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.