Ukraine Defense Minister Slams Russia Army 'Meat Grinder' Tactics
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Ukraine Defense Minister Slams Russia Army 'Meat Grinder' Tactics

Oct 09, 2023

Ukraine's minister of defense tore apart Russian President Vladimir Putin's war tactics, saying that his troops are failing because they're still a "big Soviet army."

Oleksii Reznikov discussed the topic in an interview with The Guardian published Thursday, saying that sheer numbers had proved less of an advantage than Russia expected.

He predicted that vast numbers of drafted Russians were being prepared for a new offensive in early 2023, but said his forces would be ready.

Reznikov cited Ukraine's nimble, hybrid tactics as the reason it could match even a larger and better-funded military like Russia's.

He also said well-trained troops, and new weapons from Western allies would help.

"If it was meat grinder against meat grinder, we would lose," he said in the interview.

"It was a mistake to perceive us as a small Soviet army [that] will fight a big Soviet army. Certainly, a big Soviet army would win and a small Soviet army would lose but we are not a Soviet army."

Russia's main tactic has involved throwing as many people into battle in the hope they would overwhelm the smaller Ukrainian force, experts told Newsweek.

Military analysts have noted that Russia's top-down, hierarchical military system makes it difficult for soldiers to adapt or take the initiative on the battlefield.

By contrast, Ukraine pushed to reform its ex-Soviet military to follow a more Western model where lower-level officers can make decisions and innovate.

An April profile from Politico of Ukraine's top general, Valeriy Zaluzhnyy, described how NATO countries helped reform the Ukrainian forces in the years before the war.

"The Ukrainians are able to stay nimble," a US defense official Politico, meaning they "can better adapt and react with initiative in a way that it could not before."

A spokesperson for Russia's Ministry of Defense did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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