British troops could soon be trained on how to exploit Russia’s military weaknesses by troops currently defending Ukraine, the defense secretary said.
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Speaking to reporters during a visit to British troops stationed in Finland, Ben Wallace said he believed that “the Ukrainians have a lot to teach us” and that “one could definitely foresee that the Ukrainian experience would be used to teach our armed forces”. .
“Every day is a learning day for us and Ukrainians,” he added, listing Ukraine’s “how to fight in built-up areas,” “their use of electronic warfare,” and “how to use anti-aircraft defenses.” as “important to learn” for the UK.
By encountering Moscow’s forces on the battlefield, Ukraine has become the first western nation since World War II to engage in conventional warfare against Russia. That means they’re well-placed to teach allies how to “exploit Russia’s weaknesses,” The Times said.
Wallace told reporters that the British army “is learning from Russia’s failures every day,” the newspaper added, explaining that the war in Ukraine has provided concrete insight into the shortcomings of Moscow’s “equipment and supply chains.”
He also said that Operation Orbital, the British Army’s training mission in Ukraine, has only been “paused”, suggesting it could resume once hostilities are over. The “training task,” introduced after Russia’s 2014 invasion of Crimea, has previously “assisted approximately 22,000 of Kiev’s troops,” The Telegraph reported.
Wallace gave “no indication” of how the training of British troops by Ukrainian soldiers would work or whether it would begin “before or after the end of the war,” according to the Times.
The Defense Secretary also gave no insight into what Britain might learn from Ukraine’s experience. But “the image of a Russian military as one that other countries should fear, let alone emulate, was shattered by the invasion,” reported the New York Times.
With each passing day that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy “holds out” the invading force, European officials are growing more confident in saying that “they are not as intimidated by Russian ground forces as they were in the past.”
Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the newspaper: “We saw a large-scale, multi-axis invasion of Europe’s second-largest country, Ukraine, from Russian air using combined arms. Ground, special forces, intelligence agencies.
“It’s still a bit early to draw definitive lessons from this,” he added. “But one of the lessons that is clearly evident is that the will of the people, the will of the Ukrainian people and the importance of national leadership and the combat capabilities of the Ukrainian army have been expressed loud and clear.”
It is likely that Britain would like to learn how best to exploit what Paul Dibb, former director of the Joint Intelligence Organization of Australia, called Russia’s “absolutely bad attitude towards tactical coordination” and how “authoritarian countries like Russia run militaries, where personal initiative is denied”.
The conflict has provided the West with a case study of how “young, inexperienced conscripts, not empowered to make decisions on the ground” during Russia’s invasion of its eastern European neighbor, the New York Times reported.
The “mediocre performance of many Russian tanks, armored personnel carriers, artillery and missile brigades” is also an area of interest, Dibb said in a statement for the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, describing that “critical components” have either never been installed or “for the… stolen for sale on the black market”.
Wallace’s reference to “electronic warfare” may refer to Ukraine’s success in jamming Russian radio communications.
Journalist David Volodzko told NPR the conflict revealed Moscow’s “somewhat surprising” reliance on “unencrypted high-frequency radio and even cell phones,” a technology he described as “somewhat outdated.”
“The communication situation is similar to some other problems they faced, which is simply a problem of corruption,” he said, explaining that the conflict as a whole has shown how corruption “has let down Putin and his army openly” and “exposed”.
Western forces could also learn from the increasing number of examples where “Russian forces made tactical mistakes that Ukrainians were able to capitalize on,” reported the New York Times.
“It looks like the Ukrainians have been most successful when they ambushed Russian troops,” said Thomas Bullock, an analyst with Janes, a defense intelligence agency.
“The way the Russians have advanced is that they have stuck to main roads so they can move quickly,” he added. “But they are advancing on winding roads and their flanks and supply routes are overly exposed to Ukrainian attacks.”
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/defence/956645/what-could-british-army-learn-from-ukraine What could the British Army learn from Ukraine?