Indian military studying Ukraine war, to draw tactical lessons | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Indian military studying Ukraine war, to draw tactical lessons from Russian offensive

Apr 13, 2022 01:12 PM IST

With Russian Army estimated to have lost nearly 476 tanks in Ukraine war, the Indian Army will also have to revise its tactics in the era of shoulder-fired anti-tank missiles and stand-off weapons.

New Delhi: The national security planners have asked the Service Headquarters to study the Russian offensive into Ukraine and draw tactical lessons from the brutal war that has now stretched into seven weeks.

Destroyed Russian Tanks in Ukraine.
Destroyed Russian Tanks in Ukraine.

While former Indian Army commanders told Hindustan Times that two out of three diplomatic objectives have been achieved by Russian President Vladimir Putin's offensive into Ukraine, the cost of the war may turn out to be too high for Moscow in the long run. The Russian objective of Ukraine not joining NATO and securing US guarantees for the same has been achieved with Ukraine recognition of the Donbas region in eastern part of the country still work in progress.

Lt Gen Subrata Saha, former 15 Corps Commander and National Security Advisory Board member, assessed that the Russian war of attrition was going as per Putin’s plans, but questions were being raised about the morale of the Russian conscript army and its logistical issues. “There appears to be an issue of command and control as the Russian army has been losing senior commanders in the war, but the offensive seems to be relentless and in pursuance of Putin’s military objectives,” said Gen (Retd)Saha, who has also worked as Additional DGMO of Indian Army.

While Saha feels the Russian offensive remains strong, a former Indian Army Chief on condition of anonymity told Hindustan Times that there were serious problems with the Russian offensive and poses serious questions on capability and commitment of a conscript army. “War videos available show that the Russian Army has tactical issues in Ukraine war. Tell me, which tank formation goes to war in a single file without air or infantry cover when the opponent is equipped with the best anti-tank guided missile like Javelin or Turkish Bayraktar TB2 missile firing drones? There is question on Russian air supremacy with Ukraine Army armed with shoulder fired Stinger surface to air missiles as well as the night fighting capability of the Russian Air Force,” said a former Army Chief.

Given that the battle is between Russian Goliath and Ukrainian David, the Red Army has not been able to capture Kyviv and has now focused on Donbas region in Eastern Ukraine to declare victory and end the special military operation. The Russian Army has taken down the Ukrainian air defenses and has followed the scorched earth policy, but the real military objective of a regime change in Kyiv has not taken place with only innocents getting killed and property destroyed.

Although the Russian offensive using surface to surface ballistic missiles have rained destruction on Ukraine rendering people homeless, the economic cost of the war including western sanctions will lead to double digit constriction of Putin’s economy this year.

While the European Union led by Germany has imported USD 99 billion worth of energy imports from Russian in 2019-2021 and continues to help Moscow reap the windfall of increased prices of oil, gas, and grain, the Red Army will face a challenge in rotating its troops as the tour of duty goes beyond two months. However, in the short term, the Russian offensive will be funded by high crude oil price because of which Moscow has earned nearly USD 10 billion in sales during April alone.

With Russian Army estimated to have lost nearly 476 tanks in Ukraine war, the Indian Army will also have to revise its tactics in the era of shoulder-fired anti-tank missiles and stand-off weapons. The Indian Army relies on Russian tanks, artillery, rockets, and ammunition with Russian Su-30 MKI forming the backbone of Indian Air Force. The Ukraine war really shows that the era of low-tech war as waged in World War II is over as it only leads into long war of attrition with no clear cut winners and only innocents getting killed.

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