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Russian Logistics in the Ukrainian War: Can Operational Failures be Attributed to logistics?
Swedish Defence University, Department of War Studies and Military History, Functions and Perspective Division. Norwegian Defence University College, (NOR).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4340-469X
Swedish Defence University, Department of War Studies and Military History, Functions and Perspective Division. Norwegian Defence University College, (NOR).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8648-0302
Swedish Defence University, Department of War Studies, Functions and Perspective Division.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7838-7044
2022 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Military Studies, E-ISSN 2596-3856, Vol. 5, no 1, p. 99-110Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The lacking Russian progress in war in Ukraine is often attributed to failing logistics, yet the logistics and its eventually failure is not explained. The purpose with this paper is to present some logistics principles that can be used to describe the Russian way of logistics planning, and to infer whether failing logistics slowed down the military operations or if failing operational conduct led to revised operational plans that could not be sustained logistically. The initial Russian Course of Action (COA) to take Kyiv was probably well supported logistically. When the COA failed, contingency plans most likely did not take into consideration the logistical challenges of supporting another type of operation, partly because of the logistics vacuum resulting from the preceding exercises. In the southeast the logistical concept seems to build on the echelon principle, which fits poorly with the lack of operational success. Adding to this is successful Ukrainian tactics of targeting Russian logistics resources which significantly reduces the Russian fighting power. This assessment is based on openly accessible information about the Russian campaign. Reporting from an ongoing war poses challenges of verifying data. Both warring parties and other stakeholders pursue their own interest through strategic communication. Yet, by combining different sources we believe that our findings are quite robust. For future research, archival studies both in Ukraine and Russia, combined with interviews with logistics personnel at both sides would add new dimensions to the research. We realise though that such data sources will not be accessible for quite some time.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2022. Vol. 5, no 1, p. 99-110
Keywords [en]
Logistics, culmination, defence logistics, supply lines, echelon, Ukraine, Russia
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
War Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-11251DOI: 10.31374/sjms.158OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-11251DiVA, id: diva2:1723778
Available from: 2023-01-04 Created: 2023-01-04 Last updated: 2024-04-10Bibliographically approved

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Skoglund, PerListou, ToreEkström, Thomas

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