Many of the reasons for this failure are by now well known: Ukrainian resistance; the erroneous plan of the Russian general staff; lousy intelligence reports; insufficient training of a significant part of the Russian troops; lack of motivation despite propaganda Kremlin; supply chain without the necessary capacity; outdated equipment, especially in communications; growing weakness motivated by economic sanctions…
However, the main factor is practically not singled out: the insufficient size of Russia to confront Ukraine and, above all, its allies. Any student of military history knows this. Army of the Confederate american civil warwas more efficient and motivated between 1861 and 1863 than its rivals in the North, but the latter’s superiority in population and economic product – especially in industry – led them to win the war by a landslide in 1865. The First World War was interrupted when, in 1917, the military and economic power of the United States reached Western Europe. National team won Spanish Civil War because he had better allies – Italy and Germany – than the republicans – the USSR -, and also because since the spring of 1937 General Franco approached the war from an economic point of view: he paralyzed the Madrid front in order to seize the rich industrial spoils of Biscay , Santander and Asturias, which nullified the initial superiority of the Popular Front.
The current situation in Russia has a certain parallelism with Nazi Germany between 1942 and 1945. The Germans were better fighters than the British, Soviets and Americans. They were surpassed only by the Finns. Its operational doctrines were clearly superior, and its weapon systems often outmatched it overwhelmingly, to the point of technological leaps. The Allies lacked an assault rifle like the StuG 44, a machine gun like the MG-42, tanks like the Panther and Tiger II, submarines like the Types XIX and XXI, fighters like the Me 262 jet, or missiles like the like Fritz. X, Hs 293 and A-4 (“V-2”).
All this, however, was outweighed by the fact that Germany, together with Austria, had 51 million inhabitants, while Great Britain, Canada, the USSR, and the United States had 380 million. The gross domestic product of Germany and Austria, according to a study by Angus Maddison for the OECD, was 302 billion 1990 dollars in 1944, while the four allied countries had more than 2.5 billion.
Now Russia significantly outnumbers and economically Ukraine: 142.5 million people against 43.5 and 3.9 trillion dollars with just over 500,000 people. However, this Russian superiority is largely neutralized by NATO support for Ukraine. The terms of comparison are not only reversed, but Ukraine and its allies outnumber Russia by more than ten times in population and more than twenty times in economy. The United States alone has 337 million people and a GDP of $20 billion.
defense spending they are also far superior. According to the 2022 Military Balance edited by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, US defense spending is $722 billion, China is $207,300, the UK is $71,600, and Russia alone is $62,200, a little over $59,300. from France and 56,100 from Germany.
In addition, NATO has weapons systems, operational doctrines and electronic equipment far superior to Russia’s. As in World War II, the Allies benefit from mutual cooperation and greater initiative and flexibility. We do not know the secrets of the Mind, but without a doubt the most important of them is communications interception and satellite surveillance– adds a significant advantage to Ukraine’s allies.
Russia does not even have the best quality of fighters and weapons systems that was characteristic of Nazi Germany. The Russian army withdrew from important enclaves reclaimed by the Ukrainians, who displayed a heroic ability to resist, motivated by the protection of their fellow citizens. Them battle tanks The T-80 and T-90, both in quantity and quality, are not superior to either the North American Abrams, or the German Leopard II, or the British Challenger, or the French Lecrerk. They lack fighters like the new American F-35s, and their missiles, both anti-tank and anti-aircraft, are clearly inferior to those of the West.
Worst of all for the Kremlin, experience shows that inequalities in favor of Ukraine and its allies will widen over time. NATO is going to be strengthened by Finland and Sweden, and President Putin did not come up with anything better than the threat of nuclear war. This is a useless bluff and really shows his conviction that he is losing the war.