The Russian Armed Forces, previously touted as one of the world’s largest and strongest armies, have suffered thousands of casualties in their campaign to invade Ukraine in what seems to be an underestimation of the Ukrainian People’s will to resist combined with an overestimation of the abilities of the Russian army. In the last two weeks of fighting, the Russians are suffering not just massive losses in troops and material but now their top field commanders as well. The demonstrated inability of the Russian army to conduct combined arms operations would seem to extend to even being able to provide security for their senior officers.

On paper, Russia had the largest advantage over Ukraine in every single category from size, military capability, and even gear. An imbalance was observed through the metrics prior to the Russian advance, and this still holds true (on paper). Russia has the world’s 5th biggest army with over 900,000 active personnel compared to Ukraine’s 200,000 troops; the Kremlin boasts over 12,420 tanks compared to Ukraine’s 2,596, and Russia has over 1,511 attack aircraft compared to Ukraine’s 98. This isn’t really surprising anymore as Ukraine only spends $5.9 billion on its military while Russia has spent over $61.7 billion.

With just those simple numbers, observers would think that Ukraine would have just been sitting ducks if Russia were to invade, but this does not seem so. Numbers alone do not erase the effects of bad doctrine. The Russian army marched into Ukraine understrength, with second-rate units in bad weather for armored formations to advance in.  As a result, their wheeled and tracked vehicles are bogged down in the mud(if you are wondering why there is a forty-mile-long convoy out there), and dependence on the road net is why they are forced to use five lines of advance into Ukraine, rather than tactical brilliance. Of course, the Ukrainians have had a tough, uphill battle as they have also lost troops and civilians to Russian shelling. They also lost the southern Ukrainian port city of Kherson 5 days ago, a strategic city vital to supplying Crimea with fresh water, which Ukraine cut off following the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014. It was previously responsible for 85% of the Peninsula’s water supply.

Russian Commanders Dying On The Frontlines

While the outnumbered Ukrainians are fighting very well against Russian troops the weather confining Russian units to the roads is putting the ducks in the barrel for them so to speak, and they have managed to kill three top Russian commanders in the last two weeks of fighting.

The first of the Russian commander casualties was Russian Commander Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky. He was the deputy commander of the 41st Combined Arms Army of the Central Military District and a direct appointee of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Previously, he served as the 7th Air Assault Division Commander of Russia’s airborne forces and has combat experience in Abkhazia, the North Caucasus, and Syria.