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Historian: Russian army far behind Ukraine's in military technology terms

Igor Kopõtin.
Igor Kopõtin. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Russia has fallen behind Ukraine in terms of military equipment used and their much-touted supremacy has been so much hot air, military historian Igor Kopõtin said on the "Esimene stuudio" talk show.

"The Russian army has fallen a long way behind the Ukrainians in military technology terms. The latter have technical supremacy today. We will see to what extent they will succeed in making it work for them," Kopõtin said.

The historian suggested that many Western experts also fell for Russia's military prowess bluff at first.

"Talk of their superb military technology turned out to be so much hot air. Many Western analysts have been duped by Russia's touting of its military hardware. We see now that it is a myth. That the tiger is made of paper," he said.

Kopõtin also suggested that the Ukrainian side is benefiting from the Russians having returned to their former tactical doctrine, which makes them predictable.

He said that Russian forces have behaved like in previous wars since the invasion started, which suggests they were not prepared for a full-scale war and believed the so-called military operation would be enough. The war has lasted for over 400 days by now.

"It was done in Afghanistan in 1979. A landing, special forces tried to eliminate the country's leaders and storm key military strategic objects, which was hoped would be enough to win the war. It was the same in Czechoslovakia in 1968, and to some extent also with the 1956 events in Hungary. I believe that the Russian army was not prepared for a major war. Reforms made in the early 1990s basically abandoned major operations."

"This also shows that Russia's military operation was based on a strategic miscalculation. They hoped Ukraine had been softened up by diversion tactics and information operations and that a short military excursion would be enough to gain control of the whole of Ukraine," Kopõtin said.

The historian suggested that Russia has also switched to a mixed military structure, like NATO countries, with operative-tactical groups formed based on their mission.

"They have all but abandoned those elements of operations that were used in World War II, such as division, corps, army. Te forces Russia has thrown at Ukraine have not been enough to achieve a military victory to conquer and control the entire country," Kopõtin said.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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