Russian military hit hard after a failed start in Ukraine
Many experts say Mr Putin miscalculated, assuming that a quick strike on Kyiv could overthrow President Volodymyr Zelensky’s government, and that Ukrainians would remain largely indifferent. This explains, experts suggest, why Russia went lightly, seemingly trying to limit civilian casualties.
But the Ukrainians surprised the Russians with their defenses, and an initial attempt with a leading group to seize Kyiv airport, to allow reinforcements to fly in, failed miserably.
Matthew Bouleng, a Russian war specialist at Chatham House, said Russia had seemed too restrained and even clumsy in its initial days in its use of force. “They were paying the price for their rhetoric, that this was a defensive war against the fascists and the neo-Nazis,” he said. But now “we have an irritated Kremlin, and we have not yet seen what Russia has.”
“The world is starting to see the second phase, when they move in with heavy artillery and ground troops, as they are doing in Kharkiv and Mariupol,” he said.
“I’m afraid this is really just the beginning,” said Mr. Bouleng. “We may see a follow-up attack with more experienced soldiers, more forces, less precision-guided systems, more casualties, more carpet bombing and more victims.”
In their attempt to quickly take Kyiv based on “very erroneous assumptions about Ukraine”, Russian director Michael Kaufman said, the Russians withheld most of their combat power and capabilities and “in the early days of the war a Got bloody nose”. Studying at CNA, a Defense Research Institute.
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