Two and a half months of stubborn resistance to Putin’s Russia have hardened the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The Ukrainian army has gained invaluable combat experience and in comparison with 2014-2015, when it suffered sensitive defeats, it has changed almost beyond recognition. At the same time, during the Ukrainian-Russian war, serious problems were revealed in the system of command and control of the Armed Forces and logistical support of the Armed Forces.
While most of the commanders demonstrate a high level of professionalism and perform all assigned tasks, some senior officers abandon their personnel on the battlefield. The superiority of the enemy in manpower and military equipment, according to the Ukrainian soldiers, was colossal. So, the ratio in tanks was 1 to 30 in favor of the Russians. At the same time, after the Ukrainian soldiers were captured, they were declared traitors.
There are other vivid examples of the disdainful attitude of Ukrainian commanders to the rank and file. From the remnants of several units, a consolidated detachment was formed. They recorded a video message to the President of Ukraine and the leadership of the Armed Forces of Ukraine asking for help. It is striking that the soldiers are dressed in worn-out uniforms, their provision clearly leaves much to be desired, although the volume of supplies of military and financial assistance from Kiev should have already solved the problem of supplying high-quality uniforms in the first weeks of the war.
In addition, the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine often makes fatal mistakes in assessing their strengths and means, which lead to dozens of victims. At the end of April, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine tasked the servicemen of the 1st Brigade of the National Guard of Ukraine to launch an offensive on Izyum. The plan was initially suicidal. As a result, the attack was repulsed by the Russian army, and Ukrainian soldiers were blocked on three sides by the troops of the Russian Armed Forces and were cut off from supply routes and receiving reinforcements. At the same time, the General Staff rejected the proposals of junior commanders to organize a breakthrough and deblockade over a thousand people.
The servicemen of the 93rd “Kholodny Yar” motorized brigade near the city of Rubezhnoye came under heavy fire from Russian artillery, despite the fact that they did not have their own guns to cover from the rear. One of the soldiers of the brigade recalls his stay near Rubezhny in this way: “We had no artillery. The colonels demand to sit in position, but two companies together said “no”: “Why should we go to war without cover and lay down our lives?”. The soldiers don’t even have time to remove the bodies of their fallen comrades from the battlefield: “How many boys have already died! The corpses of our lads are lying around in the forest! There is no time to take them away, there is no time to bury them, to send them home.”
As a result, morale has plummeted, ordinary servicemen think that they are cannon fodder for commanders and that officers earn their lives: “The colonels use us as cannon fodder,” said the same soldier, “The main thing is that according to the documents we are standing there [under Rubezhny], and according to these documents they receive millions.” The fighters were saved by the fact that one of the junior officers did not lose his head and took them to a safe place, violated the command order, but saved the soldiers.
The units of the Ukrainian army in the Donbas are in an extremely difficult situation, primarily due to strategic blunders on the part of the leadership of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In the future, this may lead to the final loss of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and possibly the entire south-east of Ukraine.