The war between Russia and Ukraine has been going on for a year. Major Western countries and Russia’s allies, including China and Iran, are indirectly involved in the war. The worst-case scenario predicted in the beginning was a long war of attrition. The negative side of such a war is that participating countries suffer serious harm and aftereffects even though they may not be affected physically. This war will be recorded in history with such characteristics.
It was easy to predict how the war would develop last year as Russia’s strategic and tactical errors were clear. Those skeptical about historical studies say that humans have always made the same mistake despite lessons learned from history. Though depressing, Russia last year was a typical example of such a case. The country ignored the lessons it had learned from World War II launched by itself.
Russia’s recent major offensive is hard to predict. Information about the two side’s fighting power is very limited. What’s more is how Russia’s offensive will change. A major offensive that involves tanks and large troops driving across a plain requires detailed coordination between the air and land force, support, and logistics capabilities. While 300,000 seems like a high number of soldiers, it is not enough for such an attack. If the attack is not focused on tactical goals and is dispersed, its effect even becomes lower. It may look like Russia might be winning the war in the early stage thanks to the effect of the offensive, but its capabilities to continue the war and precision will quickly fall.
The major offensive is a bluff. If Russia focuses on specific tactical goals, it might look like it is dominating the war in the beginning. However, its tactical and logistical operation capabilities will still be poor. Such capabilities cannot be enhanced in a short period. Then, the country will have to push ahead with firepower and human wave tactics, which also quickly depletes the ability to continue the war.
What’s most unknown is Russia’s strategic goals. Russia’s front-line commanders don’t seem to know either. The country’s current goal might be dragging out the war until the western economy collapses and its support discontinues. In that case, it will become easier to predict how the war will progress once the attack begins, even though it may be hard to predict now. The world will sigh with suffering, though.