The Russian invasion of Ukraine is clearly not going according to plan. A month on (at the time of writing), the Russian army has not captured any of its chief objectives. This means that the maximal programme of the Putin regime (if such it was) to dominate Ukraine has also failed. The most important reason for this military failure is the courage, resilience and unity of the Ukrainian defenders, for which the Russian government and military were obviously unprepared.
In consequence, the Russian army deployed inadequate troops for their task. Two hundred thousand troops (many of whom took a fortnight to deploy) is far too few to invade a country larger than France from six different directions simultaneously.
An additional reason for this is that Moscow seems to have tried wherever possible to deploy regular volunteers, not conscripts. This could be because they are inadequately trained and motivated, or for fear of the backlash in Russia against conscript casualties, or both.
What conclusions should the West draw from all this? First of all, that the threat of a Russian invasion of NATO countries is being colossally exaggerated by some Western governments, whether out of sheer panic or cynical calculations about their own advantage. For in some ways this conflict is a paradise for NATO: a classic confrontation with the old enemy, but one in which — as in the cold war — NATO will never have to fire a shot.
Read the full article in The Critic UK.