Why is Ukraine winning despite Russia's many-fold superiority in weaponry and our managerial disarray? And why can our victories turn into defeat?
At the front, it is easy to see the secret of Ukraine's victories over the "second army of the world." In Bakhmut, I met with the fighters of the 205th Kyiv battalion of the Terrorist Defense Forces, who fought continuously for two months in contact battles at a distance of 10-20 meters with Russian assault groups, and held their positions, and despite significant losses, retained their combat capability.
So, in the trenches with machine guns and grenades were two highly qualified programmers, one of them from EPAM, an electronic engineer with many years of highly qualified experience, the owner of a car service station with thirty years of experience, an electrician with two decades of experience from a construction company in the capital. These are all extremely scarce and important specialties for modern warfare, but here they fight in trenches with weapons and tactics from the 1940s. The platoon commander is a chef at a Michelin-rated restaurant in Poland, whose entire family has long lived in Europe, and who returned on February 25 to defend Ukraine. The transportation is provided by the owner of a transportation company who had his own trucks. The company commander is a well-known press secretary in politics, a deeply intelligent man. He posted these interviews on Youtube.
My first thought was what an invincible country we are, where the real elite of the nation, who have high-paying jobs and the opportunity to settle abroad, take an ordinary Kalashnikov and fight to the last with the Russian marginalized trash that Putin sent to war. This is the main secret of our victories, because the enemy does not have anywhere near this quality of human resources.
The second opinion is that we are probably the richest country in the world, because we have adults going into battle as ordinary infantrymen, whose training and education took decades of hard work, and whose qualifications cost hundreds of thousands of dollars on the market.
The third opinion is that modern warfare is waged by technology, and each of these infantrymen, if used according to their specialty at the front, could kill enemies much more and risk much less - because there is an urgent need to set up sensors, drones, control systems, aiming, and repair equipment to kill the enemy from longer distances with long-range precision weapons.
And the fourth thought. We are undoubtedly winning the war for the country. But the fact that we continue to misuse people, do not use our advantage in intelligence, culture, qualifications, motivation of our people, the fact that we are trying to wage a war of the 21st century according to the Soviet models of the Second World War is a defeat for the Ukrainian nation. Yes, it is a defeat, because these are losses that can never be restored.
What should we do?
No, I don't mean that let's let others die in the trenches instead of them - I mean that if you use people in the war according to their qualifications, you can inflict many times more losses on the enemy and many times less losses on Ukrainians. One day we will be sent weapons, one day we will learn how to make them ourselves, but we will never be sent programmers, car technicians, electricians, engineers with leadership skills and incredible patriotism.
The war has changed, and both generals and politicians who lead the military need to realize this. But this realization is lacking.
We have to use people in the war to create a technological advantage, to ensure that every infantryman on the front line is provided with drone vision, thermal imaging, stable communications, a tablet with tactical situation, and is supported by high-precision shots from all available weapons systems from maximum distances. So that we do not try to seek an advantage in the number of soldiers with Kalashnikovs, tanks and guns, as in the 40s of the 20th century, but that our advantage is in the number and quality of sensors, electronic intelligence, automated control systems, military equipment, engineering vehicles, logistics, and the accuracy of the destruction. It is not heroism that wins the day, but professionalism and the ability to use modern machines instead of people in the battlefield.
Victory for Ukraine means saving lives. To do this, we need to immediately create a modern doctrine of warfare, modern defense planning, based on technology, based on intelligence, to save lives and win not in words but in deeds.
Yuriy Butusov, editor-in-chief in censor.net, war correspondent and the true patriot of Ukrainerussia ukraine war ukraine front lines