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Video Above: Pentagon Sends Critical MLRS Multiple Launch Rocket Systems to Ukraine

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

In the early days of the war, Russian forces North of Kyiv were stuck in the mud, plagued by morale problems, low on supplies and decimated by Ukrainian anti-armor attacks and ambushes.

When it came to the Russian push Southward to capture Kyiv, it was a failure. This development shocked the world and shined light upon the fervor and tactical prowess of Ukrainian forces fighting to defend their homeland. 

Russia Ukraine War

During this initial siege, Russians not only had logistical problems and suffered devastating ambushes and hit-and-run attacks by Ukrainians, but were also suffering what could be called a morale crisis. There were countless anecdotal reports of Russian soldiers simply abandoning their vehicles and lacking the will to fight a war in which they could see little to no benefit.

FILE - A Donetsk People's Republic militia's multiple rocket launcher fires from its position not far from Panteleimonivka, in territory under the government of the Donetsk People's Republic, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, May 28, 2022. Day after day, Russia is pounding the Donbas region of Ukraine with relentless artillery and air raids, making slow but steady progress to seize the industrial heartland of its neighbor. With the conflict now in its fourth month, it’s a high-stakes campaign that could dictate the course of the entire war. (AP Photo/Alexei Alexandrov, file)

FILE - A Donetsk People's Republic militia's multiple rocket launcher fires from its position not far from Panteleimonivka, in territory under the government of the Donetsk People's Republic, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, May 28, 2022. Day after day, Russia is pounding the Donbas region of Ukraine with relentless artillery and air raids, making slow but steady progress to seize the industrial heartland of its neighbor. With the conflict now in its fourth month, it’s a high-stakes campaign that could dictate the course of the entire war. (AP Photo/Alexei Alexandrov, file)

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Following what could be called a debacle for Russian forces, there was much discussion about a repositioning of Russian forces and a strategic shift to focus on the Donbas region in Eastern Ukraine. Pentagon officials said Russian forces appeared to have learned lessons from their failures North of Kyiv and be in a much stronger, better prepared and more consolidated position to advance on Ukrainian forces in Eastern Ukraine. 

While the Ukrainian tenacity continued to be applauded by allies around the globe, many observers may have predicted that an overwhelmingly larger, heavy mechanized armored Russian force would advance successfully in Donbas.

However, Pentagon senior leaders say Russian progress in the Eastern portions of Ukraine is very slow, uneven and heavily challenged by Ukrainian defenders.

“So the Ukrainians are fighting a heroic fight. This fight down in the Donbas has been going on since 16 April, and the advances that the Russians have made have been very slow, a very tough slog, very severe battle of attrition, almost World-War-I-like, and the Russians have suffered a tremendous amount of casualties,”Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told an audience at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, at a Defense Contract Group involving many countries interested in protecting Ukraine.

Many leading US military experts make the point that Russia lacks proficiency when it comes to implementing Combined Arms Maneuver, yet the sheer amount of firepower available to the Russian military might lead one to assume that their attacking forces would ultimately prevail. However, questions remain and Pentagon leaders say Russian forces are experiencing some of the same problems they encountered at the beginning of the war prior to the repositioning to the East.

“They've got command-and-control issues, logistics issues. They've got morale issues, leadership issues and a wide variety of other issues,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told an audience at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, at a Defense Contract Group involving many countries interested in protecting Ukraine.

Kris Osborn is the President of Warrior Maven - Center for Military Modernization and the Defense Editor for the National Interest. 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