Proving Stalin’s Point

Uncle Joe Stalin once said, “Quantity is its own quality.” The war in Ukraine may be proving his point. During the recent battle of Avdiyevka, Russian ground forces lay back while Russian Aerospace Forces dropped one hundred glide bombs a day on Ukraine Armed Forces (AFU) positions. Avdiyevka was likely the most heavily fortified position in eastern Ukraine, having been built up since 2015. These precision-guided weapons of 500 and 1500 kilograms annihilated Ukrainian fortifications. The result was a devastating defeat for the AFU.

During 2023, the Russians followed a similar strategy, at times dropping 20 FAB-500 UMPK glide bombs a day. UMPK stands for Unifitsirovannyi Modul Planirovaniya i Korrektsii, meaning unified gliding and correction module. The weapon has a range of 45 miles and costs $25,000 each. The heavier FAB-1500 has a range of 25 miles (Ranges source: Forces News).

The Russians are reinforcing success. While Russia has always enjoyed an advantage (at times as high as 10:1) in artillery, 152mm howitzer shells do not pack as much destructive power as 500kg and 3000kg bombs. The bombs are much better at destroying fortifications.

Russian FAB
Russian FAB-500 Glide Bomb