Ukrainian forces were able to smash through Russia’s defences during the historic Kharkiv counter-offensive because of serious strategic failings on Russia’s part.
Mykola Bielieskov, a Research Fellow at Ukraine’s National Institute for Strategic Studies, told Euromaidan Press: “The defense was broken so quickly most likely because the Russians lacked forces.
“The front is more than 1300 km long, and the Russians have 200,000-250,000 troops – this is decisively insufficient to create a serious tiered defense.
“Most likely, they only had one tier of defense to the north of Balakliia and the Russians’ defense forces mainly consisted of SOBR rapid-response teams that are not specialized in general warfare but in suppressing protest actions.
“Russia had only one line of defense, Ukraine broke through it and then introduced its breakthrough development echelon that did not enter the cities but went in the direction of Volokhiv Yar, Shevchenkove, Kupiansk, and basically started to cut off communications.
“So we exploited the fact that Russia did not have a tiered defense and had very weak forces at the frontline.
“And then we concentrated prevailing forces that quickly broke through the line of defense and then introduced the breakthrough development echelon, i.e. conducted a classic maneuver war, the point of which is not to capture settlements but to quickly reach a frontier to cut off communications.”