Focus - Analysis - Photo report

On March 1, 2022, Jim Garamone published on U.S. DoD's website that Russian troops invading Ukraine have made some progress in the southern part of the country but are facing a logistics breakdown with vehicles running out of fuel and troops running out of food, a senior defense official said. Some Russian units are surrendering without a fight. Others are made up of inadequately trained conscripts who have never been in combat before. "Some of them, we believe, weren't even told they were going to be in combat", a U.S. DoD official said.

Jim Garamone, DOD News, reports that U.S. President Joe Biden has directed that 7,000 U.S. service members be deployed to Germany to enhance deterrence of Russia. Consequently, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III has ordered the deployment of those 7,000 service members. The major unit in this tranche of troops is the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, based at Fort Stewart, Georgia, said a senior defense official speaking on background.

On Sunday, February 27, David Vergun published on the U.S Department of Defense’s website that U.S. officials don't doubt reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin has placed Russia's nuclear deterrence forces on high alert, a senior defense official said at a press briefing on Sunda: "We have no reason to doubt the validity of these reports," the official said.

Russia test-fired ballistic and cruise missiles at a strategic deterrence exercise on February 19. Supreme Commander-in-Chief President Vladimir Putin and his Belarussian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko observed the drills from the situation center in Kremlin. The Defense Ministry said: “The strategic deterrence exercise was planned in advance to check the readiness of military command bodies, launch teams, warships and strategic bombers for the missions, as well as reliability of strategic nuclear and conventional forces.”

Agile and small, Fennec is made for the steppes of Mali, Gerrit Hohmann and Georg Schiller report in the Bundeswehr website. The first goal assigned for a reconnaissance mission: a previously unknown checkpoint that was first observed by the Heron drone. Checkpoints are common in Mali. Its structure is typical for the region: a barbed-wire barrier has been laid across the street and prevents further travel. The only thing missing people are the “operators”.

The British Army on its website reports that a convoy of British troops and armoured vehicles of the Royal Welsh Battlegroup are heading to Estonia as part of the UK's contribution to strengthening NATO's uplift to Eastern Europe. The UK is doubling the number of personnel in Estonia and sending additional equipment, including tanks and armoured fighting vehicles. Troops and equipment have begun the move to Estonia.

According to Johannes Stern in World Socialist Web Site, Germany is playing an ever-greater role in NATO’s aggressive buildup against Russia, increasingly threatening a third world war. Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (Social Democrats, SPD) on February 18 called for a rapid and massive increase in defense spending to prepare the German armed forces for a possible war against Russia. “The threatening situation on the borders of Ukraine has once again shown us very clearly how important an effective deterrent is unfortunately again today,” she explained to Der Spiegel. From this, Germany’s governing coalition must draw conclusions “for the financing of the German army.”

As explained by CEPA, greater European independence on defense and security — at least from France and at least in theory. In practice, this means getting serious about the development of credible capabilities. A starting point should be advancing Europe’s stalled multinational tank project by involving a new key player: Italy. Two researchers explain the topic: Andrea Arivella, a political advisor intern at NATO Allied Transformation Command - NATO ACT (Norfolk, VA, US), and Gabrielle Moran, the Executive Assistant to the Dean of the Center for Maritime Strategy (CMS).

According to a document issued by Vasyl Korotkyi, of Ukrinform, Ukrainian and American experts, as well as the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, warned that under the pretext of holding strategic exercises in Belarus, Russia may resort to a large-scale offensive against Ukraine. The Russian forces deployed at Ukraine's borders are estimated at about 120,000 soldiers - rising to 140,000 service personnel in total if the navy and air force are included. Army Recognition editorial team also has added the latest information according to Open-source published on the Internet. 

Joe Duggan reports in that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering deploying Royal Navy warships and RAF fighter jets to protect southeastern Europe as Russian troops mass on Ukraine’s borders. Vladimir Putin is assembling the “biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War”, the Prime Minister warned, as he cautioned Moscow against “inflicting still greater destruction and bloodshed” on Ukraine.

Daily Sabah, grounding its info from various sources, reports that NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg expressed concern Thursday (February 3) that Russia is continuing its military buildup around Ukraine, pointing that Moscow has now deployed more troops and military equipment to Belarus than at any time in the last 30 years.

Training in the cold, bitter Bavarian winter is something Polish Army officer 1st Lt. Jakub Szulczyk relishes – there’s nowhere else he’d rather be. As a company commander in 1st Tank Battalion, 10th Armoured Cavalry Brigade, Szulczyk has been participating in Allied Spirit 22, a U.S. Army Europe and Africa directed, 7th Army Training Command conducted training exercise that is designed to develop and enhance NATO and key partner interoperability and readiness across specified warfighting functions. Capt. Alun Thomas reports on U.S. Army's website.

In a press release, the UK government writes that Prime Minister Boris Johnson considers the biggest possible offer to NATO and prepares to stand up UK Armed Forces to protect European allies facing Russian troops. The UK is expected to bolster its offer to NATO with a major military deployment to strengthen Europe’s borders in the face of rising Russian aggression. UK officials are deployed to Brussels to finalise the details of the offer with NATO, and ministers will discuss the military options.

The British Army is deploying its Sky Sabre air defense system on the disputed Falkland Islands (Malvinas, in Argentinian designation), a deployment against which Argentine is protesting. Indeed, the Falkland Islands, located in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean, have been the subject of a territorial dispute between Argentina and Britain for 200 years. The Falkland Islands are a dependent territory of the UK and will remain so for as long as the Islanders wish them to, British Army’s website writes.

The Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic have achieved a unique opportunity to obtain modern Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV) in two procurement programs. In addition to the fact that the Ministry of Defence plans to purchase 228 tracked armored vehicles, it also intends to purchase as many as 500 wheeled armored vehicles in different variants.