Cold War soldier lays bare Putin’s missteps as ‘incompetent’ Russian army’s morale falters

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Professor James Goodwin, who was commissioned into the Light Infantry in 1977, returned to university following the war and became a professor of the physiology of ageing. Looking at Russia’s campaign as morale is drooping within army ranks, the Professor pointed out it shows something “very wrong” in the attack strategies.

Professor Goodwin wrote in the Telegraph: “The apparent military incompetence of the Russian Army in Ukraine has been startling. Miles of static armoured and mechanised convoys.

“Cities like Kharkiv, only 20 miles or so from the Russian border, unoccupied and undefeated.

“And most revealing, evidence of the pathetic state of ordinary Russian soldiers, out of fuel, out of food and out of morale.

“My view that something was very, very wrong in their basic military management was reinforced by video footage of troops advancing into an urban area: all the basics were missing.

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“Any army is only as good as its individual soldiers. The British Army has learnt this lesson multiple times in its illustrious history.

“Look after your soldiers and they will fight well. Neglect them and your war effort will fall apart.

“They are your most precious asset. This lesson does not appear to have been learnt by the Russians.”

The former soldier recelled to when he was an officer during the Cold War and would go over pre-deployment briefings for “endless hours”, but he does not see the same exhaustive pre-planning with Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

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He stated: “Fast forward and I’m astonished.

“What do we see in Ukraine? Not just Russian troops who don’t know where they are, or even where they are going, but worse, troops who have been misled by their officers as to their mission.”

This comes as reports of low Russian army morale may be due to fierce Ukrainian resistance and poor conditions.

Boris Johnson’s deputy even warned ensuring Putin’s defeat could take “months, if not years”.

Chief of the Defence Staff Admiral Sir Tony Radakin echoed these predictions as he bashed Putin’s army as incompetent to follow through with its plans.

He told the BBC: “And, to do what’s called combined arms manoeuvre is incredibly complex and incredibly difficult, and we’re seeing Russia failing to do that in a competent fashion.”

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