Putin left red-faced over ‘terrible’ Ukraine battlefield plan: ‘Not really effective!’ | World | News

A Russian army unit in Ukraine has taken their battalion commander prisoner in what is the latest blow for Vladimir Putin. The dramatic revelation came as independent historian ‘Chris O’, whose name is hidden to protect their identity, published the story of Viktor Shyaga, a former Russian contract soldier. Shyaga, who recently returned from the frontline in Ukraine, revealed how another unit held their battalion commander hostage so he would not run away from the fighting.

The embarrassing details are the latest humiliation for Putin during his 24-week invasion of Ukraine, in which Russia has lost an estimated 43,000 troops, according to the Ukrainian government.

In a further insight into the setbacks facing the Kremlin strongman, a US military expert has dismantled Russia’s “terrible” battlefield plan.

Dr John Callahan is a former diplomat and State Department spokesperson who now works as a military adviser and a dean at New England College in the US.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “The Russians had their so-called awesome new battalion tactical groups that they are using in Ukraine.

“And frankly, it’s a terrible idea. They are finding out that pushing combined arms down that low is not really effective.

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“They also have huge command and control difficulties. And unfortunately for the West, the Chinese are watching all these Russian failures.

“They are probably learning from them. They are stupid if they are not learning from them.”

Dr Callahan explained how on paper, Russia’s combination of infantry with tanks and artillery vehicles in small groups initially appeared to be an “OK” strategy.

However, this did not work on the battlefield, as the military expert explained: “But they did it down at the lowest tactical level.

“And so, they have groups that are 10 tanks, 10 artillery pieces, 10 anti-aircraft vehicles and 10 infantry fighting vehicles full of infantry.

Dr Callahan said: “But at their foundation, China remains a Soviet-style military. Just like Russia, with all of the weaknesses.

“There is no reason to think that a Chinese non-commissioned officer is going to show any more initiative than a Russian one right now.

“They are big, and they have a lot of potential strength. But can they use it effectively, beyond just a massive bombardment, like the Russians are doing?”

In a further insight, the academic explained how Taiwan and China’s other neighbours – although seemingly outnumbered – could learn from Ukraine’s agile resistance fighters.

He said: “The Ukrainians are not fighting the Russians toe to toe except at a very few places, like in the Donbas.

“What they are doing is, they have small teams totally outmanoeuvring the Russians.

“Because they have more superior training and superior motivation than the Russians do.

“There is no reason to think that any of China’s neighbours, either on land or at sea or in the air would not do exactly the same thing.”

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