Ukraine XI: Asymmetric Momentum

There’s something really interesting happening in Ukraine. The few and far between Russian victories seem to be making them weaker. Yes, you read that right. Russian victories are draining the life out of their soldiers, making it harder to win the battles that come next. On the other hand, Ukrainian victories have been swift, dramatic, and devastating - with each win seemingly making them stronger.

The big question is, why is it that Ukrainians gain momentum with every win, but Russia can’t seem to build on their victories? Well, it all comes down to asymmetric momentum. And there are 6 major reasons for this. 

Tune in to hear what these 6 reasons are and how the recent Ukrainian victories mark a critical juncture that will determine the course of the war.

Topics Covered Include:

00:00 Introduction

02:40 What is asymmetric momentum?

04:49 Ukrain’s positional warfare

06:55 Understanding Ukraine’s offensive and defensive strategies

08:16 Russia’s unintelligent retreat

10:37 How Russian political interests are affecting their progress

14:54 The poor discipline and lack of drive in Russian forces

16:42 Is the Russian army competent enough to win this war?

18:00 How Russia’s desire for a quick war is slowing their progress

20:40 Ukrainian motivation and their willingness to die for the right reasons

24:58 The impatient side of Russians uncovered

28:30 Many Russian conscripts will die due to lack of training and morale

29:36 The psychology behind Putin’s destructive Soviet-style leadership

32:04 Ukraine is playing the patient game

34:07 Summary

35:36 Parting thoughts 

Ukrainian victories on the ground have been swift, dramatic, and devastating. And each win seems to make them stronger.

Russian victories (back when they happened), seemed to be slow and grinding, and wear the Rusisans down, making them weaker.

Why is it that Russians lose momentum with each victory, but Ukrainians gain it? Why such asymmetric momentum?

I see 6 (or 7, depending) major reasons:

  • 1. Russian Politics (“quick war”): impatience -> meat grinder, not admitting defeat, vs Ukraine’s patience
  • 2. Russian Politics (show territorial progress): territory vs. Ukraine’s “defeat the enemy” -> meat grinder
  • 3. Russian Politics (don’t let Ukraine show territorial progress): no retreat allowed -> break and rout
  • 4. Morale, espirit de corps, discipline, "why are we here" vs fighting for home and life -> Ukrainians will die for the right reasons, Russians are drunk, will break and refuse to fight
  • 5. Russian atrocities: hardens Ukrainian morale and turns them into 24/7 machines of war who get smarter and become veterans
  • 6. Soviet vs. NATO style: NATO style allows for initiative and invests in training; Soviet style mass forces of limited training and centralized command means they are very predictable
  • 7. Putin: total centralized control by someone who has clearly lost touch with reality

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