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Russian Volunteer: 'This Level Of Military Incompetence Simply Does Not Exist'
'Murz' is critical of winter preparedness
“There is a huge, massive betrayal, and systematic preparation for a completely hellish massacre during the next Ukrainian offensive. The Russian army, and its command leave no chance of success.”
Murz, a Russian volunteer at the front, shared this pessimistic outlook in a long post today on what appears to be a friend’s Livejournal. The original post has been removed, citing Russian laws. However, War Translated still has the text.
“Russia is completely unprepared for” a Ukrainian winter offensive “in terms of armoured vehicles, communication, defensive lines, artillery, and manpower,” War Translated summarizes.
Each item is revealing of a theme that has emerged since February. The Russian Army has learned nothing, Murz says, whereas the Ukrainians have learned fast, adapted well, and taught Russia many bloody lessons.
“I’m not whining or complaining now,” Murz writes with sotic fatalism. “When the [Ukrainians] break through the front, I will get my machine gun, put on my armor and go and try to kill someone before I die.”
And they will kill me, and I, damn it, will not see all the further shame, therefore we can say that I will be fine. Almost awesome. And you all will live in this fucked up place. And you will all be asking each other when Russia is “decolonized”, – “But how did it happen? How did it happen?!?”
It happened, Murz says, out of “deliberate sabotage, sabotage and betrayal.”
“The first and main condition for any successful defense is the presence of stable command and control,” Murz explains.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine ensured this to the maximum, transferring the entire army to closed digital communications and spreading a huge number of repeaters along the front line. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation do not want to solve their problems with communication. They don’t even want to voice them, because voicing leads to broken careers, confiscation of stolen goods, and prison sentences.
Ukraine has been using SINCGARS radio sets developed in the 1980s and supplied by the United States. These sets use frequency-hopping and encryption to defeat Russian signals intelligence (SIGINT) and radio direction finding (RDF) that would otherwise exploit their traffic and target radio emitters for destruction.
Russian communications are awful, he says. Ukraine can track their armored movements “by monitoring the operation of the obsolete radio stations … on the tanks,” he says, referring to the assortment of older, single-channel radios Russians are still using.
“But we can’t track the movements of their armor like that — they all have the same type of radio equipment, they operate in the same frequencies, and the base radio stations on tanks can do everything to reduce power to the level of a portable station,” Murz complains. Russian electromagnetic spectrum operations (EMSO) have suffered for lack of training, and nothing has been done at all to fix the problem.
According to Murz, Russian defenders are relying on field telephones, connected by exposed wires, for command and control.
“And, of course, these field lines are being laid… in full accordance with the guidelines for laying temporary field lines. Somewhere just across the field, elsewhere along the trees, elsewhere along the poles,” he writes. No matter how prepared Russian defenders are, they will be “without wire communication after five minutes of shelling.”
Poor comms are one reason why reserve armored formations that ought to resist Ukrainian breakthroughs have never even shown up to battle, for example during the Kharkiv offensive on the Oskil in September.
Tanks are instead showing up “bald,” without the reactive armor that increases survivability in the 21st Century, and crews are wearing out their barrels using them as artillery to make up for the shortage of shells.
Using bold text, Murz identifies a “monstrous shell hunger in artillery.” Western intelligence agencies have predicted Russian formations would run low on shell stocks during the winter, and it appears that they were right. Defense is impossible without artillery, Murz notes, so the defenses that Gen. Surovikin has been constructing in haste will be of no use, anyway.
Underlining his contempt, he calls Surovikin’s new trenches “The Faberge Line.”
Ukrainians have more drones and use them better, Murz says. He is unimpressed by a slapdash. car-mounted UAV jamming system. Russian offensive actions have turned into “mini-Verduns” that sapped away too much infantry power.
Put all the problems together, he predicts, and “There will be no significant chances to hold the current front” over the winter.
…and the enemy is well aware of this, concentrating his forces where it is convenient and valuable for him. There is no progress on any of the points that determine the success of the defense, only regression that is systematically encouraged. And the fucking thing will become especially obvious when the snow falls and the whole movement, including all our artillery, will be in full view of the enemy UAVs, and Grubnik [another volunteer] with his “People’s Network” will stupidly not be enough for the WHOLE ARMY to compensate for the lack of winter camouflage nets.
Yes, you read that right. As soon as a layer of white snow covers the ground in Ukraine, Russian forces will lose all concealment from those quadcopter drones that are dropping grenades and guiding artillery fire onto them, because no one ever bothered to make or distribute any winter camouflage netting.
For Murz, the misfortune of being alive in Vladimir Putin’s Russia is that he cannot name the problem. Should the man at the top lose his grip, or die in place, this generation of veterans will likely turn on Putin, or at least his reputation, with white-hot fury.
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