The 2022 Russian Invasion and Ukraine Defence: A Black Day Scenario
A ‘Black Day’ in European military culture is historically associated with a day on which the Army suffers its worse number of casualties. In the war so far, public information at the time of this analysis has identified that Russian military losses have been substantial. Substantial losses during an invasion are to be expected: defenders classically have the advantage of setting up continuous killing grounds that an advancing force is compelled to cross. The other military problem faced by an invader: the deeper they penetrate an opponent’s territory, the more their security from attack dramatically decreases. The defender is forced to shift from maintaining a border to two modes of operations:
- Blunting Action: The advance column is road-blocked. This can be maintained as a static defence of a large terrain obstacle such as a city or built-up area. It can also be a fighting withdrawal, where bridges and lines of transport are destroyed, or torn up to slow the enemy’s advance.
- Interposing Tactics: This is where the defending force begins to transform into increasingly smaller units and individuals and combine with local civil-militia resistance fighters. The new forces saturate through the enemy-occupied area, attacking and destroying isolated soldiers, equipment, or supply columns.
- Historically, War in Europe has Specific Tactics: In the current Russo-Ukrainian Conflict, the evacuation of large numbers of women, children, and family to the Polish border, while persons (male and female) stay behind to fight if capable (or more fighting forces coming from outside Ukraine) has (historically speaking) been a traditional way of war in Europe. It largely points to a strategy where all-out attacks (suicide where necessary) are made feasible to kill or destroy as many Russian soldiers and vehicles as possible; and (as rapidly as possible) creating a Black Day scenario for the Russian military. The removal of civilian soft targets (that would be susceptible to Russian reprisals and punishments) grants Ukrainian forces greater latitude of action against the Russians.
OODA Network Member Chris Flaherty provided further expert analysis.
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