National Security

Ukraine Has The Home Field Advantage

The Russians are paying for it in blood.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

One of the reasons the Russians have fared so badly in Ukraine is the inherent advantages of defense. Fighting on their own terrain supported by their own people, Ukraine could actually pull this off. They could make the Russian army go home. Retired US Army Colonel Robert Maginnis tells us how.

Maginnis: Few anticipated the Ukraine war would last this long much less that Kyiv would push the massive Russian army back on its heels. However, that’s exactly what has happened, a modern example of the biblical story of the young David with a sling shot and a stone standing up against the armor-clad Philistine giant Goliath egging for a take-all fight.

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Could David defeat Goliath? Yes, it’s possible because Goliath was much too cocky and he underestimated the shepherd boy. Russia’s Vladimir Putin massed nearly 200,000 troops on Ukraine’s border calling for that nation’s capitulation, a winner takes all outcome. Ukraine ignored the giant’s arrogant challenges, stepped forward and proved itself far more capable than the Russians ever anticipated.

Even Putin’s top Chechen ally, Ramzan Kadyrov, has criticized the Russian effort, shouting the assault was “too slow” and was “fiddling” with Ukraine. Russian soldiers, said the brutal Chechen, “… are not effective,” and then he called on Putin to give “harsher orders.”

It is true that Putin’s war machine is unimpressive, starting with his flawed Ukraine campaign plan. His intelligence assumptions totally underestimated the Ukrainians, and his army wasn’t prepared. He fielded a force of poorly trained soldiers, virtually no air-to-ground capability, inadequate logistics and his equipment was not up to a fight with a determined, capable enemy. Those flaws virtually guaranteed a long, bloody quagmire.

These failures, on top of significant human and equipment losses, have forced Putin into reverting to what he did in Chechnya and Syria: a total destruction strategy. After all, taking Ukrainian cities like Kyiv, which he now surrounds, would require far more Russian soldiers because in city fighting, the defender has at least a five-fold advantage.

Thus, the tyrant is turning to his vast arsenal of long-range weapons to depopulate Ukrainian cities. That war of attrition ends only when either Putin no longer has the means or will to fight, or the Ukrainians can’t survive more destruction and killing.

The David-like Ukraine brought to this fight more than bravery and a sling shot. Ukrainians are determined and quite capable – fighting for their survival with a home-field advantage. They caught Putin’s army off-guard, and now they are extracting a heavy price on Moscow.

“We go out to hunt and destroy” Russians, said a Ukrainian special forces leader. The Russians “… certainly didn’t come here expecting that, expecting that we know how to fight.” Taking the fight to the Russians is effective, such as destroying Russian armor, a reported 93% kill rate.

At every corner Ukrainians meet Russians and refuse to give ground. “We’re in shock at how dumb their behavior is,” a Ukrainian soldier said of his enemy. “Now, we mostly focus on hitting their rear, their supply convoys, because if they don’t get fuel, they can’t do anything.” These attacks are Putin’s Achilles heel because at some point his army’s morale will vaporize and desertions will skyrocket…

Yes, underdog “David” can “win” Putin’s war albeit at the cost of thousands of lives, much of Ukraine’s infrastructure, and the advent of European tensions not seen since the end of the old Cold War.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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ABUTOM
ABUTOM
3 months ago

IT LOOKS LIKE UKRAINE IS USING THE SAME TACTICS THE RUSSIANS USED AGAINST NAPOLEAN AND HITLER. MY BIGGEST WORRY IS THE WEST WILL TRY TO SLOW DOWN UKRAINIAN PROGRESS TO APPEASE PUTIN THE GAS AND NUKE MAN.
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