In Ukraine, he established a more streamlined process. Russian pilots began coordinating with troops on the ground toward a similar objective in the eastern region of Donbas, and Russian units were talking to one another about shared goals.
Russia-Ukraine War: Key Developments
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On the ground. Fighting raged in Sievierodonetsk, the last city in the Luhansk region to remain outside Russian control since the war efforts shifted to the east of the country. Though most of the city’s civilian population has fled in the past few weeks, 12,000 people, many of them elderly, are said to be trapped there in appalling conditions.
But the invasion is not “proceeding particularly differently in the east than in the west because they haven’t been able to change the character of the Russian army,” said Frederick W. Kagan, a senior fellow and director of the Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute. “There are some deep flaws in the Russian army that they could not have repaired in the last few weeks even if they had tried. The flaws are deep and fundamental.”
At the top of that list is the Russian army’s lack of a noncommissioned officers corps empowered to think for itself, Pentagon officials said. American troops have sergeants and platoon leaders and corporals who are given tasks and guidelines and left to accomplish those tasks as they see fit.
But Russia’s military follows a Soviet-style doctrinal method in which troops at the bottom are not empowered to point out flaws in strategy that should be obvious or to make adjustments.
The Ukrainians, after seven years of training alongside troops from the United States and other NATO countries, follow the more Western method and have proved particularly agile at adapting to circumstances, American military officials said.
A two-week fighting pause after the Russian military gave up the fight for Kyiv was not long enough to turn the campaign around, even with a more limited goal, General Breedlove said. General Dvornikov’s “new tactics, resetting the command and control so there was a focused decision maker — all that was right or proper,” he said.
But, General Breedlove added: “Even our army would be hard-pressed to refit, refurbish and reorganize in two weeks after having received such a sound whipping.” When General Dvornikov took control, “the force was thrust back into the battle too quickly. That decision had to have come from Moscow.”