1- In what is termed as largest military campaign since World War II , Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022. The attack marked a steep escalation of the Russo- Ukrainian War which began in 2014, in which Russia had annexed Crimea and Russian backed separatists seized part of the south- eastern Donbas region of Ukraine.In 2021,Russia began a large military build up along its border with Ukraine amassing up to 190,000 troops with tanks and arsenal .On 21 February 2022, Russia recognized the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic, two self proclaimed states in Donbas controlled by pro- Russian elements. The invasion began on the morning of 24 February when Russian President Putin announced a special military operations to” demilitarize and denazify” Ukraine. In the ensuing attacks massive missiles and air strikes were launched all across Ukraine , including its capital Kyiv, followed by large scale ground invasion from multiple directions . In response Ukrainian President Zelensky enacted martial law and general mobilization while conscripting all male Ukrainian citizens in age bracket 16-60 for military service.
- At the start of the invasion, the northern front was launched out of Belarus, targeting Kyiv with a northeastern front directed at the city of Kharkiv; the southeastern front in two prongs was directed at the cities of Luhansk and Donbas. By middle April progress on southeastern front appeared to be impeded by the residual troops continuing to hold out in pockets . On 19 April Russia launched a renewed invasion referred to as an “ eastern assault” across a 300 miles front extending from Kharkiv to Donetsk and Luhansk, with simultaneous missile attacks again directed at Kyiv. In almost 70 days of the commencement of attack by Russia, the stipulated political and military objectives remain un achieved .
- The invasion has been widely condemned internationally as an act of aggression. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution demanding a full withdrawal of the Russian forces . The US and many European countries have imposed new sanctions on Russia which have affected its economy in particular the energy exports. It has caused Europe’s largest refugee crisis, with more than 5.3 Million Ukrainians leaving the country and a quarter of the population displaced . Another serious implication of the Ukrainian war is the likely food shortages not only in Europe but the world over by non availability of Ukrainian and Russian wheat . The war has all the potentials of escalating into a ballistic and nuclear Russian President has repeatedly warned that any country trying to intervene in the Ukraine war will face a “ lightening fast response “.
- A dispassionate analyses of the Russian campaign plan would reveal many violations of the centuries old principles of war and strategy .The attack on Ukraine being launched after many months of preparations and from secure bases was expected to be juggernaut of the Russian might in the form of a swift and short campaign. The later manifestation proves other wise . The slow pace of progress is primarily due to three factors vis; divergent fronts spread over long distances and treacherous terrain, conscript Russian Army with little motivation for overwhelming Ukraine fighting with out dated vintage arms and equipment and unexpected resistance and resilience by the Ukrainian troops and people in fight for the Motherland. A due analysis of the world response to any act of aggression on such a large scale should have indicated to the Russian military planners a short and swift campaign with limited objectives . Contrarily the objectives selected were dispersed causing frittering away of Russian war efforts and creating a nightmare of logistic supplies to the fighting troops . In my reckoning, Putin should have gone for the liberation of eastern region of Donbas which had announced their independence and which could have received some moral justification . This should have been simultaneous with a large airborne attack on capital Kyiv to tackle Ukrainian centre of power and gravity . A regime change to pro- Russian political figure could have transformed Ukrainian resistance and will to oppose the Russians. There appeared no linkages between stated political objectives and the military campaign plan . A seizure of a large berth Ukrainian port in initial days was also a logistic prerequisite to sustain such large scale ground operations but did not figure out in initial attack plans. In midstream , Russia reorganized the command of its flagging offensive on 23 April selecting General Aleksandr V Dvornikov, accused of ordering strikes on civilians in Syria. The pace of Russian operations and the resilience displayed by the Ukrainians as a Nation aided by the supply of arms and equipment by the Europeans and US does not portray an immediate end to the war. The prolongation will have grave impacts on world economies , energy and food supplies and power equilibriums. The catastrophic possibility of a nuclear holocaust in the event of an extreme Russian frustration though a distinct possibility but can not be ruled out !