17 March 2022

Russia Ukraine Conundrum

Maj Gen PK Mallick, VSM (Retd)

… Biden said that President Vladimir Putin “has never seen sanctions like the ones I promised will be imposed if he moves”... “If they actually do what they’re capable of doing with the forces amassed on the border, it is going to be a disaster for Russia if they further invade Ukraine, and that our allies and partners are ready to impose severe costs and significant harm on Russia and the Russian economy…” as of end February 2022, all these conjectures had been thrown in the wind. The invasion is underway. Times are extremely critical and the attention of the whole world will be on Ukraine …

Russia-Ukraine crisis: Likely insurgency in Ukraine

Maj Gen PK Mallick, VSM(Retd)

Vladimir Putin has never lost a war. Over his two decades in power, during past conflicts in Chechnya, Georgia, Syria and Crimea, Putin succeeded by giving his armed forces clear and achievable military objectives that allowed him to declare victory. Will his latest initiative in Ukraine be any different? We will see.

Putin’s motivations in starting this war may become more evident in the coming days as Russia continues its offensive. But if his aims are redrawing borders or toppling the current government after quickly taking over Kyiv and asserting control over the eastern half of the country, the risk of a prolonged insurgency, supported by the West, would always remain. The Russians may have calculated that occupation is manageable. It is also not certain that regular Ukrainians are prepared to go for the insurgency, and a flat country doesn’t lend itself to guerrilla tactics. However, Guerrilla forces can cause havoc along the supply lines that will provide the logistic needs of an occupying force.

16 March 2022

OSINT accurately predicted Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But what is Kremlin’s end state?

Maj Gen PK Mallick, VSM(Retd)

In any military campaign, surprise and deception are always very crucial factors. Due to the continuous satellite coverage and Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) resources, knowledge of Russia’s concepts of operation, the familiarity of terrain features etc. has made defence analysts like Seth Jones of CSIS envisage accurately Russia’s like courses of actions. This includes how the operations would unfold with a full-scale Russian offensive employing land, air, and sea power on all axes of attack. It was foreseen that Russia would establish air and naval superiority. Some Russian ground forces would then advance toward Kharkiv and Sumy in the northeast and others now based in Crimea and the Donbas would advance from the south and east, respectively. Russian forces in Belarus could directly threaten Kyiv, and these forces could move on Kyiv to hasten the Ukrainian government’s capitulation.

Ukraine-Russia Conflict: Putin’s likely courses of action

Maj Gen PK Mallick, VSM, (Retd)

Russian air and land forces are pressing into Ukraine from three sides. The three-way Russian advance is being contested but moving ahead. A US senior defence official told reporters in Washington on Thursday, “It is likely that you will see this unfold in multiple phases. How many, how long, we don’t know. But what we are seeing are initial phases of a large-scale invasion. Thus far, we have seen an advance on what are essentially three main axes of assault. One is northward from Crimea toward Kherson; another southward basically from Belarus to Kyiv; and the third from Belarus southwest toward Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. These three axes are what we believe, clearly designed to take key population centers. I’m saying they’re making a move on Kyiv…They have every intention of decapitating the government and installing their own method of governance. We see the heaviest fighting in and around Kharkiv, right now

War in Ukraine – It is Conventional war & not Hybrid or Gray

Maj Gen PK Mallick, VSM, (Retd)

Russian forces began a large-scale invasion of Ukraine early on Thursday morning local time as Vladimir Putin announced the start of a “special military operation.” This closed several months of speculation and debate over the purpose of Moscow’s military build-up. However, it is easier to start wars than to end them. Once begun, their course and consequences are impossible to predict. As they say no plan survives the first shot fired in anger. It is not clear what the end state Russia wants after the military operations.

Russia – Ukraine Crisis: As West race to prevent war, why Putin will not allow Kiev to join NATO

Maj Gen PK Mallick, VSM (Retd)

Drumbeats of war were being sounded for some time in Ukraine Russian border with an estimated 150,000 Russian troops massed on three sides of Ukraine. Hectic diplomatic parleys were going on. There were speculations that action may start after the end of Winter Olympic games. Saturday’s statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin ordering forces into separatist regions of eastern Ukraine may well have been a beginning of some military action. Putin said,“I consider it necessary to take a long-overdue decision: To immediately recognize the independence and sovereignty of Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic.” Putin’s recognition of the Donetsk and Luhansk rebel regions’ independence paves the way for the long-feared Russian invasion and effectively shatters the Minsk peace agreements.