Two videos give a military perspective on what's happening in Ukraine

If you're like me, you know with certainty that, when it comes to events in Ukraine, the media are telling you deliberate lies and that these lies are intermixed with huge dollops of ignorance.  I don't say this to challenge the dominant media narrative that a malevolent Putin has mounted a baseless attack against Ukraine to expand Russia's borders to match those during Imperial Russia or the Soviet Union.  I simply state this as a fact: our media are not informing us about the most important issue of the day.  Thankfully, a friend pointed me to a couple of videos that rely on publicly available information (including Russian military communications) to give clear, military-based explanations about what's happening in Ukraine.

Task & Purpose is a YouTube channel founded eight years ago as an information, entertainment, and advocacy site for "active-duty military, veterans, and their families."  If you go to their home page, you can see that they have videos about all things military: how military weapons, tactics, and technology have evolved; currently used weapons and equipment; military history; Medal of Honor heroes; and military humor.  Chris Cappy, a former U.S. Army infantryman and Iraq veteran, is the main host.

Once Putin invaded Ukraine, Cappy started putting together videos about what's happening on the ground from a military perspective.  The videos are great: they're filled with publicly available information (including communications among Russian forces on the ground in Ukraine) that journalists ignore.  Cappy explains in clear language, with helpful graphics, what's happening in terms of engagements won and lost, weapons in use, and strategy and tactics.

Image: Task and Purpose screen grab.

One of the main takeaways, which I'd actually figured out on my own because I know about the Siege of Leningrad during WWII, is that Russians are stingy with weapons and profligate with troops.  During Leningrad, the rule was one weapon for three soldiers (none of whom was trained).  The three would head into combat as a pack.  If the guy holding the gun was killed, the other two were expected to grab it, until all had used that single gun and died in the effort.

While Americans believe in "Shock and Awe" approaches to the first battle with the enemy, that may not be what Putin is doing.  Instead, consistent with Russian battle tactics, he may be sending in expendables to get a feel for the enemy.  In this case, Putin's enemy — Ukraine — is putting up much stiffer resistance than Putin anticipated.  Having acquired this information, Putin is likely to bring in the bigger guns and better fighters.

This doesn't mean that Putin will win in the long run.  Russia is a dying country with a population in steep demographic decline.  (So is Ukraine.)  Even with Americans and Europeans buying massive amounts of Russian oil, this war is proving to be expensive for Russia.  Finally, the Russians aren't thrilled with Putin's war, meaning that Putin, like all tyrants, is sitting on an unstable throne.

Having said all that, in the short term, Putin has the military advantage, and these two videos explain why.

The situation in Ukraine is incredibly fluid, so, in the time it took for this post to be published and you to read it, things may have changed so drastically that everything in the post and the videos is obsolete.  However, if the situation in Ukraine hasn't changed a lot, you may find these videos informative.

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