, 2023-01-17 19:03:26,
Fresh threats of a major military offensive and the use of mercenaries, many recruited in Russia’s jails, are unlikely to bring victory to Vladimir Putin a year after his invasion of Ukraine, says retired Australian Army major general Mick Ryan.
Ryan tells The Strategist that it’s clear Russia wants to launch a major offensive in Ukraine—but there’s less evidence that it can carry out such a campaign. ‘We need to temper our expectations. Size does not imply quality or capability about the Russians.’
Russia has moved trains full of old tanks into the pro-Moscow nation of Belarus, north of Ukraine, but that doesn’t mean it will invade from there, says Ryan. ‘It’s evidence that the Russians are conducting a deception campaign to draw more Ukrainian forces to the border.’
Putin’s mobilisation of men for his war in Ukraine would give Russia some capacity to undertake offensive operations, he says, ‘but it does not give you the ability to do the complex planning and orchestration and execution of large-scale military offensives. So they will be able to undertake some offensive activities in a couple of locations concurrently, maybe. But I think the expectation that the Russians have now built this big army of mobilised troops is just not reality.’
However, Putin is clearly putting a lot of pressure on his military commanders to launch a major offensive, says Ryan. ‘Putin has no military knowledge, as has been very clear over the last year, and he…
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