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Video Above: Russia Attacks Ukraine - Infantry Commander Analyzes Russian Tactics & Weapons

By Kris Osborn - President & Editor-In-Chief, Warrior Maven

The Russian assault on Ukraine seems to be aligning with what could be described as somewhat of a modern “formula” or “paradigm” for warfare unfolding is a specific series of sequential steps intended to fortify, advance and build upon one another. 

Russian Air Attack

Thus far, reports on the attack seem to indicate what could be described as somewhat of a surprising difference, because there has been no mention of Russian air attacks or fighter jets. This of course does not mean they are not being used or will not emerge, yet air-strikes intended to knock out air defenses to open a “corridor” for follow on air attacks are thought of as a fairly standard warfare approach as ground forces prepare to attack.

So far, available information seems to suggest that most Russian weapons are likely being fired from the ground, although the Pentagon is reporting some attacks have come from the air. Initial reports say Russian missiles have struck Ukrainian military targets, airports, force positions, military infrastructure, transportation facilities, moves often seen as a first step to cripple an enemy’s ability to maneuver, communicate or supply its defensive forces. 

Su-57

A Sukhoi Su-27 takes off from Starokostiantyniv Air Base, Ukraine. [File Photo: U.S. Air National Guard by Tech. Sgt. Charles Vaughn]

Larger ground vehicle, infantry and armored unit assaults would typically be used as a follow on to long-range missile and rocket strikes intended to knock out or “soften” defensive positions from stand-off ranges. 

A Pentagon report on the Russian attacks did identify some of the key Ukrainian targets hit by cruise missile strikes. 

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“Russia has launched at least 160 short-range, medium-range and cruise missiles into Ukraine from land, sea and air, the official said, and more Russian troops have entered Ukraine. The missiles are aimed at military bases and airfields around Kharkiv and Kyiv. Again, there is no way to verify how accurate they are or what casualties they are causing,” the report said. 

The Russian attacks up until this point appear to be limited in scope and targeted, meaning specific to military targets, air fields and supply facilities, perhaps as part of an effort to leave the cities themselves and much of the basic infrastructure intact. This may also be part of a decided effort to limit civilian deaths and take over Ukraine without having to kill large numbers of Ukranians 

However, the Pentagon report said that “Ukrainian units are fighting the Russian invasion,” but indicated that there was no way to “categorize” the nature of the resistance. At the same time, Ukrainian forces might have reason to pause before taking up house-to-house Close Quarter Battle with Russian infantry, in part due to a simple numbers imbalance. 

Ukraine & Russia Active Duty Military

Ukraine Troops

Ukrainian servicemen sit atop armored personnel carriers driving on a road in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday announced a military operation in Ukraine and warned other countries that any attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to "consequences you have never seen." (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Global Firepower reports that Ukraine operates roughly 200,000 active duty military forces, less than one-fourth of Russia’s 850,000 Army. Despite this numerical imbalance, large-scale infantry confrontation may soon unfold as Russian units seeks to close in upon and take over the Ukrainian capital and other major cities. These kinds of engagements, should they unfold in a serious way, could be catastrophic to Ukraine’s urban infrastructure and civilian population. 

Video Above: What will Russia's Attack on Ukraine Look Like?

Kris Osborn is the defense editor for the National Interest and President of Warrior Maven - the Center for Military Modernization. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army—Acquisition, Logistics & Technology. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at national TV networks. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also has a Masters Degree in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven President

Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven President, Center for Military Modernization