Russia's military force is 'rotten to the core' says Lord Dannatt
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Former senior British Army officer Lord Dannatt slated the Russian army for being “hapless” and falling into the trap of a “very operationally clever” Ukrainian force. He said Russia’s success in the Donbas and the south of Ukraine was purely down to their aggressive use of artillery but that the balance between the two nations will slowly start to become more even as Russia is forced to more often rely on their infantry.
Lord Dannatt said: “Well, we’re not up against a force that we might have imagined a couple of years ago if we’d listened to their propaganda.
“But we are certainly not against the force that was in existence up until the end of the Cold War, which was many multiple times larger in the Soviet Union’s armoury, if you like.
“What we thought had been a modernised, smaller force has actually turned out to be a smaller force that would appear to be rotten to the core.
“And the only reason why they have managed to have any success in the south linking up Crimea through Mariupol to the Donbas region, and in the Donbas region itself, is because they have used massive amounts of artillery.
“And when you use massive amounts of artillery, which has always been the Soviet Union’s way of doing war, then frankly when you have destroyed everything in your path, they’re moving the hapless infantry and they’re always going to go in unopposed.
“And this is why the Ukrainians have actually been operationally very clever.
“They hung onto places like Severodonetsk and Lsyschank for as long as they could and then they have withdrawn.
“And the whole process has bought time for NATO weaponry to come into their hands, for countries like the US and the UK to train Ukrainian soldiers in using some of this high tech, long-range equipment that is now coming into service.
“And that is why we are gradually seeing a balance [between the two forces] coming into being.”
Russian forces have increasingly been using long-range weapons systems to bomb cities away from the front line, including civilian-populated areas.
A Ukrainian city far from the frontline grieved for its dead and cleaned its streets on Friday, a day after a Russian missile attack killed at least 23 people and wounded scores.
Ukraine said Thursday’s strike on an officers’ club in Vinnytsia, a city of 370,000 people about 200 km (125 miles) southwest of Kyiv, had been carried out with Kalibr cruise missiles launched from a Russian submarine in the Black Sea.
The attack was the latest in a series of Russian strikes in recent weeks using long-range missiles on crowded buildings in cities far from the front, each killing dozens of people.
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Russia’s defence ministry said the building was being used for a meeting between military officials and foreign arms suppliers.
But Ukraine said the officers’ club housed commercial offices and a cultural centre with a public concert hall, where musicians were rehearsing for a pop concert planned for that night. A nearby medical centre was also destroyed.
President Volodymyr Zelensky called Russia a terrorist state, urged more sanctions against the Kremlin and said the death toll in Vinnytsia could rise.
Ukraine’s state emergency service said three children, including a 4-year-old girl, were among the dead. Another 71 people were hospitalised and 29 people were missing.
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