemies, external and internal. Unlike during the Second Chechen War, he has not been seen decorating heroes or visiting soldiers at the front and the wounded in hospitals.

Just as domestic anti-war sentiment is visible despite recent draconian legislation to punish opposition to Russia’s “special military operation,” Russian soldiers in the field are also demonstrating that their morale is less than solid. There are reports of soldiers damaging vehicles to have an excuse to leave the battlefield, surrendering of their own free will, and otherwise expressing discontent, if not with the war, then at least with leadership and logistics.

It is difficult to determine objectively the overall morale of Russian soldiers on the front lines due to military censorship and Ukrainian control of the war narrative. However, there are some historical barometers that can provide some hints. In his study of German army fighting power in World War II, Martin van Creveld concluded that the average soldier’s will to fight was influenced by the belief that he was a member of a well-integrated, well-lead team whose structure, administration, and functioning were perceived to be equitable and just.[17] It is unlikely that the average Russian solider in Ukraine has much evidence that he is part of a well-integrated and well-lead team, and his morale probably reflects these circumstances.

Ukraine. Ukrainian information operations aim to mobilize domestic and international support while simultaneously attempting to undermine Russian military and civilian support for the war. Their methods will probably be studied for years to come. Some are very powerful, such as the Telegram channel Search for Your Own (Ищи Своих in Russian), which show either the faces of dead Russian soldiers or the videotapes of captured Russian soldiers speaking to their parents. Such pictures and videos are contrary to the Geneva Conventions, but, since they pale in comparison to Russia’s targeting of civilians, there has been limited international reaction to their use. Almost all videos of the war, as well as most press reporting, come from Ukrainian or Ukrainian-sympathetic sources, and it is Ukraine’s information that is shaping the world’s view of this war.

Zelensky, a former actor, has played a major role in Ukraine’s information operations. His charismatic leadership has galvanized world opinion and motivated Ukrainian resistance under extremely difficult circumstances. A Ukrainian poll in early March indicated that 67% of the population is willing to continue armed resistance, with 14% unwilling. Additionally, 79% reject accepting Moscow’s recognition of the breakaway Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples’ Republics, and 75% oppose Russia’s annexation of Crimea—two key Russian war demands.[18] A more recent poll showed that 93% of those questioned believed that Ukraine will repel Russia’s attack.[19]

Future Scenarios

Based on the above review of the war to date and factoring in trends regarding casualties, logistics, and morale, there are five possible paths forward for this war:

1. Russia defeats Ukraine. Victory would be defined by Ukraine accepting Russia’s maximalist demands, including recognition of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples’ Republics; possible surrender of other territory near Crimea; agreement never to join NATO or the EU; and limitations on the size of its military. For this to happen, the Ukrainian military would have to be decisively defeated on the battlefield, and Ukrainian national will would have to collapse. For that to happen, Russian military effectiveness would have to improve dramatically, and the war would need to continue until Russia could grind Ukraine’s military into defeat. This assumes Russia’s domestic situation remains calm, and its economy can support an extended war despite sanctions. Russian victory is possible, but numerous factors would have to line up in Russia’s favor and Ukraine’s disfavor.

What makes this scenario unlikely is Ukraine’s national will to resist. Breaking it would require a drastic change of circumstances on the battlefield. This is why some speculate that Putin may consider using a nuclear weapon, the “escalate to de-escalate” option. Putin may convince himself that the only path to victory is via an overwhelming psychological blow to Ukraine’s national will. Putin’s justification for such extreme action could be the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to force Japan to sue for peace and prevent horrific casualties from an invasion of its home islands. However horrible, this is an option if the Russian military is willing to carry out a nuclear strike command.

2. Russia declares victory and partly withdraws. If Russia cannot coerce Ukraine into meeting its maximalist demands but does not wish to negotiate and compromise, then it could declare that it had achieved the goals of the “special military operation” and withdraw troops back into Belarus, Russia, and those areas of Ukraine that it wishes to annex. These areas are most likely to be in southern Ukraine to connect Russia with Crimea (should Mariupol fall) or at least secure for Crimea’s access to fresh water from the Dnepr River. Since Ukraine would never agree to this annexation, a Russian declaration of victory and withdrawal to a fortified defense line would present Ukraine with a dilemma: accept a ceasefire under unfavorable conditions or continue the war. Putin could claim that Ukraine had been “punished” to put a positive spin on a disastrous campaign and serve as a warning to other states on Russia’s periphery of the damage that they will sustain if they ever violate Russia’s perceived security interests. This move might also prevent the destruction of the Russian army and avert domestic unrest that could threaten Putin’s hold on power.

3. Ukraine defeats Russia. A Ukrainian victory would be defined by a return to the status quo before February 24, without conditions that violated its sovereignty. This would require either a collapse of the Russian army in the field or a political agreement with Russia, most likely due to a change of government in Moscow, which then would withdraw its army to end international sanctions. In other words, this scenario requires a close repeat of Russian history in 1917. However, even in victory, Ukraine would face years of rebuilding and resettling its refugees and internally displaced persons, the costs for which seized Russian assets would hopefully help defray.

4. A Negotiated Settlement. Russia’s devastation of Ukraine’s cities, coupled with Ukraine’s devastation of Russia’s army and the effects of international sanctions, could lead both sides to a negotiated settlement. Zelensky no longer believes NATO membership is possible and has signaled that Ukraine is willing to compromise on this key Russian demand. The Kremlin recognizes that regime change is impossible and that it needs Zelensky’s credibility to get Ukrainians to agree to any compromises that give Russia a face-saving way out of this war. Both sides could continue to agree to disagree about the status of Crimea and the Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples’ Republics, which would then put negotiating positions close to the status quo ante bellum. From Moscow’s perspective, it could declare victory and announce to domestic audiences that Ukraine had “learned a lesson” and would never again threaten Donetsk and Luhansk. From Kyiv’s perspective, a negotiated settlement would allow Ukraine to rebuild and await favorable circumstances to regain territories lost in 2014.

 5. A War of Attrition. As horrible as it is, this war does not have to end soon if both countries have the will to continue to fight, if not to victory, then to avoid defeat. The front could stabilize with Russia’s military unable to advance and Ukraine unable to dislodge it. As the war continues, both the Russian and Ukrainian economies would suffer, and millions of refugees could remain in Europe. Like South Korea and South Vietnam before it, Ukraine would become the hot focus of a new Cold War.

Conclusion

The military theorist Clausewitz believed war was a contest of wills. He also believed in the concept of the center of gravity: “the characteristics, capabilities, or locations from which a military force derives its freedom of action, physical strength, or will to fight.” An argument can be made that the Ukrainian and Russian centers of gravity are found in their national leaders.[20] The winner of this war may be the leader, Zelensky or Putin, who most effectively galvanizes his country to fight and then manages the armed forces, and the logistics to sustain those forces, to achieve the nation’s war aims.

A definitive victory for one side would require a collapse of the army and domestic political will of the other side. Russia could declare victory and withdraw after annexing more Ukrainian territory and inflicting what it perceives as sufficient punishment on Kyiv. A negotiated settlement would reflect both the military realities on the ground and the political and economic realities inside each country. In Russia’s case, a negotiated settlement is unlikely to provide results that justify having gone to war. A long war of attrition, similar to the one between Egypt and Israel from 1967-1970, that left both countries with ruined economies, militaries, and societies, is possible. A peace agreement after such a war would most likely be reached as a result of mutual exhaustion and unlikely solve anything, except perhaps to provide a rest period before the next war.

Which scenario is most likely to occur? Russia faces a myriad of daunting tactical, logistical, manpower, and morale challenges in continuing the war, but it is not impossible for it to annex portions of Ukraine if its army and national will remain intact. However, under the best circumstances, what Russia would “win” would be an occupied population seething with resentment and offering years of resistance, a West united against Russia, and an economic future for Russia that is really no future. Russia’s only hope for “victory” is for Ukraine to become exhausted before it does, but even this type of victory would redefine the term “Pyrrhic.” More likely Russia will either see its invasion eventually repelled or will have to compromise at the negotiating table. Either event would cause seismic waves inside Russian society and body politic. That much of the canvas is clear after six weeks.

 


[1] Mykola Bielieskov, “Ukraine’s Strategy in Russian Invasion: similar to Finland’s Winter War,” Euromaidan Press, March 11, 2022, https://euromaidanpress.com/2022/03/11/ukraines-strategy-in-russian-invasion-is-similar-to-finlands-winter-war/.

[2] Olena Roshchina, “Росія прагне захопити Херсонську, Донецьку й Луганську області повністю – зведення Генштабу [Russia intends to completely seize Kherson, Donetsk, and Luhansk oblasts – General Staff summary],” Ukrainska Pravda, April 2, 2022, https://www.pravda.com/ua/news/2022/04/2/7336585.

[3] Reuters, “Russia says 498 of its soldiers killed, 1,597 wounded in Ukraine – RIA,” March 2, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/world/russia-says-498-of-its-soldiers-killed-1597-wounded-ukraine-ria-2022-03-02/; and Matthew Luxmoore, “Russia More Than Doubles Count of Its Troops Killed in Ukraine,” Wall Street Journal, March 25, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/russia-ukraine-latest-news-2022-03-25/card/russia-more-than-doubles-count-of-its-war-dead-to-1-351-troops-killed-in-ukraine-Db3WixxGFfHSIRnLbYPZ.

[4] Dan Lamothe and Ellen Nakashima, “Up to 4,000 Russian soldiers may have died in Ukraine, U.S. general says,” Washington Post, March 8, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2002/03/08/russian-military-deaths-ukraine/.

[5] Natasha Bertrand, Katie Bo Lillis, and Jeremy Herb, “Mounting Russian casualties in Ukraine lead to more questions about its military readiness,” CNN, March 18, 2022, https://edition.cnn.com/2022/03/17/europe/russian-casualties-ukraine-military-readiness/index.html; and Helene Cooper, Julian E. Barnes, and Eric Schmitt, “As Russian Troop Deaths Climb, Morale Becomes an Issue, Officials Say,” New York Times, March 17, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/16/us/politics/russia-troop-deaths.html.

[6] Daniel Michaels, “NATO: Up to 40,000 Russian Troops Killed, Wounded, Taken Prisoner or Missing in Ukraine,” Wall Street Journal, March 23, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/russia-ukraine-latest-news-2022-03-23/card/russia-lost-up-to-40-000-troops-in-ukraine-nato-estimates-xjZjWxinMDHzdeRZvAeD.

[7] There is no more complicated or controversial subject than trying to determine Soviet casualties during the Second World War/Great Patriotic War. In the best attempt for accuracy for this report, the killed-to-wounded ratio of 1:2.3 is determined from figures found in a 1993 Russian Ministry of Defense study prepared by General G.F. Krivosheev, which is not without its detractors because of disagreements over the losses of POWs and other categories separate from combat dead and wounded. The Krivosheev report specifies that during the Second World War, Soviet forces sustained 6,329,600 killed in action or died of wounds; 555,500 non-combat deaths (disease, accidents, etc.); and 14,685,593 wounded in action. Using these figures provides a killed-to-wounded ratio of 1:2.32. The percentage of non-combat deaths to killed in action is approximately 9%. Krivosheev’s report is at https://encyclopedia.mil.ru/encyclopedia/history/more[email protected] and an English translation is available at documents.theblackvault.com/documents/SovietLosses.pdf.

[8] Interfax-Ukraine, “There are currently 562 Russian prisoners of war in Ukraine – Vereschuk,” March 19, 2022, https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/815830.html.

[9] D.M. Giangreco, Hell to Pay: Operation Downfall and The Invasion of Japan, U.S. Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD, 2009, p. 4.

[10] Stijn Mitzer, “Attack on Europe: Documenting Equipment Losses During The 2022 Russian Invasion of Ukraine,” Oryx, https://www.oryxspioenkop.com/2022/02/attack-on-europe-documenting-equipment.html. Accessed April 6, 2022.

[11] Svitlana Kisilova, “РФ заявляє, що тримає в полоні 500 українців йvготова до обміну, але проосить менше “злоби” [Russia says it holds 500 Ukrainians captive and ready for exchange, but asks for less “malice”],” Ukrainska Pravda, March 21, 2022, https://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2022/03/21/7333410.

[12] Stijn Mitzer, “Attack on Europe: Documenting Equipment Losses During The 2022 Russian Invasion of Ukraine,” Oryx, https://www.oryxspioenkop.com/2022/02/attack-on-europe-documenting-equipment.html. Accessed April 6, 2022.

[13] Jeremy Herb, Kylie Atwood, Jennifer Hansler, and Oren Liebermann, “Pentagon says Polish proposal to transfer jets to US to give to Ukraine isn’t ‘tenable’,” CNN, March 8, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/08/politics/poland-jets-ukraine-russia/index.html.

[14] Kseniya Kirillova, “Putin Is Losing the War, but Russians Have Stockholm Syndrome,” Jamestown Foundation, Eurasia Daily Monitor, volume 19, no. 33, March 10, 2022, https://jamestown.org/program/putin-is-losing-the-war-but-russians-have-stockholm-syndrome/.

[15] Moscow Times, “Russia Detains Around 4,600 at Ukraine Conflict Protests,” March 7, 2022, https://www.moscowtimes.com/202/03/07/russia-detains-around-4600-at-ukraine-conflict-protests-a76797.

[16] Jack Wright and Chris Pleasance, “Russia learns the TRUTH: State TV DEFIES President Putin’s propaganda edict and broadcasts criticism of the war in Ukraine – with guests describing the shambolic invasion as “like Afghanistan, but even WORSE,” Daily Mail, March 11, 2022, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10600711/Ukraine-war-Guests-Russian-state-TV-invasion-like-Afghanistan-worse.html.

[17] Martin van Creveld, Fighting Power: German and U.S. Army Performance, 1939-1945, Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 1982, pp. 163-164.

[18] Miriam Berger, “A majority of Ukrainians support armed resistance and oppose concessions to Russia, poll finds,” Washington Post, March 10, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/03/10/ukraine-poll-majority-ukrainians-support-armed-resistance-oppose-concessions-russia-new-poll-finds/.

[19] EuroMaidan Press, “More Ukrainians support military alliance with UK & Poland than NATO accession, poll shows,” March 23, 2022, https://euromaidanpress.com/2022/03/23/more-ukrainians-support-military-alliance-with-uk-than-nato-accession-poll-shows/.

[20] This concept was first developed by Antulio Echevarria when he stated that the mind of the commander-in-chief was the American center of gravity in war. See, Tom Ricks, “Echevarria: The president’s mind is the true American center of gravity, plus why landpower is different, and more thoughts,” Foreign Policy, October 1, 2012, https://foreignpolicy.com/2012/10/01/echevarria-the-presidents-mind-is-the-true-american-center-of-gravity-plus-why-landpower-is-different-and-more-thoughts/.

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