Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Russian friendly fire prosecutions

A variety of trials have been conducted by Russian military authorities as a result of friendly fire and other mishaps in the Russo-Ukrainian War, according to this Important Stories article. The article surveys a variety of incident types that have led to prosecutions. Broader issues are also examined. Excerpt:

Military experts interviewed by Important Stories say it is impossible to estimate the share of losses at the hands of fellow soldiers in the total number of losses of the Russian army during the war, but some of them are sure that it exceeds the global conventional norm and is growing compared to the share of such losses in the first months of the war. 

“At the very beginning of the full-scale invasion, there were fewer casualties from friendly fire in the Russian army than [appears] now,” says Ukrainian military expert Oleksandr Kovalenko. “At the very beginning, you could talk about the average global value [of such losses], but today it is higher.” 

Two factors have contributed to the increase in such losses of the Russian army in recent months, Kovalenko says: “The first is the quality of command and control and communication between forward units and the rear. During the Russian offensive in February and March, command and control was carried out at a more or less acceptable level. But today the effectiveness of this system is significantly undermined due to the destruction of a large number of [Russian] command and control centers. Now the Russian command is forced to place command and control at a distance of up to 30 kilometers from the line of contact - outside the zone of destruction of at least artillery used by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, in particular high-precision long-range artillery. And command and control of troops suffers from this, the coordination between them is violated.

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